18:05 Newcastle Fri 8 November 2019
A veteran who has enjoyed a productive season with 6f Class 4 wins at Carlisle and Hamilton; hasn't raced on the AW too often during the past 18 months or so and was comfortably beaten over C&D 17 days ago, albeit in a better race than this.
Useful as a juvenile, landing back-to-back races at the end of the season, both with cut in the ground. Signs he hasn't trained on this season though, with this his first start since a wind operation; first-time cheekpieces on.
Both wins this year have come over 6f, the first on fast turf at Ripon and then on Tapeta at Newcastle last time, making all. Up in grade after that last effort but still lightly raced and open to further improvement on artificial surfaces.
Continued his poor form on soft ground when finishing sixth at Catterick (6f, heavy) 10 days ago but has won over C&D in the past and was placed over just a 1lb lower mark four starts ago.
Zoffany gelding who won on debut in a 6f novice at Southwell and improved on that when ¾L second back there shortly after before raising his game further when touched off at Doncaster (6f, good) six months ago. Makes his handicap debut.
Scored for the fifth time in his career when ploughing through the mud at Ayr (6f, soft) two starts ago before matching that effort in defeat when third over C&D 17 days ago. Has the be shortlisted on those recent efforts.
Had been running well until a poor effort at York (7f, soft) back in June and hasn't been seen since. Will need to fully tuned up after a break with some efforts earlier this year suggesting the handicapper was in charge.
Without a win since joining David Barron in late 2018, but has fallen to a more manageable handicap mark as a result (eased some 17lb or so). Returned from 182 days off with a good C&D second 17 days ago and can be given a chance off 1lb higher.
10lb lower than last win which came at Ripon nearly 14 months ago, but showed signs of a revival when staying on fourth on his last outings. Stepping back up 6f may also suit on that evidence if he is in the same heart.
Unexposed on the AW (1-4); kept busy since twice winning over this trip in May (Thirsk/Goodwood). His fair sixth in the Ayr Bronze Cup (6f, good) two starts ago would make him of interest here and he wasn't beaten far in Class 2 over C&D last time.
Back to form on his last two outings with blinkers on, winning the latter of those at Thirsk (6f, good) two months ago. Slightly disconcerting that he hasn't been seen since but still well-handicapped on his previous best (won off 89 in 2017).
Defied successive weight rises to rack up a five-timer earlier in the year. Winning run came to an end at Newmarket in June and was no better at Kempton (6f, Polytrack) after four months off recently. May need some help from the handicapper.
Saw off a maximum field when winning a 22-runner Class 4 handicap at York (6f, good to soft) in June; has gone right off the boil in more recent times and needs to buck up his ideas considerably in order to play a positive role.
Runs well here (four-time C&D winner); his latest victory in May coming off a 5lb lower mark. Has run creditably off higher marks since then including over C&D on last two occasions but is into a more competitive race this time.
Last Year's Winner
John Kirkup (4/1), Shallow Hal (11/2), Astro Jakk (11/2), Magical Spirit (6/1), Reckless Endeavour (17/2), Six Strings (10/1), Epeius (16/1), Paddy Power (22/1), East Street Revue (22/1), Firmdecisions (33/1), Galloway Hills (33/1), Kupa River (40/1), Royal Brave (40/1), Camachess (40/1)
- Paddy Power
- John Kirkup
- Astro Jakk
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