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23rd October Newcastle Race Preview

5:00 Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap 

The opening race of the card is the longest with it being a Class 5 handicap over an extended two miles. Megan Nicholls is booked to take 3lb off the Marjorie Fife trained Mister Universum who would be making only her second flat appearance in over four years but he did disappoint at Lingfield in June when only 10th of 12. The eye is drawn lower down the weights with the Suzzanne France trained Archive who was a course winner last season off a mark of 67. He has now dropped down to a career low mark of 62 which makes him of interest given that he placed off a mark of 67 in February. This trip of 2 miles should suit well and he could be overlooked in the market with Faye McManoman booked to claim 5lb off his back. 

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Roger Varian and owner Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum won this race last year with Fooraat on debut so the eye is drawn to their representative this year in Mobadra. He was a 160,000gns purchase as a yearling and this Oasis Dream filly is a sister to an AW winner. John Gosden has four entries for the race but I would expect the 81 rated Jacinth to open for the favourite if declared. She has placed on all three starts in her career and was only beaten ½ length last time at Chelmsford when sent off an evens favourite. If declared then I would expect her to be hard to beat.  

6:00 Bombardier “March To Your Own Drum” Handicap

Three last time out winners and Newcastle 888 Horse racing betting favourites look set to contest this 0-75 handicap but preference would go to the Mick Easterby trained La Rav. Both Miss Mulligan and Xcelente both shoulder a 6lb penalty for their victories but La Rav will only race off a 2lb higher mark. His win came over this C&D last month off a mark of 73 and the handicapper has only raised him 2lb for a neck success. The second that day Wild Hope has finished 3rd off a 1lb higher mark since which boosts the form and La Rav would hold strong claims if declared. 

6:30 Get Your Ladbrokes Daily Odds Boost Nursery Handicap 

The Bryan Smart trained Hagar is top rated in the field but she disappointed last time when last of four at Hamilton when beaten nearly 15 lengths. Grant Tuer and Sam James won this race last season with Lezardrieux on handicap debut and they bid to do the same this year with Royal Jazz. This daughter of Awtaad has been sent off 80/1, 28/1 and 50/1 in her three runs so far but put in a career best last time when 5th of 10 at Catterick on soft ground. The handicapper has given her an opening mark of 57 and it would be disappointing if she did not end up rated higher than that mark. 

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The three previous winners in the field would carry a 7lb penalty in this race and that could mean the 75 rated Ivynator is hard to beat in receipt of that allowance. He is jocked up with Stevie Donohoe on board and despite being a beaten favourite last time, he bettered his debut effort with a second place finish at Lingfield on the AW two weeks ago. Despite having to concede 7lb to a rival rated only 2lb lower than himself, I would prefer the chances of the Richard Fahey trained Victim. He stayed on well over 7f on soft ground at Redcar last time giving encouragement that this step up to a mile would bring about enough improvement to defy that penalty. 

7:30 Bombardier British Hopped Amber Beer Novice Stakes

William Haggas has two expensive three year olds entered for this race and punters would have to forgive Ajyaall an expensive loss last time at Wolverhampton. He won well at Haydock on debut and was sent off 2/5 to defy a 7lb penalty at Wolverhampton but could only finish 2nd behind the Richard Hannon trained Rocky Dreams. The Haggas stable also have the Sea The Stars filly Sargasso Sea entered for the race and she is well bred being a sister to the Group 3 winner Star Storm. She cost 520,000 as a two year old and connections would be hopeful that she could make an immediate impact at this level. 

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8:00 Bombardier Handicap

The Ben Haslam trained Sassoon has won both of his starts since being fitted with a visor and would hold strong claims of bringing up the hat-trick if getting declared for this race. He won off a mark of 55 at Ayr by a length before defying a 5lb penalty last time at Redcar when bolting up by 5 ½ lengths. He will be well treated if turning out under another 5lb penalty in this race and despite having a record of 0-3 on the AW, he looks worth keeping onside while the visor is doing the trick.

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