Thursday Selections: 26th January 2023

7.00 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 5f

Intriguing contest; I feel Spanish Angel with the apprentice of the moment on board has a strong chance, but veteran Another Angel caught the eye a number of times lately, having run much better than the bare form and has been given a real opportunity by the handicapper.

He hasn’t won in ages, literally. But he also is down to a career lowest mark, over his preferred course an distance where he has a near 50% place record and landed all of his seven career victories.

I quite liked his last three runs, despite having been beaten comprehensively most of the time, though the last time in 0-70 class he was far from disgraced when less than three lengths beaten in field full of in-form rivals.

He drops down to 0-55 and has been dropped 3lb in his handicap mark. That looks quite favourable, given these latest runs, where he showed good early speed, don’t look all that far of his excellent September run, when third over this CD off 61 and running to a 58 speed rating.

No other horse in this race can match a similar speed rating over the last while, and I believe Another Angel isn’t too far of this form, actually. Off this really low 49 rating now, he’s clearly very well handicapped if still in form.

There is some other pace in the race, but AA should have the stands’ side to himself, potentially and won’t need to worry what the lower drawn numbers do.

I have reservations about the jockey: Cam Hardie has a less than 2% strike rate at Newcastle over the last two seasons, although often sits on big prices, but even on fancied runners improve to only about 3%. However, he has been riding this horse the majority of times over the years with a good record.

10pts win – Another Angel @ 11/1

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