2. 35 SIX BEST ODDS RACES DAILY HANDICAP – 6 FURLONGS
BARKSTON Ash is back down to his last winning mark and is a previous course and distance winner at Newcastle.
He was unlucky not to win at Ripon last time when beaten a neck by Mississippi. He met with any amount of trouble in running that day and connections will be hoping for a trouble free passage this time around. Jason Hart knows him inside out and has been on board for his last six wins. He is versatile regarding ground conditions and they should have every chance in a wide open handicap.
Tanzeel looks to be the pick of the opposition. Having only graced the track five times before, he has made the frame in four of those starts including when winning twice at this trip. He was a facile winner at Yarmouth on his last start and having run well fresh in the past, he is likely to do so again.
He has to give weight to most of his rivals on what is his first start in almost a year, but he looks to have a touch of class and that could see him throw down a massive challenge. Bushcraft has taken the step up to six furlongs in his stride and he has remained a model of consistency for Ed Walker. The four year old has never finished out of the frame in six career starts and Graham Lee takes over in the saddle for the first time. This will take another step forward but he is clearly progressing and can make the places.
Barkston Ash can make the most of the weight he is set to receive from his younger rivals and with Eric Alston’s yard in good form he can get involved at the business end of things here.
3. 45 NORTHUMBERLAND PLATE – 2 MILES 19 YDS
Quest For More is looking to record a third win in his last four starts for Roger Charlton.
The five year old son of Teofilo faces the biggest field of his career, but a coveted low draw over this marathon trip could prove integral to his chances. George Baker has partnered him to victory on two occasions in the past and the way in which he won at Goodwood last time suggested that there should be more to come. Genuine good ground looks to be the key for him.
Aramist comes from a stable that is enjoying a purple patch with its runners recently. The grey gelding is now running off a career high mark, but this step up in trip could see further improvement from Alan Swinbank’s charge and he poses a formidable threat.
The likeable Suegioo ran as though he was coming back into form at Haydock last time. He is well experienced in races like this having won the Chester Cup and having found only Angel Gabrial too strong in this particular race last season. He is weighted to finish much closer to the latter this time around and he looks sure to be involved at the finish.
Quest For More is still relatively lightly raced compared to most of these rivals and with a positive draw, he has to come right into the reckoning.
4.00 CARBONIS FILLIES HANDICAP – 1 M 4 F
Graceland seems to have improved throughout the winter and has already recorded two wins this season.
The most recent of those came over this trip at Beverley where she saw off the attentions of Sherry and The Tempest. Three year olds have won the last two renewals of this race and Michael Bell and Hayley Turner will be hoping that this daughter of Mastercraftsman can continue her current rich vein of form.
Urban Castle will be looking to right a few wrongs here. She has raced on this track twice before and was disqualified despite finishing first past the post on the first of those occasions. The second of those efforts was a determined run when third to Watersmeet last month and having missed the break at the start by some way, it was a gutsy attempt. If getting away on level terms this time around she looks to pose the biggest threat to the selection. Sound Reflection made a more than pleasing seasonal reappearance when third behind Monaleen last time. She is expected to build upon that effort with this step up in trip also expected to suit. The form has taken a few knocks since, but she also has to command respect back on her local track.
Graceland looks to be at the very top of her game right now and can make her presence felt against her older rivals.
Newcastle 2.35 Barkston Ash
Newcastle 3.45 Quest for More
Newmarket 4.00 Graceland