6.45pm Newcastle Tips & Betting Preview 10/03/2017

This is a competitive handicap over 6 furlongs, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: This is a wide open event and several look slightly on the wrong side of the weights. However, ERISSIMUS MAXIMUS has been in fine form since last summer and he looks to remain on a workable mark and could just be a tasty price here. He needs to show his last run was a one off and this Holy Roman Emperor colt should still be improving with his racing. Support for Hemingway would be of interest on his seasonal return whilst Zamjar should give his running again.

1 ROYAL OPERA HOUSE – Jamie Osborne has had 1 winner from 10 attempts here and runs a twice-raced colt today. He only made his debut in November but went on to thrash his opponents in a Class 6 at Chelmsford in December over today’s trip. The handicapper has taken absolutely no chances and has given him an opening mark of 87 which looks harsh given he only won a Class 6 maiden. Market should be a good guide but initial reaction suggests he’s probably worth taking on here.

2 DAZACAM – She likes to be held up in her races and has posted some really creditable efforts in the same or higher grade on her last few starts. However, the handicapper definitely has her where he wants her and connections have picked a 5lb claimer to try and negate her handicap mark. She’s stepped up in trip and that looks a slight worry given all her victories have been over the minimum trip and she’s opposed today.

3 WICK POWELL – Was very progressive last season and won a valuable listed contest at Redcar back in October which is probably the smartest form in the race. He was below par at Southwell on his seasonal return although he can be forgiven that effort given it was his first run back but the handicapper hasn’t changed his mark as a result. He steps back up to 6 furlongs which should be right up his street but he will need to have trained on to be competitive and deserves a chance to prove he has. Very respected.

4 ZAMJAR – Nice 3yo colt for Ed Dunlop by Exceed And Excel and he has a fair chance to continue his run of form here. He finished ahead of Juan Horsepower back in December who has gone on to frank the form and he didn’t run too badly in the void race at Chelmsford last time out. Josephine Gordon retains the ride (20% strike rate here) and he looks to be on a workable mark still. The 6 furlong trip should suit and he has a leading chance today and should be thereabouts again.

5 ALKASHAAF – Up another 1lb in the weights following the void race at Chelmsford and that makes life harder again here. He’s shown some progressive form this winter which included a victory two starts ago off a mark of 77 and he’s going to need to do more to get his head in front here. He is partnered by the in-form Oisin Murphy (5 wins from last 30 rides) and he won on him last time out so that catches the eye a little. He’s respected here but is another that’s possibly just on the high side in the weights at this moment.

6 HEMINGWAY – Not seen since August last year when running with credit in a Class 2 sprint over 6 furlongs at York. That form hasn’t turned out to be the strongest but he’s on a mark of 80 and connections must be reasonably happy with that for what he has shown in his three starts to date. He does have to overcome a 204-day break and his owners may just have their eye on an early season turf meeting so he may be best watched today although market support would be respected.

7 KAMRA – Trainer has a 20% strike rate here (1 win from 5 runs) and his runner here isn’t without a chance. He broke his maiden at Nottingham last season although he couldn’t build on that when well beaten in two hotter contests in handicap company. He took advantage of a drop in the weights at Kempton over today’s trip in January when he finished second of 10 but the handicapper has put him up again and he doesn’t look as progressive as others in this. John Egan is a positive booking but may be best watched here off a small break.

8 ERISSIMUS MAXIMUS – Was very well beaten in the void race at Chelmsford last time out and this will demand much more improvement. He’s a colt by Holy Roman Emperor so he shouldn’t be done improving and he was competitive in a similar grade last winter but he’s got questions to answer now on the back of his last run. A mark of 77 looks fair and he’s worth a second look in the betting for a horse that continues to get better with more racing.

9 BLUE BAHIA – Finally got off the mark on the ninth attempt when winning a Class 5 maiden over today’s trip on her last start. She’s left on a mark of 71 and this ex-Dermot Weld inmate may have more to come down the line. She’s by Big Bad Bob so she may not relish the drop back down in trip and she’ll find this much tougher now back into handicap company and up in grade. Not discounted but others make more appeal.

10 WHATSTHEMESSAGE – Yard have a very poor record here (6 wins from 101 runs) and that looks unlikely to improve today. She won on debut over this trip at Ayr but found life tougher in better company and gradually began to suffer against tougher opponents. She couldn’t find much improvement when dropped down into Class 5 company and the step back up in grade doesn’t inspire confidence. Shirley Teasdale claims 5lbs but her mount will need to show a big return to form here.

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