With all the all weather racing taking place regularly at Newcastle over the winter, you can easily forget the wonderful jumping that also takes place every now and then, on these chilly afternoons at Gosforth Park.
We send five to the track, with Onlyfoolsownhorses first up at 11.45.pm. Since being plagued with injury during large parts of 2018-2019, he has struggled over hurdles and fences to find any form, but last time at Carlisle he was staying on at the finish over two and a half miles, giving us hope that he is on his way back to the form he showed when notching up a hat-trick in 2017. This time he steps up to an extended two miles and seven furlongs, with Billy Garritty riding him for the first time.
Fortia missed her engagement at Hexham last weekend because of the heavy ground, but that will not be a problem this time, as the going at Newcastle at the time of writing is good. Fortia has yet to strike form since joining us last December, and has become a well handicapped horse.She is now 16lb lower than when given her first mark, after being beaten a neck at Worcester in 2018. It is welcome back to Alain Cawley who has been out injured for the last three months, and just has this one ride on the card at 12.18.pm, as he works his way back to full fitness.
Convivial has her third try over hurdles, and should receive a handicap mark after this.She went close to winning on two occasions on the flat in the summer, proving that the ability is there. She has raced in two hot novice hurdles to date, and although this one looks a shade less competitive, she will come into her own once handicapping.The race is at 1.23.pm, and Becky Smith retains the ride.
Wishful Thinking makes his stable debut in the 3.10.pm, with Joe Colliver in the saddle. He raced in Ireland for the Henry De Bromhead yard, running five times between February, and September of this year, and failed to get competitive in a bumper, and four hurdle races. He has been allotted a mark of 98, and we should learn more about him from the race.
Grand Du Nord will carry the famous colours of Middleham Park Racing, in the concluding bumper at 3.40.pm, with Joe Colliver taking the ride.Since they were set up in 1995 they have had an incredible 1,160 winners, 64 of which have been this year alone.They have chosen Micky to train this four year old French bred gelding, who was purchased for £23,000 at the Aquana Lumet Show Sale, in June.
Good luck to the connections,The Cheltenham Trail & Proform Racing, Samuel Sutton & Partners, Grange Park Racing Xv1, D H Lees & Sons Limited, and Middleham Park Racing & S Nicols