All-weather expert Jamie Maynard bagged two winners from two selections on Thursday, so don't miss another two fancies for Friday's action at Newcastle.
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6.45 Sunbets On The App Store Handicap
Despite this being a 13-strong field there are not many that bring winning form to the table; in fact, less than half the field have victories on their CVs.
The hat-trick-seeking Lukoutoldmakezeback is up only 2lb for his latest win here over a furlong shorter in an apprentice handicap and his partner Jamie Gormley is able to claim 5lb again. Scrutiny caused a 66/1 upset on his penultimate start at Wolverhampton and ran well back there the last day from this revised mark when a two-length fourth. A repeat performance of that previous win would make him interesting whilst Mr Potter takes a drop in class after a good third over six furlongs, though has yet to win over this mile-trip.
The one I’m drawn too is the Michael Herrington five-year-old STREET POET who, although still a maiden, was only beaten a neck from a pound lower over track and trip on his first run since July and posted another solid placed effort on the Fibresand more recently. The drop back to a mile has brought about improvement having struggled to get home over longer trips since going handicapping and with Paul Mulrennan taking over the reins at a course he rides well, this gelding looks the one to side with in a weak-looking contest.
8.15 32Red Casino Handicap
A small field sprint over the minimum trip features a couple of rematches from over the past month. Grandfather Tom won a novice event at the beginning of February before beating Marietta Robusti in a similar contest a fortnight ago and should have his measure again here now seeking a hat-trick on handicap debut, although looks a short enough price.
Knockout Blow has been gelded and is another making his handicap debut and can’t be completely ruled out for Mark Johnston but the vote goes to southern raider WIFF WAFF. He was beaten by Lord Of The Glen last time out when conceding 5lb but did defeat the same horse over course and distance back in January when receiving 3lb.
The Stuart Williams runner re-opposes on more favourable terms now, getting 5lb, and in the hope that a first-time hood helps this gelding settle better I think he can provide the most resistance to the favourite and make the 500-mile round trip worthwhile to secure a third track and trip success in the hands of PJ McDonald, who has a 22% strike-rate when teaming up with this trainer.
Although running off a career high mark he seems better suited by smaller fields, despite a tendency to race quite freely, and as already mentioned if he settles better in the new headgear he’ll go very close indeed.
Posted at 2135 GMT on 08/03/18.