RACE PREVIEWS & TIPS (FRIDAY)

16:25 Newcastle Paul Hanagan’s return to the Northern circuit has been welcomed with open arms by his former boss Richard Fahey and it has been like he has never been away in recent weeks as the duo immediately got back to delivering winners. The 1m2f handicap at the Newcastle all-weather looks like yet another chance for the potent pair to get yet another into the winner’s enclosure. They combine once again here today to saddle up Footlight, who stayed on well late on to land a class 5 contest last time out over 1m3f under today’s jockey. The manner of how she did the job that day and the ability of the jockey to get a tune out of her makes her a real contender in this field to follow up and the four-year-old gets the nod at an each way price. The juggernaut Mark Johnston yard line up Mariee in opposition so she rates the main danger to the selection. She went down to the well treated Worlds His Oyster last time out over a mile at the track and that rival lines up again in a higher grade today with what looks a great chance of following up so that form is solid, but the way she finished her race last time did not scream out that she was looking for a further stamina test and the selection is just preferred. High on light remains well treated based on a trio of previous wins for her former yard and yet to be out of the first two in three yards since joining David Barron’s yard so she could be a danger if the aforementioned fail to fire, but she continues to creep up in the weights and she may need to settle for minor honours again here. FOOTLIGHT (E/W if 9/2+) – NAP

20:00 Dundalk Phil McEntee sends his well treated six-year-old Gentleman across the water to Ireland from his Newmarket base for this 6f handicap contest. The horse has excuses for a few of its recents defeats and has some eye catching runs among them which would suggest a return to the winner’s enclosure is imminent. He already boasts wins over the re-opposing Togovile and likely market principle Patrick here tonight and it is interesting to see the yard book the red-hot Josephine Gordon for the ride in a move that looks to be a huge indication of the yard’s thoughts on their chances here. The horse looks a massive each way price and may take some stopping here if repeating its best form. The aforementioned Patrick for the Richard O’Brien team in undoubtedly the main danger. The five-year-old was only a half length behind Gentleman at Chelmsford when they last faced each other, but was a surprise winner on his debut for the yard last time out at this track so he will be hoping home soil can swing it his way under the experienced hands of Pat Smullen, but he now has a rise in the weights to contend with here. Shepherd’s Purse is another who take a hand here and is one who has been knocking on the door of late with three placed efforts from his last four starts, so he will likely run his race again here, but had every chance to win when well held by Patrick here last time out. GENTLEMAN (E/W)