Timeform Daily: Monday, Newcastle 15:00

Jamie Spencer will be aboard Almost Gemini at 15:00.

Timeform take a runner-by-runner look at a staying handicap at Newcastle on Monday...

The well-bred Almost Gemini is a potential blot on the handicap back from a break and gets the vote...


Petella won twice last season and now back on her last winning mark. Not seen to best effect when fifth at Musselburgh recently (sent off favourite) and better expected on this stiffer course.

Descaro won twice in 2011 but has left the impression he's merely been going through the motions of late. Is potentially well handicapped if a first-time hood helps get his mind back on job, though.

Jawaab is potentially well treated and promise when placed on both starts for new yard in recent weeks, second to Looks Like Rain over 2m at Wolverhampton last time. Obvious chance off same mark.

Grand Art was twice successful over hurdles in 2011 and back to winning ways on Flat when scoring by 5 lengths at Musselburgh (2m) last week. Player under penalty if turning up here in similar form.

Hi Dancer got back to best when winning twice over hurdles in the spring and run respectably on Flat since, second to Dr Irv at Redcar (1¾m) last month. Return to 2m should suit and needs considering.

Pegasus Prince is a 3-time winner at Southwell and won over hurdles/fences for Keith Reveley. Potentially well treated back on Flat but new yard hasn't had a winner since May 2011.

Spiders Star was a fair staying handicapper at her best but not been anywhere near the top of her game so far this term, running no sort of race at Ripon last time. Cheekpieces refitted now.

Manager Mick ran just about his best race to date when fifth in a C&D handicap in May but well held at Carlisle since and refitted visor needs to spark improvement for him to get heavily involved here.

Pugnacious ran best to date when plugging-on second in first-time blinkers at Catterick (1½m) last time. Shapes as if well worth this try up in trip and less exposed than most here.

Almost Gemini was no better than mid-field in 3 1¼m maidens this spring but related to some smart sorts and could prove a totally different proposition upped in trip on return from break (has been gelded).

Asteroid Belt put up just about his best effort for new yard when staying-on third to Sweet Fairnando over 1¾m at Redcar last time. Step up to 2m should suit and can't rule out with cheekpieces now back on.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Almost Gemini
2. Jawaab
3. Hi Dancer

Timeform Verdict: The likes of Jawaab and Hi Dancer look sure to go well, but the well-bred Almost Gemini is a potential blot on the handicap back from a break and gets the vote.

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