Our racing expert marks your card for Thursday's racing.
I tend to steer clear of the all-weather action during the summer months, but I’m going to make an exception for Newcastle’s evening meeting run on Tapeta, with a trio of fillies fancied to go well.
First up is INTRIGUE, who contests the 1m4f handicap (6.20pm). Daniel Kubler’s filly has already shown she can handle an artificial surface by twice running well in defeat at Chelmsford last September when in the care of William Haggas. Making a belated return to action over 1m2f at Pontefract 20 days ago and having her first start for her current stable, she appeared to blow her chance at the start by dwelling and racing in last early. However, she then responded well to pressure to come with a sustained run to overhaul long time leader and 5/4 favourite Signed And Sealed near the finish by a neck, with a nice gap back to the third.
The handicapper could only put her up 3lb for that and I’ll be surprised if there isn’t a little more mileage in her revised mark of 65. With evening’s longer trip likely to show her in an even better light, she can go in again.
The 7f nursery handicap (6.55pm) has attracted just five runners and two are trained by David Simcock. His Island Vision, a winner of a Chelmsford novice when last seen out in June, is just preferred in the betting to stablemate MISS SUGARS, but I fancy the latter can come out on top here. After winning a Thirsk maiden on her debut, she’s run three cracking races in defeat and the latest of those came at Newmarket just five days ago when finishing third of the 13 runners. That was one of the most competitive nurseries run so far this season with eight last-time-out winners in the field, three of which were bidding for a hat-trick, so it represents rock-solid form.
This evening’s race is over an extra furlong but the selection was sticking on well at finish and she is able to run off the same mark, with Sophie Killoran’s 7lb claim likely to prove decisive. UPDATE – Miss Sugars has been declared a non-runner.
The Ann Duffield-trained HILARY J was declared a non-runner at Pontefract yesterday and that could prove a smart move as this evening’s 5f handicap (9.10pm) is there for the taking, with none of her six rivals arriving in particularly good form. The exception being Richard Fahey’s Ingleby Valley, who is returning to action after a 344-day break and is making his handicap debut. The betting should prove the best clue to his fitness but he will do well to cope with the bang-in-form selection, who made virtually all over 6f at Thirsk 13 days ago and has just a 4lb rise to cope with.
She was highly rated by her trainer last season only for a pelvic injury to keep her off the track, but that’s clearly well behind her now and, while dropping back a furlong here, the blistering speed she showed last time could soon see her put this race to bed.
Try a trixie (3 doubles and 1 treble, 4 bets in total) on today’s selections.