Newcastle stage an intriguing all-weather card on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Racing, where Declan Rix nominates a quartet of horses to follow.
While it would be somewhat unwise to get carried away with NAOMI’S CHARM‘s wide-margin victory seven days ago at Southwell, the daughter of Charm Spirit does look at the top of her game currently, with potential for more improvement to come.
I was really taken with how she moved last time out, especially under pressure, and how she galloped out, for all she undoubtedly had total run of the race under 3lb claimer Pierre-Louis Jamin.
Newcastle’s stiffer, flat mile test won’t play to her strengths as well as Southwell, but there’s a good chance she might get the run of things again.
So, if her rider can make this another tactical contest, she may get likely favourite Gincident running keen early while Blueflagflyinghigh could be tapped for toe before finishing strongly.
Look Back Smiling did finish one length ahead of Naomi’s Charm here 13 days ago, and is now 1lb better off, too, but I’m hoping the Karl Burke inmate has improved since in what is a trappy, but tactically intriguing race.
Newmarket trainer John Butler has his string in useful fettle at the moment, many horses running well of late so fingers crossed ORIGINALLY can go two places better here after a hugely eye-catching debut at Lingfield 25 days ago.
On the day, the son of Anjaal was the moral winner of that Class 5 restricted novice event having been green and slow away in what was a tactical-run race. While in a poor position considering the early pace, Originally also swung wide into the straight before motoring home strongly. Pre-race, it was also interesting to see the then juvenile nibbled at in market.
With that run under his belt, and the switch to a straight track appearing to be a positive, given his long stride, he looks to have a strong chance of breaking his maiden under the in-form Daniel Muscutt.
With DREAM HARDER essentially being on the go since July and also a strong traveller, meaning he likely doesn’t have too many easy races, the son of Muhaarar is probably due a below par effort and/or a freshen up; but recent evidence still sees him in good order meaning he can go close here.
The more pace on, the better to help this keen-goer find an early and mid-race rhythm, which possibly could come from one of his closest market rivals, Zealot. He, Zealot, can often be slow away, but if so, there are other forward-goers who could inject pace, although that is not guaranteed.
Overall however, there is absolutely no doubt a mark of 81, 78 if you include Ben Sanderson’s claim, is workable at a track the Ian Williams-trained five-year-old is already a course and distance winner.
Are you even doing the all-weather right currently if you’re not backing at least one Billy Loughnane-ridden mount? The 16-year-old now 5lb claimer is having a terrific spell, as is his father and trainer of IMPERIAL COMMAND, Mark Loughnane.
Both rider and trainer remain in top order although that cannot be said about the six-year-old recently. While the case, the Newcastle-loving Imperial Command has been pretty consistent and continues to tumble down the ratings. Now back at beloved northern venue, the only track he has won at on the all-weather, as a four-time winner here, he is of each-way interest at double figure prices.
The way the six-year-old hung in parts last time out wouldn’t enthuse one greatly, but the big angle is the track, as in terms of recent handicapping, with his young rider’s claim added, he is no 12/1 shot.