Timeform take you through the card at Newcastle on Thursday evening...
"...remains relatively lightly raced on the all-weather, which suggests he may yet have even more to offer..."
Timeform on Billy Wedge
16:30 - MR STRUTTER (4) ran well when second on his penultimate outing over C&D, doing enough to suggest he can exploit his lower all-weather mark another day, just unlucky to bump into an improver. Below form at Southwell last time, he is very much the type to bounce back quickly and looks the way to go in this opening leg of the Placepot. Lukoutoldmakezebak and Blazing Dreams both go well here and complete the shortlist.
17:00 - PROCEEDING (5) has finished out of the first three only twice in seven starts over C&D, including a pair of wins in November, and he proved better than ever in defeat when only narrowly beaten by a stablemate here last week. Now 1 lb lower in a weaker race, he seems sure to go close if in the same form. The returning Betty Grable and Mudawwan are both on good marks if ready to roll and look best of the rest.
17:30 - ARBITER (3) hasn't exactly set the world alight in his three starts to date, failing to reproduce the form of his debut sixth at Wolverhampton (only fair form) in two subsequent outings. However, it's still early days for John Gosden's very well-bred colt (by Kingman and a half-brother to the stable's dual Group 1 winner Coronet) and he could be worth another chance to get back on the up with the hood left off for the first time. Newcomer Al Hurr could provide the biggest threat, ahead of Savage Beauty.
18:00 - HART STOPPER (3) wasted no time getting back to form when second at Kempton two weeks ago, keeping on well to be beaten just a length after being forced to wait for a gap two out. He remains potentially well treated on that evidence and is fancied to go one place better here with the cheekpieces reapplied. Fendale is an obvious danger after his C&D second back in early-December, along with Foolaad and Athollblair Boy.
18:30 - ST JUST (2) proved a different proposition when making a successful handicap debut at Lingfield three weeks ago, quickening smartly to lead inside the final 100 yards, ultimately winning readily by a length and three quarters (had hit in hand). The runner-up gave that form a boost when winning his next start, and, with the prospect of even more to come after only four starts, St Just is taken to defy a 6 lb higher mark and can provide the in-form Ben Curtis with yet another winner. The hat-trick-seeking Xian Express is feared most on his handicap bow, while Mark Johnston's Blake's Vision is another to note following an improved effort at Lingfield.
19:00 - BILLY WEDGE (7) was gambled on and duly proved better than ever to win his most recent outing over C&D, always in control after taking it up going well a furlong out. He remains relatively lightly raced on the all-weather, which suggests he may yet have even more to offer, and it will be disappointing if he can't mount a bold follow-up bid from only 5 lb higher, representing the small string of Tracy Waggott that continues in great heart. Decision Maker and Bugler Bob are fancied to emerge as the chief threats in this concluding leg of the Placepot.
19:30 - SOUND MIXER (1) made a promising start to life in handicaps when second at Kempton recently, and she's selected to go one better with further improvement on the cards. Constitutional and Chelmsford-scorer Rebel Redemption both ought to remain competitive.
20:00 - FINAL LEGACY (7) has looked an improved performer on fibresand of late, and assuming she's as effective on tapeta, is expected to be a big factor from her basement mark. Montalvan is a threat if ready to roll on this return, while this represents a drop in grade for Jan Van Hoof.
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17:00 - 5
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