MERITORIOUS showed fairly useful form when second at Newmarket earlier this month, taking a big step forward having finished last on his debut three months earlier. Racing keenly just behind the leaders, he led on the bridle over three furlongs out and stuck to his task well to be beaten just half a length by one who conserved a bit more energy in the early stages.
That form sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, especially as the third gave it a boost when winning his next start at Leopardstown. Meritorious remains with potential, too, and is fancied to open his account at the third attempt for the John Gosden yard that has a 34% strike rate at Newcastle in recent seasons.
DAPHNE MAY has made giant on her last two starts at Kempton, defying a BHA mark of 61 on her nursery debut and then improving again to fill the runner-up spot in a novice. She arguably shaped even better than the bare result on the last occasion, conceding first run to the winner and doing well under the circumstances to finish as close as she did (beaten five lengths).
She is back in a nursery today and rates very much the one to beat according to Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, with a 9 lb higher mark than when winning her previous start unlikely to prove beyond her.
DOC SPORTELLO posted a rare below-par effort at Windsor last time, but he had valid excuses on the day, encountering soft ground for the first time in a while and possibly doing too much too soon in the conditions. He had been in good heart prior to that, hitting the frame in three successive starts after winning at Chepstow in August, including a narrow defeat from this mark.
That came when ridden by Tom Marquand, who seems to get a particularly good tune out of this veteran sprinter, and the application of first-time blinkers could just give him the edge he needs to get his head back in front.
Newcastle betting tips
More tips for Monday
- Horse Racing tips: If The Cap Fits worth following this Jumps season
- Horse Racing: How to watch racing for free with Paddy Power
- Placing bets is easier than ever with Paddy Power News’ live odds banners
- Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- Paul Jacobs’ 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season
- Mick Fitzgerald’s 10 to pay their way for the new jumps season