5 things we learnt from Newcastle on Monday

Withold wins the Northumberland Plate

Horse racing returned with a bang at Newcastle yesterday, a ten-race card just the amuse-bouche for a week where the main course will be served at Newmarket with the first classics of the season. It was a fascinating afternoon with some lessons learnt to take note of.

1 – It’s hard to make up ground on the straight course

This is contrary to the norm. Newcastle isn’t the easiest place to make all the running, yet in seven races on the straight track yesterday, three winners made just about every yard. Two of the other four were close to the speed and with the surface looking slow, those held up looked at a distinct disadvantage.

2 – Roger Fell looks to have his horses well forward

A winner and two places for the Roger Fell yard yesterday from seven runners. That included the first winner after lockdown at 22/1. His placed runners included a 25/1 shot and also a 14/1 fourth who was disadvantaged by being held up. Fell continues to fly a little under the radar of the casual Saturday punter but he is a force to be reckoned with on the northern circuit and worth watching closely.

3 – Frankly Darling could be a star

The performance of the day could not have gone to any other horse, she was simply imperious. Rab Havlin afterwards declared her to be “still pretty green” but “she’s filling into her frame nicely and she’s going the right way.” She gave the impression that she is a group class filly in the making so she could hardly be in better hands than those of John Gosden.

4 – Kevin Ryan another off to a quick start

A winner and two seconds from the first three runners after lockdown for the master of Hambleton Lodge. Just a nose stopped that being a pair of winners on the opening day. He has a strong team lined up for the rest of the first week so it would be a surprise if he were not to add considerably to that tally. The yard have a well-backed runner in the 2.30 pm Newcastle today. Can they add to their winners on Tuesday?

5 – Alignak is a handicapper to follow

It’s no secret that Sir Michael Stoute likes to bring his horses along steadily. He can reap rewards later in the summer with Alignak. He pulled three lengths clear of the third with a solid yardstick and having been held-up from a wide draw. That was a success off 89 but he shapes as if well capable of a triple-figure rating later in the year and with further likely to suit, he might make up into an Ebor type in two months’ time.

More to read:

See all of our Kempton tips and Newcastle tips for Tuesday’s action on the site with full reasoning behind the selections. 3 winners yesterday on the first day back, including Brian The Snail, selected at 8/1, SP 13/2!

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