19:15 Newcastle Sat 4 March 2017
Highly tried for much of last year but shaped very promisingly on first start for almost seven months recently, catching the eye in finishing fourth over C&D. Dropped another pound for that and one with a leading chance here.
Only just touched off over C&D in February but disappointing when going off favourite on latest start, beaten well over a furlong out. The sort to bounce back (especially given the yard) but comes with risks attached.
Too highly tried on latest start and that run best forgotten, but had shown some consistency before that and won back-to-back handicaps here in the winter. Possible handicapper is in charge now, but should run his race.
Often held up in his races and prefers a decent pace to come off (not guaranteed here) but capable when it all falls right, as demonstrated when winning here in January. Handicapper in charge since, and probably needs to come down a bit more in weights.
Won a couple of handicaps last spring and now back on a winning mark after some disappointing efforts after that, but not hard to think he may need this after four months off. Only of interest if the money came.
Back with original trainer after spell with Kristin Stubbs. Got off the mark at the fifth attempt at Lingfield in December but that form not working out, and although not disgraced at Wolverhampton in better grade latest, others are preferred.
Lost his form at the end of last season, but had caught the eye a few times and there should be more races to be won with him this season. May need a run or two to reach peak fitness so best watched today.
Likes it here and a three-time winner on the surface, remains in good form after just getting touched off here (7f) on latest start. Step back to a mile a plus, but all wins have come in lesser grade than today.
Last Year's Winner
Swift Emperor (9/4), Byres Road (3/1), War Department (5/1), Testa Rossa (11/2), Barwah (6/1), Eastern Dragon (7/1), Trinity Star (12/1), Amber Mystique (14/1), Billy Roberts (18/1)
- War Department
- Swift Emperor
- Testa Rossa