Surfing The Sand

Simon Mapletoft is back with his Surfing The Sand blog for what will be another great all-weather season. With Newcastle holding the campaign's opening Fast Track Qualifier on Tuesday, Simon previews the race and has a further selection in the feature sprint.

  • Sunday 21 October
  • Blog
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Richard Fahey, fresh from his victory with Sands Of Mali in the Champions Sprint at the weekend, can take All-Weather racing’s first big prize of the new season at Newcastle on Tuesday with his smart juvenile COSMIC LAW.

The stiff 6f looks tailor-made for the son of No Nay Never, who will again wear the visor added for a prominent run at York last time when he re-appears in the Ladbrokes Home Of The Odds Boost Conditions Stakes (3.40) - a Fast Track Qualifier for Good Friday’s £150,000 3YO Final.

The Woodcote Stakes winner has kept his form well all year, as he proved when chasing home the dominant Vintage Brut in the Listed Rockingham Stakes on The Knavesmire, and sets the standard in this eight-runner field.

Cosmic Law has the quality to defy a 3lb Listed penalty and give owner John Dance his second consecutive winner of this race following Beatbox Rhythm’s success 12 months ago.

Karl Burke, who trained that colt, saddles top-rated Swissterious, second in a conditions race at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting and already a winner on Tapeta at Wolverhampton.

He just had the beating of Marco Botti’s Fares Kodiac on Town Moor but there’s more to come from this lightly raced Windsor debut winner who could improve enough to turn the tables.

Implicit has proven an All-Weather natural, winning three in a row for James Tate earlier in the year, but may not have enough scope to find the necessary improvement, while Kevin Ryan’s filly Princes Des Sables has been a revelation in nurseries.

She rattled up a hat-trick at Hamilton and added a fourth straight win in good company at Chester but faces a stern test under these terms on this All-Weather debut.


Group 1 hero Oisin Murphy will be positively purring at Newcastle’s All-Weather Championships curtain-raiser on Tuesday and is the man to be with in the feature sprint.

Murphy, fresh from his Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victory on the magnificent Roaring Lion, partners David Simcock’s reliable POLYBIUS in the Betway Optional Claiming Handicap (3.10).

Polybius has been in fine fettle this autumn, winning a Kempton handicap before posting a creditable third at Wolverhampton last time. He also got close to the red-hot Mazzini at Yarmouth in September.

Dunstall Park’s sharp track didn’t play to his strengths, but this confirmed hold-up performer should relish the demanding straight here and can be played late to optimum effect. He was soundly beaten on his only previous visit to the North East venue but that was in the Group 3 Chipchase in 2016.

Dangers include Mick Appleby’s Norwegian Group 3 winner Hakam, who sports first time blinkers, but despite his respectable All-Weather record he isn’t the easiest to predict.

Reliability isn’t Reputation’s strongest suit, either, but he is talented on his day as he proved at Chester and when chasing home Polybius at Kempton. More patient tactics could see a prominent display from him, too.

Surfing The Sand

Newcastle 15:10, 23 October 2018

Newcastle 15:40, 23 October 2018

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