Here is my preview for today’s action at Newcastle with a Place 6 syndicate created that is attached at the bottom of the article.
Leg 1: 13.35 - Break From The Herd With Vertem Novices' Hurdle (GBB Race)
WETLANDS opened his hurdles account very easily when last seen on heavy ground and should have plenty more to offer back at this venue having already won at this course, which counts for plenty. LORD OF KERAK was found out in a Grade 2 last time out but is a big player back in this company and should go close on these terms.
Selections: WETLANDS, LORD OF KERAK
Leg 2: 14.10 - Vertem - Very Different Stockbrokers Novices' Handicap Chase (GBB Race)
SMITHS CROSS got back on track with a good third earlier in the week over hurdles and that should have helped his confidence having fallen twice over fences previously. He’s so well-handicapped in a race of this calibre and it’s very appealing to see connections declare him for today’s event.
Selections: SMITHS CROSS
Leg 3: 14.45 - Think Smart At Vertem Mares' Novices' Hurdle (GBB Race)
David Bass takes the ride on SANDAROC, who showed an aptitude for hurdling when second behind the 131-rated The Glancing Queen 34 days ago. She meets nothing the calibre of the winner in today’s event, therefore, she has a big chance with improvement anticipated.
Leg 4: 15.15 - Vertem Eider Handicap Chase (GBB Race)
A wide-open renewal of the Eider but BIG RIVER gets the vote. He has run some awesome races in top-class handicaps from higher marks in the past and was far from disgraced when eighth in the Welsh National at Chepstow last time. He’s 2Ib lower this weekend and with everything aligned perfectly for him, the eleven-year-old looks poised to go well for his yard who do well in races of this nature.
CROSSLEY TENDER has been in the form of his life this season, recording four victories and three placed efforts. He’s unproven over this trip, but the way he stayed on strongly to finish third at Ascot last month suggests he will stay and it would be foolish to ignore his claims. Of the remainder, SALTY BOY was a staying-on sixth in Sussex National at Plumpton and the stiffer test here should suit.
Selections: BIG RIVER, CROSSLEY TENDER, SALTY BOY
Leg 5: 15.50 - Break From The Field With Vertem Handicap Hurdle (GBB Race)
FOREST BIHAN is the class act in the field and landed the Old Roan Chase at Aintree in October 2019. He showed he retained his enthusiasm for the game when a good third in a jumpers’ bumper’ last time and shouldn’t be far away at this modest level. BON RETOUR was useful when trained by Willie Mullins and this will be his first run for Nicky Richards. He remains interesting, particularly if the market speaks in his favour.
Selections: FOREST BIHAN, BON RETOUR
Leg 6: 16.25 - Vertem-Leading The Field Handicap Chase
SEEMORELIGHTS ran well to an extent when third at Ayr last time and it’s possible to suggest an opening mark of 125 is well within range. He will be our only pick in the concluding race of the preview.