Alan Thomson returns with his Race of the Day analysis from Newcastle, as well as a big-race verdict.
I’m tracking the Sky Sports Racing cameras to Newcastle where the 7f Spreadex Sports Best Odds On Sunderland Handicap is due off at 4.45. Ten runners compete for the £13,085 first prize.
The advanced going report is standard to slow and all nine races are taking place on the straight course.
Horses despatched north by Simon and Ed Crisford are worth noting as the yard boasts a 63 per cent strike rate with ten winners from 16 runners.
The race should develop off a strong gallop as Azano, Zip and Larado have cut out the running in the past.
Kevin Frost’s five-time Lingfield winner makes his Gosforth Park debut and arrives here on the back of a Wolverhampton success 18 days ago.
Jack Mitchell, who has a 24 per cent strike-rate here, retains the ride and Documenting won off a 3lb higher perch last November.
Made his all-weather debut in a Conditions Stakes over six furlongs at Kempton in early October and posted a fine third to Mutafawwig.
James Ferguson’s four-year-old wasn’t beaten far the following month when finishing fifth behind Apollo One from a wide draw on a return visit to the track. Produced a cracking sixth to Rohaan in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot and is now upped in trip.
Highly tried after making a successful debut at Doncaster in April and was beaten under five lengths by Pogo in a Group 3 contest at Newmarket in June.
Tom Clover’s three-year-old was pipped by Koy Koy on a return trip to HQ the following month and was tried over a mile at Kempton in late September, finishing fourth in the race won impressively by Positive Impact.
Clearly of each-way interest at tasty odds if ready to go off a 65-day break.
Ed Walker’s six-year-old has shown his best form on synthetic surfaces, scoring over a mile at Lingfield in February and posting three placed efforts at Wolverhampton and Kempton last winter.
Made a satisfactory return to action off a lengthy 245-day absence when running sixth, beaten less than four lengths, at Lingfield almost three weeks ago. Usually ridden with restraint.
Confirmed front-runner so Jason Watson will attempt to make full use of his stalls pitch near the stands rail.
David O’Meara’s gelding won at Redcar in mid-July but needs to step up on his most recent outing when last of five runners at Lingfield 13 days ago.
Had a couple of lengths to spare over So Proud when winning here over six furlongs in June and wasn’t beaten far when running fourth to Asjad over Doncaster’s extended six furlongs in September.
Julie Camacho’s gelding wasn’t so good when tried at this longer trip at Musselburgh in October but arrives fresh off a 53-day break.
Spirit Of Nguru
Represents the powerful William Haggas-Cieren Fallon partnership and was last seen running fifth to Raising Sand at Ascot in late September.
Seems a better performer on the all-weather, scoring twice at Kempton last November/December, so needs respecting. The stable sent out odds-on favourite Boosala for this race 12 months (beaten on the nod by Lord Of The Lodge).
Makes his debut for the Grant Tuer yard having won twice earlier this year at Kempton and Goodwood for Tom Ward.
The five-year-old also scored at Kempton as a juvenile when in the care of David Elsworth and market signals may sign-post stable expectations following a 58-day absence.
Given a break following his neck victory over Lord Rapscallion at Epsom in late August and arrives here fighting fit on the back of two recent runs at Chelmsford City and Southwell.
Mick Appleby’s gelding, a winner in Ireland for Joseph O’Brien, has made the running in the past and may help force the gallop.
Took full advantage of his falling mark to score on deep ground at Doncaster’s November fixture and Richard Fahey’s roan gelding should remain competitive off a 4lb higher mark, especially with Tyler Heard taking off 3lb.
Zip is a past dual Newcastle winner and the stable landed a treble at Wolverhampton last Saturday.
William Haggas is operating at a 35 per cent strike-rate at Newcastle this year and SPIRIT OF NGURU should get a nice tow into the race.
He seems to lack an instant change of gear so a strong gallop would be beneficial. Documenting is drawn in stall one, so Jack Mitchell will need to seek some cover on the probable favourite.