Dream Malfunction can be backed to stay true and straight in the 32Red.com Handicap at Wolverhampton.
Capable trainer Joe Tuite is probably still getting to know the three-year-old filly, having been based with Joseph O’Brien as a juvenile.
But Dream Malfunction showed at Lingfield last month that she could make into a decent operator over middle distances. As such, she is taken to poke her head in front at the sixth attempt.
Tuite made the bold call to step her up to a mile and a half on her most recent visit to the racecourse, and the gamble nearly paid off.
The daughter of Mastercraftsman finished second to 2-1 favourite Sotomayor on what was her first spin since November.
It was awfully reassuring, most tellingly from a stamina perspective, to see her arrive fast and late to get to within a length and three-quarters of the winner.
Dream Malfunction has gone up only a few pounds in the handicap for this encounter, which is not exactly off-putting when one factors into the equation that Sotomayor renews rivalry off a 5lb higher mark.
Berlios perhaps holds the key to the Betway Sprint Handicap. Rebecca Bastiman’s five-year-old has been a consistent presence throughout the winter – and yet he has not won in nine starts since his transfer from David Barron’s yard.
Berlios did, however, get very close at Newcastle last time when he came from well off the pace to finish second behind Windforpower, who held a one-length advantage at the line. His trainer’s decision to revert to six furlongs with the gelded son of Excellent Art could finally tip the scales in his favour in what is a fairly workaday sprint.
Esspeegee should once again run with honour in the Betway Handicap at Newcastle. The five-year-old son of Paco Boy has been a grand servant for Alan Bailey and won four on the spin – two of which at this track – between October and January.
Esspeegee came mightily close to a five-timer at Lingfield on February 16 but succumbed to Smiley Bagel by just a neck.
That was another feisty performance from Baily’s inmate and it would be foolhardy to dare suggest he has now reached the end of his tether.
Esspeegee returns to Newcastle off a 3lb higher mark, but it is interesting Bailey has appointed Darragh Keenan, who claims an exceedingly handy 7lb.
Super Florence has every chance in the 32Redsport.com Handicap.
This grey daughter of Zebedee caught the eye on her debut for the Iain Jardine yard at Wolverhampton last month, when she finished second to Brockey Rise in a six-furlong handicap.
That was her first start since October so it should have done her the power of good.
It will be interesting to see how she gets on back over five furlongs and running off the same handicap mark.
NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Esspeegee (next best), 6.15 Adventureman, 6.45 Harmonica, 7.15 Super Florence, 7.45 Fountain Of Time, 8.15 Lord Caprio, 8.45 Suwaan.
WARWICK: 2.10 Bob Mahler, 2.40 Harefield, 3.15 Red Infantry, 3.50 Drumlee City, 4.25 The Last Bridge, 4.55 Cabaret Queen
WINCANTON: 2.00 Run To Milan, 2.30 Innisfree Lad, 3.05 Shee’s Lucky, 3.40 Master Burbidge, 4.15 Wandrin Star, 4.45 Hazel Hill, 5.15 Cloudy Glen.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.20 Berlios, 2.50 New Street, 3.25 Kristal Hart, 4.00 DREAM MALFUNCTION (NAP), 4.35 Custard The Dragon, 5.05 Jeremy’s Jet.