A 1m handicap gets us underway at 13.00 at Newcastle on Thursday where Idoapologise has winning form at the track over 7f beating another of today’s rivals Guipure towards the back of last season.
James Bethel‘s runner is 7 lbs higher now for that win, but Karl Burke’s Guipure is actually 11lbs higher in the ratings after subsequently winning at Pontefract. Logic should indicate that Idoapologise is the one to side with on 4lbs better terms but Karl Burke has already been among the winners already since the restart and he’ll have Guipure ready for this task. Idoapologise has since been gelded in the off season and and sometimes it can take a run for horses to adjust to that.
Tim Easterby’s Shoot to Win is a hardy type and there’s been a few ‘all-the-way’ winners at Newcastle this week so far and that front-running tactic worked for him at Southwell last time.
In the 1m Novice Stakes that follows at 13.35, Callum Rodriguez performed a miracle to stay on board Brunch on debut at Doncaster, before making no mistake to run out a convincing winner at this venue over 7f in a novice auction race.
Market rival Splinter is an obvious danger for the Richard Fahey yard having run a very eye-catching race at York on soft ground last season. His breeding suggest he’ll want a further trip in time so if it turns into a real stamina test it will play to his strength. I fancy Brunch to edge it though.
The 7f handicap at 14.45 is a real head-scratcher but Zodiakos will be near the head of the market and you can see why. He won the first race of the new campaign on Monday and is turned out again three days later. He did exactly the same last season when finishing second at Hamilton before popping up to win at Wetherby a couple of days later.
He runs off the same handicap mark as when winning on Monday and that’s good enough for me in this contest.
Trainer Philip Makin has also been among the winners since racing resumed on Monday and I really like his Order of St John in the 6f handicap at 15.20. He’s been gelded since finishing second at Yarmouth to Little Brown Trout who won again and has gone up 10lbs in the ratings.
Order of St John stays on the same mark of 70 and could be one to catch shortly off his current rating with the trainer off the mark also.
The Group 3 Pavillion Stakes over 6f at 15.55 sees a rematch between the Crisfords’ Aali and Richard Fahey’s Ventura Rebel from the Group 2 5f Norfolk Stakes at Ascot last season Aali came out on top by a neck 12 months ago, but with both unproven on Newcastle’s artificial surface, you are guessing as to whether both will operate on it.
Marco Botti’s Malotru heads the market from both and has won at Chelmsford and a 6f Listed race at Lingfield in February, so there’s no guessing about his ability to handle the conditions.
Malotru looks the safest option and he has the least absence to overcome.
A cracking 5f Sprint handicap at 17.05 and I’m drawn to Tim Easterby’s Bossipop who has a good record fresh and is a double figure price (14/1) in early trading.
He was a little in and out last season but ran some nice races off much higher marks and won off a rating of 81 at Ripon over 6f in April 2019. He runs off 75 today and at a double-digit price will do nicely each-way in a race where Paddy is paying the first 4 places.
- Horse Racing tips: The 5 greatest gambles on the Flat that stung Paddy Power
- Horse Racing tips: Timeform’s 4 dark horses to storm the 2020 Flat season
- Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 15 horses to follow for the 2020 Flat season
- Horse Racing tips: 6 William Haggas horses who can score this Summer
*Prices correct at publishing but are subject to change except on our snazzy new bet widget which is bang up to date.