Welcome to the final week of the Racing League at Newcastle, where Daryl Carter will be hoping to end the competition with a bang.
"His last run over a straight six-furlongs was here when beaten by the useful Royal Ascot winner Significantly when attempting to give him four pounds. That run came in first-time cheek-pieces, and his new yard opts to reapply today for the first time since."
It's been up and down with some good winners and, by my own standards, some poor losers, including last week and it would be easy to ensure a profit and stick one horse up for a 1pt win this week, but I am an all or nothing kind of guy. If I like it, I like it, so let's hope for some luck on this final week.
King has had little luck
The opening 18:05 William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League R31 looks wide open with any number of these holding valid claims, including The First King, who is over-priced on all known form.
The four-year-old has caught the eye the last twice in this competition and has shaped as though he is on the upgrade. That may well be the trainer's thoughts also, as they opt for a fully fledge professional jockey in the saddle to replace the inexperienced claimer's they have had on the last twice.
He scored at Sandown last season when taking the scalp of the shorter priced Amir Kabir, but in hindsight, that was a poor race, and the figures shouldn't be trusted.
That could mean that he has run two career-best efforts this term, and he hasn't had the clearest of runs on both occasions.
He did the best of those on the sharp end of a frantic pace at Lingfield and stuck on well at the finish, despite being passed by three that had been ridden with restraint.
At Windsor, he bumped into a progressive three-year-old but had no room when well-positioned just off the pace, was forced to switch and saw the door close on him again. Again though, he stuck on well under hand and heels, and today's step up in trip looks like a possible source of improvement on that evidence, and he is back on the all-weather surface for which he has run his three best races to date.
Chichester can make it an early double for Newmarket Red
Yes, the fact that I have called them Newmarket Red is still a strange concept to grasp. However, Chichester is of interest in the 18:35 William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Racing League R32. He has been overlooked in the market in favour of the younger horses with potential.
Ace Rothstein, Rewired and Tregony are all three-year-olds that head the market, but I struggle to see what any have beaten to be able to recommend them.
It's far easier to see the claims of Chichester, who was undone by a slowly run race in a small field here last time when he attempted to give away chunks of weight to two well-handicapped horses.
His form sets the standard, including his defeat to Pivoine over this trip at Haydock, and this is far easier than what he has been contesting all season in Class 2 handicaps.
The likely strong pace here will suit, he has a course win to his name and his fourth here over this trip behind Live Your Dream, who is now 21lbs higher in the handicap (second is 13lbs higher), makes for good reading in the context of this race.
He is hard to ignore at the prices.
Third Kingdom and Firmament the play's at the prices
Plenty to consider in the 19:35 William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League R34, and I am happy to play two at the prices.
Third Kingdom is very hard to get away from off this handicap mark of just 89, and he has the most potential in this field to make up into a useful performer.
He is well drawn, likes it here at Newcastle, and with the strong pace on offer, his stamina will be seen to good effect now dropped back to seven furlongs.
He was caught late over the mile here last time by a course specialist and lost nothing in defeat there, and this is not as strong on paper as that contest, so he must be given the utmost respect.
Firmament is the other that piques the interest, and given his double-figure odds, he is hard to ignore off this falling handicap mark. He is hard to catch right, but it was encouraging at Thirsk last time, and he has failed to run a poor race at this venue.
Now returned to Newcastle for the first time since December last year when a good fourth in a hot Class 2 Handicap off a mark of 96, there is a good chance he could cause an upset off this 16lbs lower handicap mark.
Plenty in the favour of Yazaman at big odds
When reviewing last weeks action, I thought, " I hope we can get a bet out of Strike Red or Ivatheengine" because they both are clearly ahead of the handicapper. Low and behold, they both enter in the 20:05 William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League R35.
They have not been missed at the top of the market either, and with Typhoon Ten and Fernando Rah in there, it looks tight.
The one that has been completely missed, though, is Yazaman, who ran with encouragement for his new yard at Doncaster to only be beaten four lengths, and it was interesting to see jockey Jamie Spencer do his best not to get too close once the race got away from him.
The three-year-old hasn't won since its debut but has kept some very warm company since, and, as a result, he has fallen from an opening handicap mark of 106 down to 87.
He was placed in two Group 2's as a two-year-old over this trip but has spent most of this season not seeing out seven furlongs on sharp and turning tracks.
His best form has come on straight tracks over six furlongs, such as his Doncaster four-length defeat mentioned above.
Outside of the Doncaster run, he has raced at sharp tracks Chester twice, Musselburgh and Lingfield twice, with his only other run this term on the straight track at Newbury in a seven-furlong Class 2 0-100 off a handicap mark of 92 when an excellent fourth.
His last run over a straight six-furlongs was here when beaten by the useful Royal Ascot winner Significantly when attempting to give him four pounds. That run came in first-time cheek-pieces, and his new yard opts to reapply today for the first time since.
He has run three of his four best races in first-time headgear, and it's no coincidence they all came on straight tracks.
This is hot, but it's not out of the realms of possibility he revives and hits the frame.
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DARYL'S RACING LEAGUE PROFIT AND LOSS
STAKED - 24.5
Back The First King at Newcastle in the 18:05 @ 19.018/1 0.5pt e/w
Back Chichester at Newcastle in the 18:35 @ 9.08/1 1pt win
Back Third Kingdom at Newcastle in the 19:35 @ 4.03/1 1pt win
Back Firmament at Newcastle in the 19:35 @ 21.020/1 0.5pt e/w
Back Yazaman at Newcastle in the 20:05 @ 15.014/1 1pt e/w