Punters considering a bet at Newcastle on Saturday evening would do well to swot up first on our betting guide to all seven races.
Newcastle stages a seven-race race card in Saturday evening and bookies.com are proud sponsors. A few winners would be in order and, with that in mind, here are my thoughts on proceedings.
6.10: Get Horse Racing Odds At bookies.com EBF Maiden Stakes, 6f
The meeting kicks off with a 6f maiden for two-year-olds and, as always in these type of races, the market should prove an invaluable guide, especially concerning the newcomers. The most interesting of these is Red Artist, who runs in the colours of Sir Alex Ferguson (doubt he’ll show his face in these parts) and Peter Done. The fact they stumped up 82,000 guineas for the colt earlier this year would suggest he can go a bit (his breeding suggests that too), and he could well given them an instant return on their investment.
Of those who have already made it to the track, the one that catches the eye is Kevin Ryan’s COMPANY ASSET. He went into my horse racing tracker after finishing third on his Wolverhampton debut and I fancied to go two two better in a decent race at Beverley last time. However, everything that could go wrong did (dwelt, hampered, not clear run – you name it!) and he did well to finish as close as sixth. He’s got to be worth another chance here with the extra furlong also in his favour – he should be a fair price too!
6.40: Compare Bookies Odds At bookies.com Handicap, 7f
This is the first of several tricky handicaps on the night and it’s no exaggeration to say that none of the 16 runners can be ruled out with any confidence. But in a masochistic sort of way it’s the type of race I like to have a crack at and I’ve no hesitation in putting my trust in one of my go-to trainers, David O’Meara. He’s mustard when it comes to improving other stable’s cast-offs or horses that have lost their way, and he’s already worked his magic with HARWOODS VOLANTE. On just his second start for the stable, he beat all bar the progressive Beautiful Stranger in a decent mile contest at Pontefract last time and a reproduction of that effort would just about suffice here, with the drop back to 7f unlikely to be a problem. It might appear he has a lot of weight with 10st to shoulder, but his actual handicap mark of 74 looks generous when you consider he’s been as high as 92.
7.10: Compare Bookies At bookies.com Handicap, 1m3yds
No O’Meara horse to bail me out here, but the drawing board does offer a clue in the shape of Ann Duffield’s RED CHARMER, who was only just denied by So It’s War at Beverley last time and meets that horse on more favourable terms here. With the stable in flying form, I fancy he can turn the tables and take advantage of his current low mark of 67 (has been as high as 76). Fast ground is ideal for him and he’s won over the trip, so there’s lots to like and that should apply to his price too. King Of Eden ran much better last time and he’s another other well handicapped sort who may give the selection most to do.
7.40: Download The bookies.com App Handicap, 2m19yds
Jan Smuts (love the name!) is the only course and distance winner in the race, that coming over a year ago now, but I wouldn’t get too carried away with his second at Carlisle last time as he was beaten nine lengths in a field of six. I’m going to swerve him in favour of HARVEY’S HOPE, who deserves to get his head in front after knocking on the door in recent starts on the flat and over hurdles. He found only the useful Arthurs Secret too good here last time and there doesn’t appear to be a similarly progressive rival in this evening’s field. That said, his flat record of 1-20 suggests he’s not one to have the house on.
8.10: freebets.org For The Latest Free Bets Handicap, 1m2f32yds
I just hope we’ve found a winner by now as it gets even tougher and the fact the forecast favourite OUTLAW TORN is having his 96th start says it all about the calibre of horses in the line-up. Still something’s got to win and the aforementioned is a decent starting point as he’s one of a few who have been running well of late, and indeed he even managed to get his head in front at Redcar (1m) two starts back. He couldn’t follow up under a penalty when dropping back to 7f at Leicester last time, but third place was still a fair effort and, given he was doing all his best work late on, he ought to be suited by this longer trip. With his claiming rider taking 5lb off his back, he looks pretty much nailed on to run his race and, with nothing else jumping out at me, he’s lumbered with the pick. Riponian benefited from a soft lead when winning at the last meeting here, but he still rates the main threat.
8.40: Download The bookmakers.co.uk App Maiden Stakes, 1m2f32yds
I don’t go in for coincidence betting as a rule but Neymar (they must have asked the striker’s permission to use the name, surely?!) would be a very apt winner on the same night as the Champions League final, for which Barcelona are red-hot favourites. Even more so if the player in question scores and I bet a fair few punters will be doubling up on his namesake. The horse is not without a chance after finishing third at Thirsk last time, although it’s a worry he looked a tad one-paced on that occasion and is now dropping back in trip. He’s reluctantly swerved in favour of AVENUE OF DREAMS, who cost 270,000 guineas as a yearling and is making his racecourse bow for Charlie Appleby. He doesn’t have many runners at the track (0-6 since 2010), but he does particularly well in three-year-old maidens like this one (23% strike rate) and plenty seem to win at the first time of asking. The booking of Graham Lee catches the eye and his mount wouldn’t have to be anything too special to land this.
9.10: Number Plates For Sale At uknumberplates.co.uk Handicap, 5f
Debt Free Game makes a quick reappearance following her comfortable success at Wolverhampton on Thursday and she will be hard to beat under a 6lb penalty. However, I’m going to desert her for David O’Meara’s CLASSIC FLYER, who was a game winner over track and trip on his reappearance and clearly likes the Newcastle terrain as he won a nursery over an extra furlong here in September. He’s up 4lb for his latest win and the third Roy’s Legacy is weighted to gain his revenge, but the selection is entitled to come on again for that effort, his first run since last October. I’m a big fan of the stable as you know and David Nolan, who gets the leg up this evening, rides the track well. Here’s hoping he can help pay for a neet out in the Toon after racing!