Newcastle draws bumper entry for Monday card

Racing is scheduled to resume behind closed doors.

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A total of 369 entries have been made for Monday’s planned resumption of racing at Newcastle.

There has been no action on British tracks since March 17, but the British Horseracing Authority is aiming to start the sport on June 1, subject to Government approval.

The six-furlong Callerton Novice Stakes and the 10-furlong Annitsford Maiden Stakes, both for three-year-olds and up, have proved particularly popular on the eight-race card, drawing 64 and 68 contenders respectively.

The Hazelrigg Handicap over 12 furlongs has drawn the smallest entry with 29, but with all races limited to 12 runners as the BHA tries to minimise any risks in the initial stages of resumption, there are more than enough horses to fill the race twice over should they all be declared.

The opening Brenkley Handicap has 57 possibles at this stage while all other races range between 41 and 32 entries.

James Tate has two entries in each of the two most subscribed races, with Magical Journey and Blazing Hot in the six-furlong event and Lord Of The Sky and School Of Thought in the 10-furlong maiden.

Magical Journey finished second in a Listed race last year and looks assured of a run in her race, but the others are not quite so certain of getting a slot.

Tate said: “Magical Journey will get a run as she’s got a rating of 94, having finished second in a Listed race last year.

“There isn’t a black type programme for her in June – the first race is on June 25 over six furlongs at Haydock – so we’ve entered her here.

“The unraced colt (Blazing Hot) might not get in and I suppose in the mile-and-a-quarter maiden, we might have to wait and see. Hopefully those races will divide.”

Fellow Newmarket handler Marco Botti also has two entries in the maiden – Badreputatation and Harbour Of Grace – but is far more confident of Geizy Teizy getting her chance to shine in the Burradon Handicap.

He said: “Geizy Teizy is entered in a handicap and with her rating of 78 she would be near top weight, so I presume she will get a run.

“With the maiden horses, I don’t know. You would hope the race might divide, but there is a similar race at Kempton the next day and within two or three days there are other options, so it’s not so bad.

“It’s probably going to be a nightmare getting into races for a week or two, but we’d all be pleased to just be back racing.”

Newcastle draws bumper entry for Monday card
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