Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Newcastle and Newmarket on Saturday. View selections below.
The inaugural John Smith’s Northumberland Plate run on Newcastle’s Tapeta surface provides STEVE ROGERS (4.15) with another opportunity to land a big staying handicap following a puzzling effort when heavily-backed in the Chester Cup.
Despite the perfect inside posse throughout from a lovely draw at the Roodee, Steve Rogers found nothing when push came to shove and fell away dismally. Hopefully, we can put that down to a rare off-day because Roger Varian’s ante-post favourite is a prolific winner, both on turf and artificial surfaces.
Nakeeta has no public form on the all-weather but Iain Jardine has given him a racecourse gallop to help overcome that possible disadvantage. The five-year-old gave Chester Cup winner No Heretic a real race of it, despite a wide trip throughout, and a 4lb rise isn’t too onerous. He should go well.
SIR CHAUVELIN (3.40) comes into the consolation Betfred Northumberland Vase in excellent form. A dual Hamilton winner in May, Sir Chauvelin found himself a bit detached around the tight Chester turns before running on strongly to close down winner Serena Grae and Indira.
Jim Goldie’s late developing son of Authorized steps up to two miles for the first time on the flat but he is a winner over hurdles which offers hope that he will stay this trip.
Sir Michael Stoute’s Dannyday is unexposed, having been absent since scoring at Chelmsford in April. A 6lb rise may well underestimate his talent.
Nicky Henderson’s Cardinal Water was top of my original shortlist but has drawn a horrid spot in stall 19.
BE PERFECT (4.50) has been dropped 4lb for finishing third to I Am Not There at Ayr and this prominent racer is fancied to go close now down in grade. He finished eighth in Serena Grae’s race at Chester and this reliable type could have a few of these running up the white flag down this uncompromising straight.
Be Perfect finished fourth to Sir Chauvelin in a better race than this at Hamilton and is now 9lb lower. He is handicapped to go very close.
Some ease in the ground at Newmarket will suit MUWARRY (3.55) in the Criterion Stakes. John Gosden nursed him back into competitive action at York earlier this month following a lengthy 698-day absence and Muwarry shaped well in chasing home Mutakayyef and Sovereign Debt.
Muwarry was a very smart colt two seasons ago, finishing fourth in the French 2000 Guineas and second to Mustajeeb in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
STOCKHILL DIVA (4.25) annihilated a modest bunch on soft ground at Windsor at the end of May and could defy an 8lb rise against more formidable opposition. She has to concede 20lb to Sir Michael Stoute’s Sea The Stars three-year-old Haddajah, game winner of a fillies’ maiden at Lingfield, but that isn’t impossible.
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