5.45 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 1 mile
A wide open contest but I feel Paparazzi ticks a lot of boxes today. He is second up after a break. It was a decent reappearance over course and distance a fortnight ago, given he was not in positioned well enough to challenge in a race where they absolutely crawled for five furlongs.
The four-year-old drops to a tasty mark, having won off higher in Ireland in the past, but also having performed with plenty of credit in many more starts on both All-Weather and turf of higher marks. He was placed off 69 and 66 in early 2018 at Kempton over a mile.
This is the poorest opposition Paparazzi will encounter for quite some time. If a slow start doesn’t see him falling back too far too early he should run a huge race today.
10pts win – Paparazzi @ 12/1 MB
6.15 Newcastle: Class 5 Handicap, 7 furlongs
Bottom weight and long-shot Admiral Rooke looks a hopeless sort judged by his 0-18 record. However, taking into account he’s been in the money seven times coming close to finally getting over the line, and the situation appears slightly different.
Whether today is the day, remains to be seen. He has an engagement next Monday over 9.5f also. Today, a simple straight 7f at Newcastle could be a perfect test, though.
Admiral Rooke is second up after a break, ran okayish in a lightning fast Southwell Handicap on his fibresand debut. He drops to a career lowest mark of 61 now. Given, at least on turf, he was placed over 7f off 67, running to a TS 64 rating, suggest he can be better than that.
His dam was an All-Weather winner. So I wouldn’t be too quick to discount his chances here judged on a fibresand and maiden race. At given prices this is well worth a shout for a yard in red hot form.
10pts win – Admiral Rooke @ 20/1 MB
6.45 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 6f
Despite a seemingly disappointing effort as beaten favourite last time here at Newcastle, Athollblair Boy looks ripe for another victory. Already a 3-times course winner, with a 6-2-2 CD record, he had a fruitful winter campaign last season here and subsequently ran more often than not decent enough on turf through the flat season as well.
On his return after a 126-day-long break over CD in November, he ran perfectly well in a hot class 3 Handicap, that has worked out quite well in the meantime, despite missing the break and losing ground at the start.
The next time, the aforementioned beaten favourite effort, Athollblair Boy pulled incredibly hard for half the race, and had a race already ran when it really mattered. Sections show he ran well enough, nonetheless.
A drop down to a 73 mark now, with a fair 7lb claimer on board who’ll have learned plenty from the last two rides where he also steered Athollblair Boy, given the gelding is CD winner of a 3lb higher mark, this should be a fine chance to add another success to the list today.
10pts win – Athollblair Boy @ 17/2 MB