Newcastle the focus today in heavy
There is no doubt who has the stamina
Back Thereisnodoubt @ 4/1 in the 14:50 Newcastle
Testing ground and extreme conditions could be in order for Newcastle on Saturday and it looks as if we'll be racing on officially heavy, so it won't be an afternoon for the "curl up down the straight" runners.
Lucinda Russell's Thereisnodoubt handles heavy well, and the yard couldn't be in better form after a Cheltenham winner with Corach Rambler.
The selection dipped his hooves into deep water last time and ran with great credit finishing fourth in the Morebattle at Kelso. That looked a strong edition of the race, and while he ran well, he wasn't good enough against some handy horses.
The 10yo had previously finished third (again at Kelso), but on ground that was quite lively. Give him a bit of heavy, and he'll enjoy the mud today as he bolted up with a forward ride in January.
With form at 2m4f too he can simply outstay them here.
Donna's worth a shot at longer trip with ground to suit
Back Donna's Double @ 13/2 in the 15:25 Newcastle
Sandy Thomson should go home with a winner today with an odds-on favourite in the last, and Donna's Double still has a bit of upsides to go well over 3m for this Handicap Chase.
He's only raced three times over fences so fits into the lightly-raced category and slugged it out following wind surgery to win over 2m5f at Ayr at the turn of the year. It was heavy that day and was extreme in terms of the stamina test.
His latest effort was again on the west coast, but he faded badly and lost a shoe too. He stopped pretty quickly in that, and I am prepared to excuse the run as his previous efforts might have left their mark.
Todays conditions will certainly suit, and while he has yet to prove himself over today's 3m, he looked very much a stayer for the future in his novice hurdle days and there's a fair bit of stamina in his pedigree.