Conviction for Lucinda's to start the day
Back Without Conviction @ 7/4 in the 12:48 at Newcastle
Yesterday's column was close in landing the each-way part of the two big prices at Dundalk. Form Of Praise finished second at 9/1 and Praying Mantis with the Extra Place Special was denied fourth by a neck, and she was a BSP of 32. The each-way double would have landed in at 25/1 too, I just wish Praying Mantis' neck was bigger.
Saturday's first selection is nowhere near as big in the betting as Lucinda Russell's Without Conviction is the market leader at 7/4, but her claims her pretty obvious in a small field despite a 10lb rise.
The 7yo mare is lightly raced with just two starts over fences. She ran well to finish third over an inadequate 2m at Hexham on her debut, and she bettered that with an easy 4L win at the same north east venue but upped to 2m4f. The ground was also heavy that day and the emphasis on staying certainly suited.
Her three rivals look beatable as Maid O'Malley has finished second on plenty of occasions and didn't jump particularly well at Carlisle last March, and those fences aren't stiff. While Burrows Diamond is a real mixed bag.
I'd have Without Conviction more a 5/4 shot, as she could progress further and should have no trouble off her new mark of 107. The form of her Hexham victory has also been boosted with the third's easy victory next time out.
There's no stopping Bob at Newcastle
Back Bavington Bob @ 6/5 in the 13:23 at Newcastle
Ann Hamilton's Tommy's Oscar was a winner for the column recently and her stats have been incredible this term with eight winners from 21 runners at a strike-rate of 38%. And with jockey Brian Hughes on 30% for the season at Newcastle, all roads lead to Bavington Bob.
He won over course and distance last time on stoic fashion, and he seemed to relish the extra stamina test with a game effort. His jumping was sound throughout and he's a no-nonsense horse. Winning off 116, he has only gone up 1lb. For a 2L victory, that could be generous.
Bob has only had two runs over fences, but he's always had the look of a staying chaser - even when he reeled off a hat-trick of victories over hurdles last term.
The rookie chaser is also versatile in terms of ground.
Glory time for Crystal
Back Crystal Glory @ 5/4 in the 14:33 at Newcastle
The previous two horses pays around 6/1 for the double, but I am going with a short-priced treble for the day as Crystal Glory potentially could be a graded horse, and should be good enough to give weight away in the 2m5f Novices' Hurdle.
Having landed a PTP easily, he changed hands for 65,000 euros, and he hasn't disappointed. He won on hurdling debut at Hexham and was even better at Newcastle upped to 2m7f last time with a comfortable win - so dropping down in distance won't be a problem.
His jumping is sound, he stays well and likes good to soft. Including him makes our treble for 12/1 and his trainer Nicky Richards is 2-9 at the track this term.