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NEWCASTLE this weekend with two runners, both of which we hope have decent chances of getting another winner on the board.

Slanelough looking ready to go

First up is good old SLANELOUGH (1.23), who was fantastic going from the front here back in November. He raced with loads of energy and enthusiasm that day over a longer trip than normal. He’s had a decent break since his last race and is going well at home, so everything seems set for him.

The only thing I do hope is that the ground isn’t as sticky as it was at the Boxing Day meeting because that wouldn’t allow him to play to his strengths with his jumping. But as long as it’s not too holding and he can use the way he jumps, then we should be fine.

Slanelough settles much better in his races these days and that’s why we’re happy going two-and-a-half miles with him now. This is a tougher contest than last time and he’s up six pounds for the win, but he’s such a genuine horse who always tries his heart out so hopefully he’s got a solid each-way chance.

Gentleman De Mai

GENTLEMAN DE MAI (1.58) has been slowly making his way back after missing most of last season. He’s stepping up to three miles for the first time, which is exciting because he’s a big galloper and this should be his game. This is a higher grade race than we ideally would have wanted for him at this stage because he’s still only rated 106 and this is a 0-125 but this was the only suitable one we could find over a big track and a longer trip.

Even though he’s going to be asked plenty of questions in this grade, we’re eager to see him tackle the three miles and are hopeful he’ll go well.


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