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Love De Vega did what I expected her to do, run from the front and not see another rival and she did it perfectly under a very good ride from Ben Curtis. She was very game when Ben got stuck into her and that's just typical of a Johnston horse, they never know when they're beaten.
Newcastle 8:45 – Alligator Alley 4/1 (1pt)
I know this race is obviously a very competitive race, like all of the Racing League races are, but I think Alligator Alley‘s recent run puts him in real contention of going close in this contest.
Running off a handicap mark of 93 isn't mission impossible for my selection, he has previously won off 96 and 100 and when you consider he was rated 106 earlier this year he is extremely well-treated. It's easy to believe that rating was inflated/too high, but I think he prefers the AW surface as his record of 3 wins from 12 runs and a further 4x third-placed finishes would suggest, with him equaling the same amount of wins that he's had on turf in half the runs.
His recent form puts him bang there with the rest of them in this field. The most recent run at York which saw him finish 2nd to Equilateral who is unbeaten in handicaps is definitely a big run and the +9 difference that the racing post handicapper has rated that performance to his handicap mark would suggest that as well. He is best seen to effect running on the back of a strong pace, which is something he should get on the AW at 5f in a decent-sized field, so everything looks to be perfect for him and I expect a big performance.
David O'Meara has been in decent form over the last 14 days, racking up 9 wins. He has been targeting the Racing League a lot this year, so you know for a fact that his yard will be primed to have a very good crack at the nice prize money on offer, with the winner of this getting £51,540. Unfortunately, nothing else on the card has caught my eye and this is my sole selection for Thursday. I'd have gone with a 2pt, but this is a decent sized field and trouble in running might be a problem, so I'd rather play it safe, especially with him shortening in the market as he was at least 1 point bigger earlier in the day.
Newcastle - 8:45 pm