Timeform take you through the card at Newcastle on Friday evening...
"...with further improvement on the cards after only four starts, he is fancied to defy a 4 lb rise..."
Timeform on Castlehill Retreat
15:30 - LUCKY LODGE (1) deservedly got back to winning ways when opening his account for the year over C&D three weeks ago, responding well to get the verdict by a length and three quarters. That form sets the standard on weight-adjusted ratings here, even with a 5 lb higher mark taken into account, and he looks sure to mount a bold follow-up bid. Hassaad and Global Humor, who caught the eye last time, are also fancied to figure in the opener.
16:00 - ANJAH (1) makes his debut in a decent novice stakes but has plenty to recommend him. He is by Kodiac and out of a six-furlong winner who is a sister to Group 1 winner Elusive City. There is plenty of speed in his pedigree and he is likely to be ready to roll on debut, keeping in mind Simon Crisford's excellent record with newcomers (£50.90 level-stakes profit). Frozen Ocean, who cost €260,000 as a foal and is a half-brother to three winners, appeals as another interesting newcomer and is feared most ahead of the standard-setting King Ragnar.
16:30 - BE PROUD (10) still only has one win to his name, but he's been a model of consistency since joining Jim Goldie this year, notably losing out by just a short head over C&D last time. He is only 1 lb higher here and looks sure to give another good account, making him easily the most solid proposition for Placepot purposes. Followthesteps is a low-mileage four-year-old who is feared, along with Jonboy and Gowanbuster.
17:00 - PERFECT SWISS (14) has proven better than ever to win his last two starts over C&D and was arguably value for extra when defying a penalty on the most recent occasion, overcoming the run of the race to lead inside the final furlong. Admittedly, an 8 lb higher mark makes life tougher here in a stronger race, but he is clearly on an upward curve at present and could be worth siding with again in his hat-trick bid. The Roger Fell-trained pair Elixsoft and Najib are others to keep an eye on in an open race.
17:30 - CASTLEHILL RETREAT (6) showed improved form to make a successful nursery debut here earlier in the month, sticking to his task well to win by a nose. His strength at the finish suggests the longer trip here won't be an issue, and with further improvement on the cards after only four starts, he is fancied to defy a 4 lb rise to go in again. Brainchild looks best of the rest now switching to handicaps, with Sky Vega another to note now back up in trip on his first starts for a new yard.
18:00 - ELDELBAR (5) shaped better than the bare result when third at Wolverhampton last month, doing much the best of those who forced a strong gallop. He certainly showed enough to suggest that he is on a fair mark and is given the chance to gain record an overdue success for these connections in the concluding leg of the Placepot. Silk Mill Blue and Joyful Star are a couple of potential threats.
18:30 - RHOSSILI DOWN (5) has had plenty of chances now, but she wasn't beaten far by an unexposed one at Chelmsford last time and this could finally be her day in first-time headgear. City of Love has disappointed the last twice but has obvious claims on her earlier form.
19:00 - ORIENTAL LILLY (2) found only a rejuvenated and well-treated sort too good over C&D a fornight ago, so gets the nod to go one better. Mount Wellington is an interesting runner from a career-low mark on first start for a new yard and would need taking seriously if the market spoke in his favour, while Bedtime Bella also makes the shortlist.
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