3.00 Newcastle

VEINARD (best price 5/4) is gradually getting the hang of things and this race looks the perfect opportunity for him to shed his maiden tag. Robert Bewley’s charge impressed by the way he travelled throughout his latest encounter at Wetherby, but he had the misfortune to bump into the well-fancied Seamus Mor, who was just a little too strong and a bit more streetwise for him in the latter stages. That was the first time, however, that the Shaanmer gelding had been involved in the business part of a race, so there’s every chance that in getting his nose bloodied for the first time, that experience will provide him with the right mental fortitude for similar battles further down the line.
Veinard - 2pts @ 5/4

3.45 Kempton

OPENING BATSMAN (best price 5/1)may never recapture the sort of form which allowed him to land the 2013 Racing Post Chase, but there have been glimmers – including last time out over the same C&D – that Harry Fry’s charge is still capable of running to a fair standard. The son of Morozov looked like he was about to roll back the years in that ultra-competitive handicap eventually won by The Last Samurai, but having travelled well for majority of the three mile journey, he fell into a heap once push came to shove approaching two out. On that evidence, the 10-year-old patently didn’t stay the trip and if you go back to his best form last season, 2m 4f is about as far as he wants to go nowadays. Today’s trip around his favourite track should, therefore, turn out to be ideal for him given his recent profile and he has to be worth a roll of the dice at 5/1.
Opening Batsman - 1pt e/w @ 5/1