All-weather expert Jamie Maynard previews the pick of the action at Newcastle, where he has two selections.
Royal Reserve for David O’Meara sets the standard with his form over this trip reading 1-5-2-1 and he was a good third last time over two miles behind the 108-rated Soldier In Action. He’s a consistent performer and although he continues to climb the weights he’s sure to be right there back down to the extended mile-and-a-half trip.
Zabeel Star was beaten just over a length over 1m2f here last time but won over this sort of trip on Wolverhampton’s Tapeta from a 3lb lower mark in the spring. He has failed to place in seven starts at Gosforth Park to date so looks vulnerable for win purposes despite being suited by a return to this distance.
The suggestion then is Lucy Wadham’s three-year-old, GALLIFREY.
She was seen making her debut here around this time last year and finished a three-length second to none other than multiple Group One winner Enable, form which has looked stronger with every passing month.
The daughter of Sir Percy also posted a couple of sound efforts over this distance in handicaps at Newmarket and Salisbury before finding a Listed event over a longer trip too hot to handle. A return to handicap company and drop in trip look sure to suit this filly and she’s more than capable of landing one of these off a mark of 82, particularly if first-time blinkers do the trick.
A pretty competitive handicap being run over seven furlongs here with five course winners in the line-up of 14.
Gun Case has good form over course and distance for Alistair Whillans and he posted a recent third off this mark over a longer trip. The drop back to his favoured distance will benefit but he’s the most exposed in this field and is still 4lb above his highest winning mark.
Our Greta won over this trip at Yarmouth on his penultimate start, defying a big price in the process. He made an encouraging all-weather debut when a staying-on fifth over six furlongs so the step back up to seven should suit, but trainer form both at present and at the course would be a slight concern.
By contrast, Tom Tate does well here and his Equiano Springs arrives having won two of his last three starts, the latest coming over track and trip and a 3lb rise isn’t too harsh so he could play a role.
I’m taking a chance however on Ruth Carr’s unexposed three-year-old BOBBY JOE LEG.
This chestnut gelding won on debut here a fortnight ago over six furlongs and the step up in trip is likely to suit. He’s open to improvement and is thrown straight into handicap company from what could be a very reasonable mark of 75.
He came from last to first off a pretty decent pace on debut and looked to have more in hand than the winning margin suggests. This race looks likely to be run to suit and he's expected to go close.
Posted at 0800 GMT on 06/12/17.