1.15 Southwell: Class 5 Handicap, 6f
It was an odd race and even odder ride Primo’s Comet received at Newcastle last month when last seen. It also was quite impressive how the veteran gelding finished his race there.
He was restrained early on, seemingly impeded around 4f out as pace wasn’t rapid and it got tight amongst those held up. He switched eventually to get a run against the inside rail but didn’t find space until late, while the jockey in the saddle wasn’t all that bothered, it seemed.
In any case, the way the 8-year-old finished suggests he must be hitting some serious form. That comprises with his rapidly falling handicap mark.
Nonetheless, he still managed to run to 61 and 63 speed rating in October and November, therefore looks handicapped to go close on that evidence alone, now rated 63.
He’s got a favourable low draw here and should enjoy the chaotic and frantic pace to be expected in this race to be delivered in the closing stages for a turn of foot.
10pts win – Primo’s Comet @ 11/2
7.45 Newcastle: Class 6 Handicap, 7f
The wider than ideal #9 draw is a concern, but that aside there’s an awful lot to like about Fanzone here in a winnable contest.
This is going to be his second run after a break. That most recent comeback run nine days ago was seriously eye catching, suggesting the 6-year-old gelding is in fine form and very much ready to win.
Nine days ago he wasn’t quite the sharpest out of a wider than ideal draw and looked a bit keen, as he settled in midfield. He travelled really well for a long time but had to wait to be angled out to the stands’ side rail for a clear run.
Once in the clear he found plenty for pressure. In fact he finished fastest for the last two furlongs.
It was an excellent comeback run after 188 days off. He also caught the eye a number of times last year on the flat.
Yet, racing off a career lowest mark he makes a lot of appeal as he drops in grade as well, into 0-55 level, with in-form Oisin Murphy in the saddle.
10pts win – Fanzone @ 7/1