The runners in the Gosforth Park Cup are likely to go off hard up front too, so a horse that sits a little way off the pace could be the way to go
There are several very competitive and classy events scattered around Friday’s five Flat meetings, and a card over the jumps at Cartmel as well, but the Gosforth Park Cup Handicap at Newcastle’s evening meeting is possibly the pick, with 14 runners due to go to post and even the 25-1 outsider Confessional offering the odd bit of recent form that gives him a squeak.
Orion’s Bow is the favourite for a race with a first prize of almost £30,000, despite having failed to register a win in three starts this season and his last half-dozen in all since a success from a mark of 97 at Hamilton last July. The bare form does not tell the whole story, however, and Tim Easterby’s gelding is likely to improve significantly on his latest run over five furlongs at Musselburgh, when he could not find running room in the final quarter mile and finished with plenty left to give. The six-year-old also has winning form on Newcastle’s Tapeta surface and even holds an entry in the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August, but he has top weight and a mark of 104 to defy, 7lb higher than for his most recent win, which makes a price of around 100-30 look thin in such a competitive race.