7.15pm Newcastle Tips & Betting Preview 04/03/2017

This is a competitive handicap over a mile at Newcastle, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.

IN SUMMARY: SWIFT EMPEROR is worth another chance in Class 4 company having probably needed his first run back. He shaped as if he had plenty of ability last year and this mile trip should be absolutely up his street and he’s now better off at the weights with Byres Road which should aid his cause. Barwah is one of the most interesting runners now upped in grade for the first time and whilst he is in good form, will need a career best to win this.

1 SWIFT EMPEROR – He made a fair seasonal comeback following a 7-month break over C&D last time out finishing fourth of eleven runners. He was very highly tried last season and races in Class 4 company for only the second time and this Holy Roman Emperor gelding has a bit of class about him. This C&D should be ideal and David Barron has been in good form of late recording an 18% strike rate in the last 14 days and he’s a big player here if his runner can improve again from his seasonal bow.

2 BYRES ROAD – He took full advantage of a drop down to Class 5 company on New Year’s Eve and just failed to follow that up at Wolverhampton on his subsequent start. He’s been in and out of form since but did beat Swift Emperor over this C&D two starts ago although he’s 3lbs worse off at the weights today and his run last time out was very disappointing. He’s capable of getting competitive here although he’s quite inconsistent and is hard to recommend on the back of that. He’s up another 2lbs for his last run and the handicapper may just be in charge once again.

3 WAR DEPARTMENT – Absolutely blew away his rivals on his last start when making a mockery of a mark of 82. He had looked in the handicappers grip up until that point but has obviously improved again and will make a bold bid to record a double now stepped up to a mile for only the fifth time in his 22-race career. Shirley Teasdale takes the ride and her 5lb claim means Keith Dalgleish’s runner is only 1lb higher than his victory on Thursday and he has a major chance of following up if seeing out this mile trip as well as the 7 furlongs. He has to be respected today.

4 TESTA ROSSA – Very highly tried last time out in Class 2 company where he couldn’t get involved but this is more realistic now dropped down in grade. He’s a multiple C&D winner for Jim Goldie and has shown really progressive form this winter to rise from a mark of 60 to 81. However, the handicapper may just have this one where he wants it and he’s going to find life tougher off this mark without any claim to help him. He has a squeak now back up to a mile but he’s one of the less likely ones at the weights.

5 EASTERN DRAGON – Iain Jardine is an extremely profitable trainer at Newcastle (£19.50 profit to level stakes) although he may not better that record with his runner here. He remains 3lbs higher for his last success over C&D and has since been well-held off just 1lb higher and he doesn’t look to have the scope of some of today’s rivals. Callum Rodriguez continues to claim 7lbs off his back but he’s going to need a very strong pace to aim at which doesn’t look particularly likely here so he may not be seen to best effect and is opposed today.

6 BILLY ROBERTS – Makes his seasonal reappearance off a 4-month break on the back of a few really disappointing runs at the end of last season. He only beat two of a possible 38 rivals across 4 races in similar contests to this over 7 furlongs and a mile off marks between 78 and 82. He perhaps found himself at the wrong end of the weights having been hiked 6lbs for a good Class 3 success at Musselburgh in June. This is only his second start on the All-Weather and he’s back onto his last winning mark although he may just need this and is best watched today.

7 AMBER MYSTIQUE – Has been dropped 6lbs for a 3 1/4 length defeat in Class 3 company at Wolverhampton last time out where she just found the competition too good. She drops back to a more workable level here now into Class 4 company although she’ll need to do more than when she broke her maiden tag in a Class 5 two starts ago. This lightly-raced 4yo should be a good bit of fun this year for Richard Fahey but she may find this a little tough today and is opposed off a small break.

8 TRINITY STAR – Generally consistent last season, competing in Class 3 and Class 4 company with credit. He’s been dropped 3lbs for his last effort which puts him on his lowest rating since September 2014 and there’s likely more to come this season off a very workable mark. It’s possible he may need this run today having his first start on the All-Weather and it may pay to look elsewhere as Michael Dodds charge may have his eye on races back on the turf.

9 BARWAH – Multiple C&D winner, she steps up into Class 4 company on the back of a good second over 7 furlongs here last time out. She’s been raised a further 4lbs which puts her on a career high mark which will make life much tougher given she’s yet to win outside of Class 5 & 6 company. She’s in good form and Andrew Mullen retains the ride (17% strike rate last 14 days) but she has to prove she can handle this step up in trip and whilst she receives plenty of weight she could find a few of these too good. Interesting.

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