Through The Card: Newcastle, Thursday 31 January

Horses running
There is all-weather racing from Newcastle on Thursday

Timeform take you through the card at Newcastle on Thursday...

"...granted she stays straight this time, she should prove a tough nut to crack..."

Timeform on Gregarious Girl

16:05 - CHAMPAGNE RULES (4) is in a rich vein of form at present, winning two of his last three starts at Wolverhampton and, already proven over this C&D, he looks sure to make another bold bid. He was impressive when beating a well-handicapped sort by three lengths last time, taking his form to a new level and storming clear in the final furlong. The handicapper has since raised him 7 lb in the weights, but there could be even more to come, and he is well worth siding with once more. Thawry shaped well here last time and is still relatively low-mileage and is feared most.

16:40 - MURDANOVA (1) might be the answer to a very trappy sprint handicap. He drops back down to class 5 company after running well enough at Lingfield last time and, given he was returning after nine months off, he is entitled to come on for that now. He has a good record on Tapeta and should go well. Gowanbuster can be forgiven a poor run at Southwell and may make the frame. Lucky Lodge is always dangerous to discount over this C&D.

17:15 - GREGARIOUS GIRL (6) hails from a yard in top form and she may have won over C&D last time but for hanging across the track to the far rail. She was sporting a first-time tongue strap that day, and showed improved form, travelling well in touch before taking it up over a furlong out. Gregarious Girl was only overhauled late on, but pulled clear of the third, and granted she stays straight this time, she should prove a tough nut to crack racing from a 1 lb lower mark. Last-time-out winner One One Seven looks the biggest danger.

17:50 - NIGG BAY (2) finds himself below his last winning mark and against lesser opposition than he's faced at Dundalk in recent months. He should be able to make the trip over the Irish Sea a winning one, likely at the main expense of Cuppacoco, who should make a bold bid from the front once again. Archimedes can be forgiven unseating his rider last week and is another worthy of consideration.

18:25 - This looks competitive, but DEANSGATE (5) arrives at the top of his game, and there is no real reason to oppose him given his record over this C&D. He ran at least as well as ever when finishing third in a C&D handicap last time, and that race is working out well with the front two boosting the form since. This looks a stronger race, but the booking of Paul Mulrennan is a plus, and he still looks well handicapped on the pick of his form, so is very much the way to go. Portledge travelled well when winning over C&D last time and could have even more to offer.

19:00 - Eve Harrington is a short-priced favourite here, but she doesn't set an exacting standard, and has only ever run on fibresand. Furthermore, she shapes as though ready for a sterner test of stamina, so she is worth taking on with Mark Johnston's newcomer BAY OF NAPLES (5), who makes appeal on pedigree, and won't have to be anything special to make a winning start.

19:30 - LION HEARTED (7) will be exceptionally difficult to beat. He has been raised 13 lb for his demolition job at Chelmsford last week on yard debut, but is able to compete off his old mark of 45 without a penalty here. It is likely that the rest will be fighting out the places but Royal Rattle and Makofitwhatyouwill look the best options to follow him home.

20:00 - NUTOPIA (8) is a tentative selection in a very trappy handicap. She was given too much to do last time and has gone close at this track on a number of occasions. Roaring Rory and Breathoffreshair are the best alternatives.

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