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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

4.35 Newcastle, Thursday, June 23

The Betfred “Home Of Goals Galore” Handicap (4.35) is an interesting contest as far as we’re concerned because just two of the runners, Can’t Change It and Mr Bossy Boots, have experience of the Tapeta surface and that was 18 months ago. In fact, they filled the first two places in a 0-80 handicap over 7 furlongs at Wolverhampton at the first meeting held on Tapeta, in August 2014.

On that occasion, Mr Bossy Boots won readily by three-quarters of a length and is 3lb better off at the weights, so must remain of interest despite the form being a while ago. His last win came in a 0-95 affair over 7 furlongs at Lingfield in April, off a 3lb lower mark, so while he failed to make much impression when stepped up in class at Ascot and Sandown the last twice, it’s hard to say that he’s impossibly handicapped. He probably needs to improve a little to win but, having run well on both attempts on Tapeta, that’s by no means out of the question and he must have a sporting chance.

Can’t Change It is in the form of his life, having recorded a career-best effort, by some way, when winning comfortably at Goodwood on his reappearance in May. He has gone up 8lb in the weights as a result, but is clearly thriving. In fact, granted his earlier form on Tapeta, he’ll probably be much too short to be considered ‘outsider’ material so, for that reason alone, he is passed over.

The other one that catches the eye is Free Code, who makes his debut Tapeta after failing to trouble the judge in four starts so far this season, but makes a quick reappearance after running at Redcar last Saturday. The Kodiac gelding made a promising start to the season when fourth of 12, beaten 3¾ lengths, behind Teruntum Star over a seemingly inadequate 6 furlongs at Newmarket in April and, although his subsequent form over 7 furlongs is nothing to shout about, he is starting to look well handicapped off a mark of 88. In fact, he’s1lb lower in the weights than when winning at Doncaster last summer, so would have an excellent chance if anywhere near his best.

Selections: Newcastle 4.35 Mr Bossy Boots, Free Code

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