Richard Fahey’s Saint of Katowice sets the standard here with an official mark of 77, but he is yet to get his head in front in five attempts and could be vulnerable to one of the newcomers. Hajey is the slightly more interesting of the Mark Johnston pair but High Accolade is the one that makes most appeal and he would not need to be a superstar to make his mark here.
His sire is the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Outstrip and he is a half-brother to a two-year-old winner and represents the James Tate stable who have a decent strike rate at Newcastle with their two-year-olds. Out of 19 runners here in the past five years, five have won and another five have been second.
In a race that may lack depth, he could be capable of making a winning debut.
Gun Case has been struggling for form since returning from a break in June, but as a result has dropped to a very nice handicap mark now of 51. He has a very solid course and distance record with three wins and four placed efforts from his 17 starts here and finds himself 12lbs lower than his last win at this venue in August last year.
It was only last November that he finished third at the track off a mark of 65. Alistar Whillans has his string in great form with five winners in the last two weeks and Andrew Breslin claims a handy 5lbs off his back.
He makes plenty of each-way appeal considering how well handicapped he looks.