Eight runners line up for Newcastle’s 5:00pm Maiden Stakes over seven furlongs. Read on to get our full analysis and tip for the race.
IN SUMMARY: NOBLE STAR goes into this with strong form and big potential, with James Fanshawe’s three-year-old running an excellent race on debut in much tougher company. He steps down in class, and should progress from that run, making him very difficult to beat.
1 Blythe Prince – Rated just 45 after his first three runs, he has been beaten out of sight on each of those at big odds. Off the track for more than year since the last of those, he is well bred (was purchased for 70,000 guineas in May 2014) but has a lot to prove.
2 Jacksonfire – A 13 race maiden who was beaten by 39 lengths in a Claimer last time out. He looks flattered by a rating of 49 and will be outclassed by a number of these.
3 Napoleon Solo – Twelve races without a win but has finished third three times, including at Musselburgh on his penultimate start over this distance. Sent off favourite last time out over course and distance he was well beaten and with a mark in the mid 60s will need to run a career best if the market principals run to form.
4 Ship Canal – Ran poorly in weak races in 2014 before a two year break. Reappeared last week to finish a distant fourth in a Class 6 Maiden over 1m 5f at this course. Worth a watching brief given the run and the big drop back in trip but not one to put any faith in.
5 Noble Star – Last seen in April when finishing fifth in a good quality race at Newmarket over today’s distance. The winner and second both won on their next starts and are now looking to be very useful horses. He appeared to be learning from the race progressed and this 130,000 guineas purchase should step forward for his summer break. Expect him to be very hard to beat.
6 Sandstream – Initially owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum and trained by Richard Hannon, never made it to the track and struggled home in 6th on debut, 18 lengths behind the leaders. He took a keen hold that day at a big price but will need a handicap mark to be competitive in races.
7 Scribner Creek – Beaten by around 10 lengths on both of his first two starts, this is the final run he needs for a handicap mark which will surely be his aim. This half brother to Sir Maximilian was a €40,000 purchase in May 2015 but would need to step up significantly on his previous performances to be competitive here.
8 Song Of Shadows – Sold for just £9,000 by Godolphin in June 2016 despite a solid performance on his second start at Leicester in a Class 5 Maiden. Also holds an entry for a Maiden over six furlongs for Friday but appears to be likely to take his chance here with Connor Beasley on top. The near 2 year absence and low sale price both mean he has big questions to answer, and he looks short in the betting.