Saturday Selections: 10th December 2022

Waverley Star was a lovely winner on Friday, the first in December, although I had only five selections prior to today, with two solid placings, although that counts for little if you back win only, which is what I do.

In any case, Waverley Star was a whopping 9/1 shot (my price; even more generous was available until noon, though; well backed into SP 5/1) and certainly helps to bring the month right back into the solid green.

The 3-year-old gelding did fulfill the hopes outlined in the preview: he went forward, grabbed the lead halfway through and was never to be seen again by the rest of the field.

It’s the one thing that consistently proving the best results on basically all All-Weather tracks over sprint trips: grab the lead and hold on to it…. and still you see people backing hold-up horses over these trips on the sand.

Yet, as you will see soon, I’ll do this as well, from time to time, at least. Can’t be dogmatic, is my view. A value bet is a value bet and simply reflects track bias in the price and evaluation of the chance.

……….

4.30 Newcastle: Class 4 Handicap, 7f

A competitive class 4 Handicap, with a seemingly progressive handicap newcomer as the favourite; all but one horse are rated 80 plus.

I have the feeling the class dropping top weights will struggle to make an impact off 9-11 here, given some other rivals make far greater appeal on weight and handicapping terms.

Dicoles Of Rome ran some fine races the last two times and is one on my list; he should find this easier, but at the same time he appears to me still a bit too high in the mark to be considered a bet.

Favourite Brewing could be anything. Judged through the form of his two wins an opening mark of 83 isn’t a giveaway. Also, those weren’t lightning fast races; his best speed rating of 45 is meaningless in this much hotter class.

The 7/4 price has already backed some massive improvement, which may or may not come. Certainly he’s a favourite that has to be taken on.

Tothenines is the proverbial consistent sort. Possibly in the grip of the handicapper, but these tough, consistent horses do well at this time of the year. He’s a real danger.

Naturally I am drawn to Beattie Is Back. An eye-catcher multiple times lately. He’s also one who finds the trouble.

He did so last time at Wolverhampton, as early as he got out of the gates. That run can be thoroughly forgiven, he was clearly minded in the home straight, although excellent progress in the middle part of the race still showed possibly in serious form.

Before that, here at Newcastle, then over 6 furlongs, he was an even bigger eye-catcher, as he travelled strongly in midfield, loomed large 2 furlongs out but was continuously a clear run denied, as a result dropped to the back of the field before finishing strongly in the final half furlong all the way to the line.

Similar upgrades can be given to his two performances prior to this, too. Beattie Is Back is also a course and distance winner already, although it was a Novice race in spring this year. Judged through that form he’s on a fair mark. However, I believe, if judged by his last efforts, he clearly has shown to be at least a good win better than 70.

He is still relatively lightly raced and I am glad he tries 7 furlongs again, especially at this track, as it gives his racing style the best chance on the All-Weather. In these circumstances there’s possibly more to come, in any case.

Even though I am not sure he’s a proper class 4 horse – he’s yet to run to a speed rating that I’d like to see – I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. This low weight looks intriguing against opposition possibly not well handicapped.

I also really like the likely pace scenario. Drawn in #3 he’s right beside the most likely pace setter, Larado, and may get a nice lead into the closing stages to produce a turn of foot with hopefully little trouble to meet in-running, in this field of only seven runners.

If this doesn’t work out on Saturday, Beattie Is Back has got a Class 5 (0-70) entry next week and could be interesting there, although this is at Wolverhampton.

10pts win – Beattie Is Back @ 8/1

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