14:30 Catterick This Handicap Hurdle focuses around two decent types. Jaleo is back out after he came to grief at the first flight in the Lanzarote Hurdle. He had previously looked to relish the step up to this trip when winning over it at Lingfield last month after a break. The five year old adds some class to the race and should be suited by the conditions. However, Jaleo gives plenty of weight to the improving four year old Nietzsche, who in effect is just 1lb higher for his recent Market Rasen success. That effort was completed with the minimum of fuss and Brian Ellison’s charge has previous course form against a useful yardstick in Project Bluebook to suggest he has more to offer. With him out just a week after that win he must have come out of the race well and ready to strike once more before the handicapper reassesses his mark. Ellison does have his eye on a bigger target down the line in the Fred Winter but this Catterick course will give him a test that he can answer. Italian Riviera has done well of late for Kenneth Slack and enjoys it around this track. Three visits her have seen three wins, with two over today’s trip – one of them came 13-days ago. He steps up in class for this contest and may not have the same quality of the other pair but this former Sir Mark Prescott inmate will give his usual run. NIETZSCHE (WIN) – NAP
16:45 Newcastle A Mile Handicap for apprentices that looks an open affair given the market has opened at 5/1 the field. The one that stands out is Mount Cheiron for Richard Ford. The six year old did incredibly well to finish a close up third at Wolverhampton 11-days ago after being drawn in the widest stall and riding wide all the way around. He’s on the same mark here as he was that day and a reproduction of that form under his usual pilot Callum Rodriguez would see him go very close. He has won here before over further, so if these went off too quickly it could fall into his lap. Afkar is the one that could set this up from the front under the very capable hands of Lewis Edmunds. He’s well handicapped on old form but recent attempts at this trip have seen him beaten a long way and all three career wins have been over a seven furlong trip, so this nine year old for me looks vulnerable, especially if going off in the lead. Justice Pleasing returns here at a poor showing at Southwell last time. Dropped 1lb by the handicapper and with Ben Sanderson claiming 7lb he’s running with a off a low weight, so could bounce back into some sort of form. The four year old is a well-bred type by Kodiac and should be better than a 55-rated horse. Roger Fell’s recent runners haven’t gone particularly well, which would be a worry but could easily return to form back at Gosforth Park. MOUNT CHEIRON (E/W if 9/2+)
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There are no additional Naps today.