SATURDAY 2:20 NEWCASTLE 2m½f CLASS 2 CONDITIONS EVENT
It looks between Australis stall 4 and Mildenberger from stall 9 for the early speed unless Jim Goldie or Alan King sacrifice one of their runners to ensure a decent gallop. Australis and Mildenberger are closely matched on early speed figures and either look likely to set a steady gallop as I doubt they will take each other on. The steadier the gallop the more this will suit Stargazer who does have some very quick closing sectionals.
Mildenberger and Rainbow Dreamer are 6lbs well in on official ratings. Mildenberger finished 4¼L in front of Rainbow Dreamer on the same terms in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes in June. Australis finished just over a length in front of Rainbow Dreamer (rated 21lbs superior) and 4¼L in front of Carnwennan (rated 10lbs superior) over CD in the Northumberland Plate Handicap in June. Due to the weights Australis is now 17lbs wrong at the weights with Rainbow Dreamer but only 1lb with Carnwennan. Raymond Tusk beat Mildenberger 1¾L in this race last year but Raymond Tusk was officially rated 5lbs superior then compared to 7lbs inferior here. Carnwennan does have the best last time out AW Speed Figure but would be well short of Mildenberger, Raymond Tusk and Stargazer on their day. I have taken a chance though on Stargazer won this race in 2018 when 8lbs wrong at the weights in a time of 212.1 secs. He is 2 from 8 on the AW and although he did race a bit closer to the speed over 12½f here in November he has been held up in 6 other runs at the track. He has a great record over CD of 1,2,1,2 and the latest win came off this mark in a Class 2 Handicap in April 2019. He has been consistently very quick with his closing sectionals over CD only ranging from 11.56 to 11.67 sec/fur which is almost a full second quicker than the PAR. Generally starts his move just between 3 to 2 furlongs out
SATURDAY 4:30 NEWCASTLE 7 FURLONGS CLASS 2 HANDICAP (0 TO 105)
I doubt this will be run at a frantic gallop with doubts about the possible early speed runners.
It wouldn’t be a race I will be getting too involved in but I am going to take a risk at decent odds in Ventura Lightning who is still relatively lightly raced with only the 8 career runs to date. Both of his career wins have been over 6f on turf and he did run ok here over 6f in a Group 3 when he finished just over 2¾L fifth of 13 off a mark of 100. That form has worked out well with sixth, seventh, eighth, tenth, and eleventh all winning since including at Group 2 and Group 3 level with all bar one of those subsequent winners now rated 100+. The main worry is the record of No Nay Never progeny here and this straight 7f trip as he was beaten almost 20l on his only try over the trip albeit in a Royal Ascot Group 3 so my thought process is in him simply outclassing them.