Irish trainer Gerard O’Leary doesn’t send runners over to Britain too regularly, with 16 runners here in the last five seasons. It’s even rarer that he sends any to Newcastle. The Kildare-based trainer has had just two runners at Newcastle and one of those was victorious. This 50 per cent strike-rate from such a small pool of runner is intriguing as he sends three to the track on Friday. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
Knocknakilla is still a maiden after 22 starts so far. He was unfortunate not to win when hitting the crossbar at the Curragh over a mile in March. Finishing strongly from off the pace, he was beaten by half-a-length into second. Kept on again when a length-and-a-half third over an extended 1m1f at Gowran in September. Always seems to do his best work late so perhaps the stiff finish here at Newcastle will be in his favour.
Maritime Rules was an impressive winner of a 6f novice race at Chelmsford as a juvenile in November 2021. That win came when he was trained by Richard Hannon and a narrow third on handicap debut followed next time. Bumped into an impressive stablemate when third by three-and-a-half lengths at Dundalk last time out and that winner has since gone up to rating of 91. May well find life easier here and this is a good opportunity.
Delta Romeo has a really solid chance on the evidence of his penultimate start. That effort came at Dundalk over 7f and he kept on nicely that day, despite racing freely. This horse began his racing career at trips between a mile and 1m4f so it’s a surprise to see him try 6f for the first time. It could prove to be a masterstroke however as his keen style of racing may well suit this trip.
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