There is a sense of anti-climax now that Royal Ascot has gone and is in the archives, however the search for winners does not cease now we are dealing with Class 5 handicaps, as opposed to Group 1 races.
Our search continues on Thursday with a fine looking card at Newcastle, and even though the racing is not on the same par as Ascot, a winner is still a winner, regardless of the race!
A man who has made giant strides since going it alone in the training world is Keith Dalgleish, who was pointed out on The Racing Forum a month ago as a man to follow, especially in the north. He has a runner in the 2.10 Novice Stakes in ACT YOUR SHOE SIZE, a two year old who was an impressive maiden winner three weeks ago. The form has since been franked, with the second winning next time out, and there looks plenty of improvement to come from Act Your Shoe Size, who should find Piece y Piece as his only serious threat.
The 3.20 is a Class2 handicap for older horses, and looks to have a very strong field, competing for a near five figure first prize. An odd mix of horses at the bottom of the weights on the upgrade and those at the top of the weights coming down from higher class races means the race looks wide open.
Extraterrestrial looks promising but is up 10 lbs for a recent win and the handicapper may have him in his grip at the minute. A similar story for Tartan Gigha, who has gone down 14 pounds from this time last year, and is still yet to record a win since then. A chance could be taken on ARABIAN SPIRIT who has been the model of consistency in his career and has shown further progression this season in competitive handicaps. His preferred surface is with cut in the ground which should give him an even greater chance than his form suggests. Richard Fahey has a great record at Newcastle, and although stable jockey Paul Hanagan has chosen one of his rivals, Tony Hamilton is a more than able deputy.
2.10 Act Your Shoe Size
3.20 Arabian Spirit (EW)