Prior to his last start Fennaan hadn't contested a race in this grade since his third career outing back in April 2018. I completely understand that he's now at this level due to a run of poor performances however the six year old's most recent performance was much better than he's shown of late. He has a solid record on the all-weather and holds a 100% strike rate here at Newcastle. His victory here came back in 2019 at around the same time of year and off a massive 17lb higher mark. I'm also a massive fan of jockey Callum Rodriguez at this North East venue and despite his yard not being in the best of form he has plenty in his favour to see him go close at a big price.
Fellow course and distance winners Bringitonboris and Twisted Dreams cannot be readily discounted.
The James Tate trained three year old New Dynasty has plenty of room for progression and is the one I fear most.
Trainer Ruth Carr has been known to land a winner or two at a massive prices and I'm shocked to see her runner Bobby Joe Leg priced at a whopping 40/1 (at the time of writing). I completely understand the fact that he hasn't even finished in the first half of his last four starts but returns to Newcastle off the same rating he was last victorious in. He won over course and distance back in January in a better grade of race than this. I know he has to improve markedly on what he's displayed of late and others make more obvious claims but at such a big price it'd be foolish for punters not to back him each way.
Brazen Bolt has a fantastic record at Newcastle having won his last three starts here and considering he's only gone up 2lbs for his latest victory the handicapper has certainly given him a solid chance off adding to his superb course form.
BOBBY JOE LEG (E/W)
The penultimate race on the cards over at Dundalk sees an ultra competitive 12 furlong handicap where the current market leader Racy Lacey looks to go very close. She returned from an absence in excess of 170 days and produced a very accomplished performance to claim second at Navan. If punters were looking for a solid win selection it'd be hard to oppose the three year old however the one saving grace for those aiming to bet against her is that she was poor in her sole all-weather start. She has a clear chance but I'm hoping I've found an each way alternative.
There's three course and distance winners in the lineup and I'm siding with one of this trio. Spruce Meadows has had an indifferent season with a couple of fair performances mixed with some very poor efforts. I'm hoping a return to the all-weather is going to garner a better run especially with such a decent draw. What's also very interesting to note is the fact that Ben Coen is booked for the ride. The more than capable rider hasn't partnered the horse since December 2019 despite being the last jockey to ride the eight year old to victory. His last win came on this card and I'm hoping he can produce a repeat performance.
SPRUCE MEADOWS (E/W)
written by Rory Paddock