The evidence of day one of Newcastle’s big meeting suggested that prominent racers were favoured, which is not often the way at this venue, and noteworthy as a result. High numbers have also had the best of things in recent times on the straight track, so it would appear that hold-up performers drawn low are up against it, and for that reason, I’d be inclined to side against Visionary here.
Robert Cowell’s charge is not the most consistent in any case, and while he has a chance on the form he showed at Chelmsford on his penultimate outing, that placing is surrounded by lesser efforts, and he was flattered by his proximity when 5¼ lengths last of 5 to Sir Dancealot in minor event at Hamilton last time.
Recommended: Lay Visionary for a place @ 3.5 or shorter
Top Score must be opposed from the inside stall in the Chipchase Stakes, partly due to his position on the wing, but more because his yard did well at Meydan early this year, but considerably less so when bringing the string back to Newmarket, and the fact that he was a winner in Dubai in March is almost a negative to his chances in a perverse way.
Saeed Bin Suroor has saddled four winners from his last ten runners, which makes it look like his stable is enjoying a revival, but those wins have all come via three-year-olds in either maiden or novice company, and the stats are potentially misleading.
Recommended: Lay Top Score for a place @ 3.5 or shorter
Two runs on quick ground have seen No Lippy finish unplaced as favourite, and unless the track has been badly overwatered, she looks likely to be out of the money in the toughest task she’s faced. Mark Johnston’s filly is clearly smart when getting things her way, but really ought to have done better despite a poor draw in the Hilary Needler Trophy last time.
She’s just about the pick on the figures here, but has been well below form both at Beverley and in the Marygate at York, and that suggests she needs to bully her opposition to be seen to best effect.
Recommended: Lay No Lippy for a place @ 3.5 or shorter
I was a big fan of Sir Dancealot last season when I reckoned he would win a big pot over six furlongs granted a big field and a strong pace, and while he’s done enough to suggest his day will come at some stage, a last-gasp win in a minor event at Hamilton is a poor return form his last four races. It’s true he has faced some stiff tasks, as when third to Harry Angel in the Duke of York, but he does not help himself with slow starts, and ideally needs an overly strong pace to run at in order to look good.
The step up to seven furlongs looks in his favour here, but this contest could turn tactical, and I fancy he will find himself in a poor position when the real sprint begins. That could spell disaster, and he doesn’t have anything in hand of his rivals here.
Recommended: Lay Sir Dancealot @ 4.8 or shorter