1:30 – Newcastle – NORTH SEA LOGISTICS HANDICAP CHASE (CLASS 2) (4yo+ 0-150) Good To Soft, Soft in places 3m
Newcastle turns from the flat to the jumps for this first time this season and have attracted a very competitive field for this Class 2 Handicap Chase with a number of young progressive horses taking part. Persuasive arguments can be made for at least half of the field, but given the conditions a chance is given to the Sue Smith trained Lackamon.
The 7 year old bay gelding is making his seasonal reappearance this afternoon after a break of 188 days. Lackamon has gone well fresh in the past winning after breaks at Wetherby and Hexham respectively in 2011. Sue Smith has her string fit for the new season as can be her winning strike rate of 27% in October with two winners and three placed horses from nine runners over the past 14 days. Rebel Swing who won at Carlisle yesterday was also making his seasonal reappearance having not run since May.
Lackomon runs over 3 miles at Newcastle today and form figures of 1,3,1 since he went chasing confirm his effectiveness over the trip. Overall he has run four times over the distance, winning twice and being placed once, including a course and distance success over fences. The going at Newcastle is Good to Soft, Soft in places. Lackamon has won three times from four starts in Good to Soft ground and twice from four runs in Soft.
He is ridden by Ryan Mania again today. Ryan has ridden Lackamon on his last two starts winning two starts back and finishing 2nd on his last run at Ayr in April. Ryan has a very good overall record riding for Sue Smith with 12 winners from 59 rides for a winning strike rate of 20.3%. However, when he rides in chases for Sue Smith his record is 10 winners from 38 runners at a strike rate of 26%.
Lackamon is up 6lbs in the handicap for his last win at Uttoxeter in March but is able to run off the same mark that he ran off at Ayr when he finished 2nd on his last start in May. Having won three times from of his eight chase runs to date he still looks progressive at trips around this distance. He won first time out last season and is running for an in form yard who know how to get their horses ready for their seasonal reappearance. Despite the competitive nature of the race Lackamon does not look overburdened off his handicap mark today and looks decent value at 4/1.