For the final time this week Alan Thompson has two selections running at today's northern meetings, Carlise and Newcastle...
"She will certainly find this a much easier task than the likes of the Mares' Finale at Newbury that she was competing in prior to her break."
At the time of writing there are the dead eight going to post for this Class 4 mares only handicap hurdle race and if they all make it to post then Same Circus at 8.07/1 looks to have an excellent chance of making the frame, if not winning. Donald McCain's charge won a three mile point-to-point race before joining his yard and then won on her first start under rules over two miles at Hexham. In her next five races she won two and was second in three, only finishing out of the frame in a Class 2 novices hurdle race, her last two runs have been a little disappointing but they were both in much better company than this contest.
The daughter of Brian Boru has had six monthd off to get over those defeats and can go well fresh, she has to carry top weight as she is dropping into this Class 4 race but she also has the services of Lorcan Murtagh claiming 5lbs on board. She will certainly find this a much easier task than the likes of the Mares' Finale at Newbury that she was competing in prior to her break. Providing she is fit and well it's hard to see how she doesn't make the frame at least.
Hallstatt has been raised 3lb for his Course and Distance victory last time out but I am not sure if that will be enough to stop the 11-year-old turning back the clock and making it back-to-back wins. He only got up by a neck last time out but she seen out the trip really well and was always catching the leader, he probably could have won by further if necessary suggesting there may still be more in the tank. John Mackie's runners are in good from, with two winners and two seconds from his last four starters. Luke Morris was on board when he won last time and he gets the leg up again tonight
The only other runner in the field who has won recently is the market favourite Navajo Joe, while another big run looks likely he will also have a penalty to carry after a five length victory at Chelmsford in his latest start. It will be interesting to see how the race develops as I expect Navajo Joe will be up with the pace while Hallstatt will be dropped out looking to get going in the latter stages of the race. That five length victory last time may be a bit flattering as I always think that Chelmsford favours the front runners and it is very hard to come from behind whereas Newcastle doesn't have such a front running bias. With Navajo Joe at 3.02/1 and Hallstatt at 7.06/1 I much prefer the later to carry my final bet of the week.
2017 Overall (prior to this week): +37.97 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 11 pts
Returned: 4.18 pts