Jamie Spencer has had a quiet start to the year so far, having had just nine rides so far. He goes up to Newcastle on Thursday for just one ride and he won’t want it to be a wasted journey. The veteran jockey averages just 10 rides a season at Newcastle in the last five campaigns. This makes it an irregular and notable excursion.
Having not ridden at the track yet this season, he’ll want to make his return a winning one. 33 per cent of his rides this year have won and it would increase with victory here. His sole ride is in the £30,000 feature race. Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing.
King Of The South (10-3, William Hill) takes another stab at a conditions race off the back of two excellent runs off big weights in handicaps. William Knight’s six-year-old won here over an extended 1m4f two starts ago, off a mark of 101. A four-and-a-half-length second to an improving horse then followed off a 2lb higher mark. Clearly in top form, confidence must be high and he could run a huge race.
This isn’t the deepest race of it’s type and is therefore an open affair. Spencer’s mount is currently third in the market behind two John and Thady Gosden runners. Both of those rivals have failed to establish themselves fully in Listed and lesser Group races. From that point of view, they’re there for the taking.
King Of The South wasn’t beaten far by a subsequent Group 2 winner when a three-and-a-quarter-length sixth in a Kempton Listed race in March. It’s also worth noting that he lost a shoe that day. Before that, he finished second in the Winter Derby Trial back in February and both of these pieces of form are in line with the two market leaders.
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