Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newbury on Saturday. View selections below.
NIGHT OF THUNDER (3.45) can justify favouritism in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes over Newbury’s straight mile. Last season’s Qipco 2000 Guineas winner found only Kingman too strong in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and acquitted himself with credit in three other G1 contests. This was always his early-season target and Richard Hannon will have him well tuned up. Custom Cut has been a credit to David O’Meara, winning five times last season in Group 2/3 company, and this elevation to the premier league may not be beyond the rock-solid six-year-old. Custom Cut looked as good as ever on his return when landing the bet365 Mile at Sandown last month (Top Notch Tonto fourth). Arod is interesting dropping back in trip. Fourth in the Investec Derby, Arod again got a rear view of Australia in the Juddmonte International at York. He pulled hard on his return in the Earl Of Sefton at Newmarket when chasing home French Navy and may settle better in this bigger field.
GATEWOOD (2.00) can continue John Gosden’s irresistible run by making a winning seasonal debut in the Listed 1m 4f event. Gatewood goes well fresh, winning his first two races last May, at Ascot and Goodwood. The seven-year-old enjoyed a very fruitful campaign, scoring again at Deauville before a respectable midfield finish in the Melbourne Cup. Gatewood enjoys a bit of cut underfoot so any more showers would further boost confidence. Telescope could quite easily stamp his authority over these rivals now dropped in class but Sir Michael Stoute’s five-year-old is hard to catch, often at skinny odds.
WAADY (2.35) is chasing a four-timer against some useful rivals in the Listed contest over six furlongs. He ended his first season on a high, winning a Sandown maiden in September. Hamdan Al Maktoum’s colt has hit the ground running, scoring at Nottingham and Sandown in April, on both occasions justifying strong market support. The extra furlong here shouldn’t present a problem.
DISSOLUTION (3.10) made hard work of beating Shadow Rock in a Goodwood maiden last September but looked a stronger horse this season when getting up close home in a blanket finish at Newmarket in April. The Stoute-trained four-year-old remains at the right end of the handicap. Azraff ran well in defeat at Newmarket 13 days ago, finding only Marma’s Boy too strong. Marco Botti’s colt may have found the ground a bit too quick that day and there could be more to come on an easier surface.
MUNAASER (4.55) is closely matched with Gm Hopkins as the pair lock horns again in the concluding mile handicap. Gm Hopkins came home a ready winner from my selection when they clashed in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last September but Gm Hopkins was a disappointing favourite for the Betway Lincoln. Munaaser enjoys a nice weight pull and should go on to better things this year.
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