2.55 Haydock: Class 2 Handicap, 6f
Muddling affair. Hardly anythings stands out. Does anyone can back the 8-year-old favourite with any sort of confidence? I doubt it. There is value in the market and it lies – in my mind – quite clearly with Youkan.
The 4-year-old is on a fair handicap mark, having proven himself to be competitive of this rating in this type of contest in the past. He’s a Haydock winner, albeit over the minimum trip and has a clear preference for cut in the ground.
I don’t really mind the absence of a 6f victory to date. Youkan is still pretty lightly raced, certainly compared to most in this race and there is a fair chance that with preferred conditions he can pull out a little bit more, if not at least running to his mark, which in turn can well be enough to be in for the win.
Youkan has ran twice already to a 83 topspeed rating, most recently in June at Goodwood over 6 furlongs.
10pts win – Youkan @ 22/1 MB
4.55 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f
This race looks like a lottery and I’m drawn to bet #10 will go in here. Gunmaker that is, the five-year-old gelding has a poor strike rate but runs well on many occasions, particularly on the All-Weather and over this trip.
He’s fallen to a really low handicap mark now, on the back of a poor effort at Leicester, however here at Newcastle over 7f he ran pretty well in a similar type contest off 3lb higher than today.
In spring this year Gunmaker was placed on three subsequent occasions over 6- and 7 furlongs on the All-Weather of official ratings of 67 and 68, while running to topspeed ratings of 61 and 66. In fact, he has ran on six occasions on the sand to topspeed ratings of 54+.
A young 7lb claimer is in the saddle, pretty inexperienced. We’ll see how that goes. But it is undeniable with an ultra light weight today Gunmaker has a tremendous chance to run big today.
10pts win – Gunmaker @ 11/1 MB