King Of The South remains open to further improvement and should make a bold bid to defy a 6lb rise for his successful stable debut. He’s a key player but FAIR STAR should be sharper with his recent return to action behind him and he should find this track playing to his strengths.
It would be no surprise to see another big run from Calonne who has taken well to this venue having got off the mark over C&D last time, but he may find it hard to confirm the placings with BUDANOVA who was just half a length behind him. Archie Watson’s filly was having only her fourth start then so is entitled to have plenty of improvement left and this can be her day. A strongly run race could see Curfewed make an impact.
A couple of the newcomers are worth monitoring in the market, namely Open Mystery and Whittle Le Woods, but a few of these have already shown ability at this track. There shouldn’t be much between Tigerhon and Bhaji again but VIOLET WARDA appeared to show the best form when dead-heating for third on her debut over C&D last month. She can get off the mark for a stable with such a fine record at this venue.
A few of these are still open to improvement with Blu Boy and Showdanse perhaps the most interesting, but PATSY FAGAN and Fircombe Hall already have the form on the board. Preference is for the former who may have been on the slowest part of the track when runner-up at Lingfield last time.
Juan Les Pins was on the up for his previous yard and could still have more to come for new connections. Mohareb ran well at Chelmsford last week and can go well, while the return to AW could reinvigorate Wasntexpectingthat. Gowanlad’s latest win has been franked and he’s still fairly treated but everything looks in place for a big run from FORTAMOUR (nap). His Class 2 Ascot win in September off just 1lb lower saw him overcome a troubled passage and he’s fully effective at this track.
Competitive fare. Hat-trick seeking Bringitonboris, Dawaaleeb and Anif all have plenty to recommend them but the most appealing pair are St Just and SANDRET. The former hinted at better last time but the selection was strong at the finish when a close second over C&D a fortnight ago and the time of that race was significantly quicker than the division won by Bringitonboris half an hour earlier.
Only three of these look to hold a realistic chance. Much will depend on how ready Silent Hunter is on his return from a mammoth absence and the market may be helpful in that regard. Thrill Seeker has shown enough since returning in October to suggest he can win an uncompetitive contest like this, but KELLS appeared to show stronger form in Ireland earlier this year and can make a successful debut for Mick Appleby.
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The key to this may be the race over C&D 17 days ago in which DAWN BREAKING just held on from the fast-finishing Crantock Bay, and the winner is taken to follow up. Richard Whitaker’s gelding has a fine strike-rate of 8-32 so he knows how to win, while Crantock Bay has yet to get his head in front after ten attempts. Velma should appreciate the return here and can prove best of the others.
Friendly Advice is eased in grade and tried in new headgear so a revival from him isn’t out of the question. Six Strings isn’t ruled out on his first run for John Quinn but the pair to focus on may be recent C&D 1-2 Herringswell and PROPHECY. The former brings an unbeaten C&D record to the race and was well on top last time but Prophecy was making good late headway, is still low mileage and may be able to gain his breakthrough success.
The Racing Post’s tips at Newcastle today
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