Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newcastle and Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.
QUEST FOR MORE (3.45) has developed into consistent stayer for Roger Charlton and is fancied to land the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle. The five-year-old has been campaigned sparingly this season, coming into the race with only two outings under his belt. He ran Astronereus to a head over an inadequate 12 furlongs at Newmarket but appreciated the step up in trip when holding off Oasis Fantasy at Goodwood. The pair clash again here but while Quest For More is handily drawn in stall three, Oasis Fantasy is trapped out in box 21. My selection scored over two miles at Ascot last October, conceding plenty of weight to a solid yardstick in Fire Fighting, and George Baker seems assured of a good spin. Clever Cookie must lumber 10 stones but comes into the reckoning if the ground eases. The winner of this prestigious handicap will go into the record books as the last winner on turf, with the track converting to an all-weather surface, and I believe that name will be Quest For More.
WATCHABLE (2.00) can lift a competitive renewal of the Group 3 Betfred Chipchase Stakes. David O’Meara turns him out fairly quickly after his excellent fifth in the Wokingham Stakes at Royal Ascot. The five-year-old launched his season with a rock-solid second to speedy Astaire in the Abernant Stakes at Newmarket in April, then found the drop to five furlongs against him when only fifth to Goldream in the Palace House Stakes. Six furlongs on good ground is perfect and he can outpoint last year’s victor Danzeno, a fine fourth to Pearl Secret in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock on his sole start this season.
Betfred also sponsor the 10-furlong handicap which can fall to in-form INTERCONNECTION (4.20). Ed Vaughan has the four-year-old in good nick, scoring at Sandown in May wearing first-time cheekpieces before finding only Sellingallthetime too strong in an apprentices’ event at York. Interconnection was in front some way from home and slightly more restrained tactics may be employed. Brian Ellison is always to be feared at this fixture and old boy Memory Cloth, third at Ripon 25 days ago on his belated seasonal debut, should be cherry-ripe.
At Newmarket, all eyes will be on the reappearance run of GOSPEL CHOIR (2.15) in the Fred Archer Stakes. The former Yorkshire Cup winner has had a few problems but Sir Michael Stoute’s chestnut should be straight enough to stamp his authority over his rivals in this Listed contest.
SOUND REFLECTION (3.25) is another class act and she can kick-start her career by landing the Criterion Stakes. Sound Reflection ran third to brilliant subsequent Oaks heroine Taghrooda in the 2014 Pretty Polly Stakes at Newmarket but was off the track for a year before making a welcome return at Doncaster last month. The Godolphin filly moved stylishly into the lead two out before fading rather tamely into third. It was still an encouraging effort and Sound Reflection can overcome the ‘bounce’ factor after a 42-day break. Lincoln, second to Speculative Bid in the Victoria Cup at Ascot, is returned to seven furlongs after finishing mid-pack in the Royal Hunt Cup and could surprise a few higher-rated individuals.
Compare horse racing odds and bet at the best prices