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Newcastle

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Fantastic Rock
Racecard

Sandy Thomson’s 6yo has plenty of experience in France, but he took his form to a new level when encountering better ground here last time out. He was a touch keen early but that freshness can be forgiven considering it was his first run in four months. The gelding pulled well clear with the winner to be beaten just a length that day, but ran all the way through the line in a way that suggests he’ll be better with this greater stamina test. He’s a half-brother to Enrilo which suggests that it’ll suit his pedigree and getting 6lb from recent winner Erne River, he gets the nod.


Wye Aye
Racecard

When he gets good ground Philip Kirby’s charge is a particularly consistent animal. He returned after a wind op last time out to put up a career best when stringing the field out at Huntingdon and if able to overcome a 12lb rise should be bang there again. Only one horse has run since that outing in Cambridgeshire, fifth-placed Kaphumor who was beaten 34 lengths, and he finished second on his subsequent run, so the form looks OK. There’s no guarantee that the selection is done improving so a chance is taken that there’s more to come.


Lively Citizen
Racecard

David Jeffrey’s 6yo has taken a good step forward this season to finish in the first two on all three of his outings. He beat the useful One True King first time out before that horse went on to bolt up in a novice event next time. Two runners-up finishes since are nothing to be knocked with the horse who beat him on his penultimate run a real improver this term. He was the only horse to race prominently who managed to finish in the first four last time out, so his run at Doncaster can be marked up slightly. Off an unchanged mark he can go one better.


Ascot De Bruyere
Racecard

Ground is key for this 11yo with all of his top form coming on ground with ‘good’ in the going description. He bounced back from a poor run on soft ground to finish a very good second here over slightly further last time. The two-time course and distance winner looked magnificent when scoring by 18l here in November. A generally sound jumper, he’s only 5lb higher in the weights from that victory, but has the 5lb claim of Rachael McDonald to call on here. Defi Sacre is the one to be wary of.


About Newcastle Racecourse

The brilliant Newcastle racecourse has two tracks - a jumps track and all-weather track. The latter is the only all-weather track in the UK that uses Tapeta, a surface more commonly used in North America and the Middle East, and on which the brilliant Enable made her debut in 2016.

The valuable Northumberland Plate, where there’s £150,000 prize money up for grabs, is arguably the highlight of their Flat fixtures. Over the jumps, the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle has seen many a Champion Hurdle winner compete whilst the Eider is seen as a strong Grand National trial.


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