There’s an element of being branded a “One-Trick Pony” today, as all the selections hail from the Tapeta action at Newcastle. The reason is simple, as I am reporting from the track this evening for Sky Sports Racing and spent much of yesterday perusing the nine-race card. It’s also the first of the ‘new season’ Get In programmes, and there is little doubt I’ll be getting plenty of flak from the (so-called) experts Luke Harvey and Jason Weaver from the comfort of their air-conditioned studio. My thorough inspection of the card has unearthed not just two, but three exacta opportunities and (of course) a placepot perm.
FRIDAY'S EXOTIC BETS
(2) GREAT COLACI has won four times at Newcastle but is 0 from 6 attempts at a mile. All his wins came over seven furlongs, but he’s included for his current consistent form. He usually appears with a late flourish and was narrowly denied here on Monday when headed near the post. He still looks competitive. (6) BLAZING DREAMS and VERDIGRIS clashed here three weeks ago over C&D when VERDIGRIS came out on top by a length, but BLAZING DREAMS has a more impressive course record (3 wins, 4 places) and is preferred. (8) RIVER SPRITE is 5lb higher after her 50/1 C&D victory and ran pretty well next time at Chelmsford when taken wide into the home straight. (12) KODI KOH won just one of her 26 starts, but is included after a decent run over C&D when sent off joint-favourite. She’s somewhat of a ‘wild card’ selection, but after all it’s a Class 6 handicap where anything can happen. Let’s hope it involves this quartet. (And, it would be a shame if we hit the trifecta so let’s include a low stakes perm).
EXACTA PERM: 2-6-8-12 (12 bets)
TRIFECTA PERM: 2-6-8-12 (24 bets)
First choice here is (4) NUBOUGH who was favourite on his latest start here over six furlongs. The shorter trip shouldn’t be a concern as he was beaten less than a length over C&D last month. William Buick is an eyecatching booking. (10) SUPERIORITY is still a maiden (0 from 6) but performed much better since undergoing a wind operation. She was placed on her only start here and is less exposed than many of her rivals. (12) BURTONWOOD went very close at Beverley last time and has a good record here (2 wins, 3 places). He has previous form with PAVERS PRIDE (beat him at Beverley in June), and Faye McManaman who was on board then is back in the saddle today.
EXACTA PERM: 4-10-12 (4 bets)
This looks a competitive Class 4 handicap, and the star of the show could be the Godolphin-owned (2) GLOBAL HERO (a 320,000 guineas yearling). He won 2 of his three starts as a two year-old prior to being sidelined the following season. Obviously ring rusty after such a lengthy break, he’s run fair races at Yarmouth and Nottingham and should be primed to strike tonight with the ‘champ’ Oisin Murphy booked. (7) WILD HOPE’s last two runs over C&D are worthy of inclusion, one when third behind (8) DON’T TELL CLAIRE, who has also been in fine form. She goes well for Adam McNamara (1 win and 2 places from 3 rides). (10) DAAFR has notched 4 wins in 2020, the latest at Wolverhampton with tonight’s jockey Harry Reed on board. Once again, let’s perm an exacta and a low stake (for me anyway) trifecta.
EXACTA PERM: 2-7-8-10 (12 bets)
TRIFECTA PERM: 2-7-8-10 (24 bets)
FRIDAY'S TOTE PLACEPOT
I’ve covered three of the six legs earlier, but one or two horses are jettisoned for economy reasons.
LEG TWO (4.45). The ‘dodgy’ one here could be Brian Ellison’s handicap newcomer SHE SURE IS, and she could be worth including if prominent in the market. She’s owned by Keith Brown who enjoyed mammoth success with Top Notch Tonto from the same yard. My two picks are (2) NEWMARKET WARRIOR, a Newcastle regular (3 wins, 11 places, 32 runs) who hasn’t won for a while, but was a good second over C&D three runs back and (3) BAWAADER , who remains a maiden (0 from 13), but has been placed here twice in four attempts.
LEG THREE (5.15). A fascinating two year-old novice with (6) KOMACHI (625,000 guineas yearling) the most likely winner after a very promising debut at Kempton. It’s not (entirely) for selfish reasons I’m including (1) CAPTAIN COOPER, a half-brother to 7 winners looks an interesting newcomer. A 145,000 guineas yearling, son of former top-class sprinter Muhaarar who won the Gimcrack as a two year-old. The market should provide plenty of clues.
LEG SIX (6.45). This is a tricky finale with virtually no form to grab, but it would be a surprise if one of the Godolphin duo ALSEPHINA or LUBNA failed to make the frame. Add to the equation Tom Dascombe’s nicely-bred Oasis dream filly ALWAYS DREAMING or Marco Botti’s 180,000 guineas newcomer NUSHAFREEN (Hollie Doyle on board). This a very rare occasion when I’m going to follow the market and suggest the "Unnamed Favourite".
LEG ONE: 2-8-12
LEG TWO: 2-3
LEG THREE: 1-6
LEG FOUR: 4-10-12
LEG FIVE: 2-8
LEG SIX: UNNAMED FAVOURITE
Total: 72 Bets