Dragon to show more with new distance
15:45 Southwell - Back Ventura Dragon @ BSP
At the time of writing, the Southwell description was given as officially soft. With the forecast predicting more showers, there's every chance we could get a bit of heavy for this meeting.
However, the muddier the conditions the better for Oliver Sherwood's Ventura Dragon.
He's lightly-raced over hurdles with just four starts and made a rather underwhelming handicap debut last time out at Huntingdon. That was over 2m on good ground and the pace was a steady one, all of which failed to suit Ventura Dragon. The test of speed on the quicker ground didn't suit at all.
Up in trip to 2m4f today, he should get an opportunity to show what he is capable of - especially with the soft conditions.
He won on the Flat in heavy at Ffos Las, and he was rated 80 in that sphere at one stage, and if you are winning in Ffos Las heavy, you know you have a horse that handles the conditions.
Bolger has a strong contender for Friday night feature
18:45 Dundalk - Back Bold Approach @ BSP
The fields are relatively small at Newcastle over the jumps on Friday, so I am switching to Dundalk for the second bet of the day, and the track has no problems with field sizes as many of the handicaps staged at the venue are often over-subscribed.
The 18:45 is the feature of the evening and a strong handicap, but I am backing Jim Bolger's Bold Approach to come out on top.
He raced on the surface for the first time on his latest outing, and that was in the "Red God" behind Heliac. That looks decent winter form and Bold Approach performed well to finish fourth. He came from slightly further back than the winner and had to be switched from the inside in the closing stages.
I liked the way he stayed on and the second was rated 101, so it's hard to knock race.
Bold Approach had juvenile form behind the Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck, and he could still be well treated from his mark of 93.
*Click here for exclusive news and betting previews for Friday's racing