Oscar Rock to grab the headlines at Newcastle on Saturday
Whilst My Tent Or Yours will deservedly be the star attraction at Newcastle on Saturday, Oscar Rock could well be making headlines of his own after the French Furze Novices’ Hurdle at 1.05. Trainer Malcolm Jefferson has scarcely been able to contain his excitement since the high-class bumper winner joined him from Harry Fry’s stable.
He made his eagerly awaited debut over hurdles at the start of the month and did not disappoint, drawing clear to win impressively by 19 lengths at Wetherby. There are several promising types in opposition on Saturday including easy Uttoxeter winner Ballyalton and the unbeaten Five In A Row.
Jim Goldie’s Caledonia is another interesting recruit having competed at the highest level in bumpers last season. The gelding has been kept busy on the flat over the summer and could be the one to give the favourite most to do.
The Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle is the feature race on the card with Nicky Henderson’s Champion Hurdle hope My Tent Or Yours expected to make a winning seasonal debut. The style of his victories at Newbury and Aintree last season certainly suggested that he was up to the highest class and it will be a major surprise if he is beaten on Saturday.
His main market rival is Melodic Rendezvous who has now won his last four races for Jeremy Scott. He came back from a lengthy absence to beat Far West in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton recently.
Channel 4 is also televising the Rehearsal Chase at 2.40. Grand National winning combination Sue Smith and Ryan Mania team up with Vintage Star, a game winner at Carlisle recently.
Mister Marker also ran well when second at the same venue behind Global Power and he could give the favourite a run for his money. Mr Moss was unable to recover from a mistake 3 out at Cheltenham last time but this flatter track should suit him much better and he can reach a place.
Selections: 12.05 Green Flag, 12.35 Dukeofchesterwood, 1.05 Oscar Rock (NAP), 1.35 Badger Foot, 2.05 My Tent Or Yours (nb), 2.40 Vintage Star, 3.15 Full Shift