24th February 2012
Newcastle Betting: Stormy Weather to complete his hat-trick at Newcastle for Ellison
2.55 Newcastle: Betfred When Both Teams Score Handicap Hurdle (Class 2) (2m)
Newcastle stage a decent card on Saturday which includes the Eider Chase and the feature Hurdle race of the afternoon is the 0-145 handicap at 2.55 over two miles. We have eleven runners and the bottom weight Spiekeroog is the 9/4 favourite with bookmakers Stan James.
The six year old has only had four runs over hurdles and has steadily improved each time and after a good second to Vulcanite at Southwell he went on to get his head in front here over course and distance where he beat Bourne in a photo, that horse has gone on to win a competitive handicap at Ascot off a mark of 125 so Spiekeroogs rating of 118 must give him every chance here.
Stormy Weather looks the main threat on his win at Musselburgh last time; he had earlier won here and now goes for the hat-trick off his new mark of 126. He came from well off the pace last time to collar the useful Ubi Ace so the form is solid enough and has the experience on his side and seems to have regained his confidence since joining Brian Ellison. He should go well and won’t mind the soft ground conditions.
Another one at the bottom of the handicap is Cue To Cue for Keith Reveley, she has ran twice here over longer trips and last time stepped back to 17f at Doncaster when she contested a graded mares race, a staying on fourth is all she could manage but that was a fair effort for a horse with just three runs under her belt and can only improve although I would be more interested if this was 2m4f.
Lady Bluesky is another progressive mare in the field, she won at Kelso off 110 and then unseated her jockey when cruising to victory last time out with a 7lb penalty, she has been raised another 7lbs here but is clearly in good heart at the moment and wouldn’t put anyone off her chances in this company. William Amos has been in good form and he runs Eurohunter, just a novice but won well at Kelso in December before taking a heavy fall last time out when in second place, he’s been given time to get over that and may just need this run.
The top two in the handicap have chances on their best form, Palawi won at Musselburgh when he got the run of the race but was well beaten behind Stormy Weather last time at the same venue, if gets an easy lead he could be dangerous. Rumble Of Thunder was in cracking form earlier on in the season and his last couple of runs seem to suggest he’s gone off the boil, he may be better in the spring when the ground dries out but does have some fair form in the book and is a big price.
No doubting that Spiekeroog looks well handicapped but is a very skinny price here considering his lack of experience and I think Stormy Weather may just have too much for him this time and represents better value in the markets. You can’t beat a mare in form and I’ll take Lady Bluesky as an alternative bet in an open race.
2pts Stormy Weather 4/1 Betfred
1pt Lady Bluesky 7/1 Paddy Power
Author: Graham Sarson