We travel to the North-East for our first selection, taking in a class three handicap over seven furlongs. Early favourite Lord Of The Rock absolutely demolished the field over course and distance last month, winning by eight lengths. On the basis of that win he is a worthy favourite but current odds of around 7/4 seem short considering he has only won one from four and todays’ opposition should prove much tougher.
Twin Appeal has won four from eight over seven furlongs including one on his only previous visit to Newcastle, and has a 60% strike rate for top three finishes on turf. Jockey Rob Hornby claims 5lbs which effectively means he races today 2lbs lower than his last winning mark.
Victoire De Lyphar is proven over course and distance and notched up a hat-trick of wins last spring, although has not won since. Two close seconds over at Doncaster recently and a 50% place strike rate in 2015 suggest the eight year old is still capable of giving the market leaders something to think about.
Twin Appeal (E/W if 9/2+)
A typically competitive six furlong sprint is where we find our second selections of the day. Denzille Lane is the only previous course winner of the nineteen strong field and arrives here in top form having won three from his last four. Although these wins came over seven furlongs, he has also won over todays’ trip previously so shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the drop back today.
Baitha Alga looked to be a potential superstar after a hat-trick of wins last summer, which included the group two Norfolk Stakes, but has disappointed since and his last three races have seen him finish last each time. On last years’ form he would be a leading player here but arrives with a point to prove. Although current odds of around 33/1 would suggest he’s an outside chance at best, I am willing to take a chance at those odds that the first time headgear sparks some improvement and see him make the frame.
Of the remainder, Primrose Valley is a danger although has proved to be most effective on an all-weather surface, while Mubtaghaa and Roosey also have place claims.
Denzille Lane (E/W if 9/2+)
Baitha Alga (E/W)
Our final selection for our Saturday Weekender comes in a class three handicap for three year olds. Weld Al Emarat showed his battling qualities when just touched off at Ascot in May and now has a win and a close second from just three career runs. With further improvement expected he should be capable of winning again today.
Them And Us has a 42% win rate on turf but is yet to win over a mile and is 5lbs higher than his last winning mark, while Wekeyll and Alnashamba step up in class after respective wins last time out in class fives so the biggest danger could be Yorkshire Dales who disappointed last time out but won his previous two over a mile including one here at Newmarket.
Weld Al Emarat (WIN)