Windsor Cross gets a tick

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London – Windsor Cross should appreciate a switch back in trip in the 32Red.com Handicap at Newcastle on Thursday.

Richard Fahey has pitched his charge over 1600m on his last two starts, but the three-year-old has seemingly found it tough going in the closing stages on both occasions, hitting the frame without really troubling the victor.

Those efforts suggested a drop to 1400m would be in his favour, an opinion underlined by the fact his sole win to date came over that distance at this track back last November.

Windsor Cross was a convincing winner of a moderate heat that day, prompting the handicapper to give him a starting mark of 81 – a perch which has dropped two points after his recent efforts.

That dip in the ratings combined with the shorter trip can put Windsor Cross back on the winning track.

Twizzell showed signs of a return to form on her first start of 2018 and is one for the shortlist in the Betway Sprint Handicap.

Nine races last year yielded a win and a handful of places, but she looked as though she was ready for a break when downfield at Newcastle in October and trainer Karl Burke duly gave her a rest.

She returned with a 1.50-length second at Gosforth Park last week and now clearly refreshed, can kick on again here.

Tangramm can make it two wins from his three latest starts in Chelmsford’s Bet totequadpot At betfred.com Handicap.

He scored over the same 2000m he faces here on his penultimate outing but fell a length short when sent off favourite at Wolverhampton last time. That race was really not run to suit him so hopefully he will enjoy better luck this time.

Sun Cloud can repeat his victory of four years ago in the Watt Fences North Yorkshire Grand National Handicap Chase at Catterick.

Malcolm Jefferson’s charge may be approaching the twilight of his career, but lines up here in cracking form with a rating just one point higher than that successful 2014 perch.

The 11-year-old has triumphed on his last two starts, winning on heavy ground at Perth in September before following up on better ground at Sedgefield in November. He won off a mark of 127 on that latter occasion but has since been eased 1.5kg in the weights, which is a definite plus.

Ballydine made a decent impression on his return from over 600 days off and can continue on an upward curve in the Leicester Annual Badge Holders Chase at Leicester.

He looked a useful tool over hurdles, chasing home Barters Hill in a Grade 2 at Doncaster in January 2016 before being tried at the top level at Aintree that spring.

Ballydine was then sidelined until making his chasing bow at Haydock last month, when he ran a cracker to finish second, beaten just a neck after looking likely to drop away at one stage.

If he can avoid the bounce factor, Ballydine is worth a shout. – Press Association

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