…now, where were we?….
The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Brian The Snail, (1520 Newcastle), 1pt win, 6/1:
There is possible weakness in the market leaders here with Heath Charnock losing all 9 handicap runs including as favourite in 5 of his last 6, whilst prolific course winner Tathmeen has been prolific at 5f and needs to prove the extra furlong will suit as much. Instead, it may be worth investing in Brian The Snail for the powerful Richard Fahey yard. He often has horses fit for debut and this horse has won first time out twice before. His best form is at Doncaster but his one run here was pretty promising in a much better race last Summer and he has slipped to a handy mark below his previous winning levels.
Rock Of Diamonds, (1555 Newcastle), 10/3: travels up from Newmarket for the newly formed family duo of Simon and Ed Crisford. They will be looking to get off to a fast start, and this lightly raced 3yo looks a likely sort under the eye-catching booking of De Sousa. Ran pretty well in two 7f maidens this Spring, and an opening mark of 74 surely underestimates his potential. Dropped to 6f here he looks set to get a powerful and aggressive De Sousa ride and he could be very hard to pass.
Be Proud, (1630 Newcastle), 4/1: took a long time to work out that this minimum 5f trip was his ideal. All 6 lifetime runs at the trip have been at this course, yielding form figures of 412241. He is creeping up the ratings, but this race is one that has been left alone by southern raiders and looks unlikely to go to an unexposed sort, and looks more fixed for a hardy proven course specialist. Trainer Jim Goldie will have had to keep him ticking over having been active here all Winter, and he could sneak another course win here off this mark.
Alignak, (1705 Newcastle), 9/4: Sir Michael Stoute is another Newmarket titan to make the long trek north, and in Alignak he has exactly the kind of unexposed 4yo that has become the hallmark of the Stoute operation. Bred to stay and given plenty of time, he came good on his fourth and last run when clearing away with a Kempton novice event. The third home then has won two since, and on a line through that one, an opening handicap mark of 89 could be well within scope even before factoring in the huge improvement still in the tank. The always excellent Oisin Murphy steers, and some decent opposition helps keeps the price honest.
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