Turf Talk: Royal Brave can call the tune at Newcastle

Cloudy Dream with trainer Malcolm Jefferson of Newstead Cottage Farm, Norton.
Cloudy Dream with trainer Malcolm Jefferson of Newstead Cottage Farm, Norton.
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Fortune can favour Royal Brave in the Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer Handicap at Newcastle.

The Rebecca Bastiman-trained five-year-old has not won since June 2015, when in the care of William Muir, but he has been really consistent this year – without getting the luck he might have deserved.

That was definitely the case over this course and distance in October, when he was drawn away from the thick of the action but fairly stormed home for third spot in a 14-runner, five-furlong handicap.

Bastiman must have been well chuffed with Royal Brave under the circumstances and will not be too flustered by the fact he’s gone up a pound as he remains very much on the right side of the assessor.

Age Of Elegance has plenty going for her in the Hop House 13 Handicap.

Twice a winner at Beverley in the summer, the Roger Fell-trained filly was a big eyecatcher over a mile and a half at this track on November 6.

Despite having gone on her way at princely odds of 20-1, the four-year-old daughter of Makfi came home an encouraging fourth in a good race.

That effort probably deserves upgrading, too, as she hit traffic problems one and a half furlongs from home and had to be switched out wide by PJ McDonald. Age Of Elegance was only beaten three and a half lengths and nothing appeared to be finishing quicker. She races here off the same mark of 77, which is steep enough but seemingly not insurmountable.

The return to 10 furlongs should not be a stumbling block, either, as she is twice a winner over that distance.

Cloudy Dream can take another quiet step along the chasing ladder when he lines up at Haydock.

The six-year-old grey finished runner-up in the Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr last season, but connections have always felt he could be even better over fences.


ASCOT: 1.00 One Of Us, 1.35 Qualando, 2.10 Thomas Campbell, 2.45 La Vaticane, 3.20 Waldorf Salad, 3.55 Cyrname.

HAYDOCK: 12.50 Capitaine, 1.25 Cloudy Dream (next best), 2.00 Wyfield Rose, 2.35 Ash Park, 3.10 Ceporine, 3.45 Monty’s Award.

NEWCASTLE: 3.40 Age Of Elegance (treble), 4.15 The Blues Master, 4.45 Blue Rocks, 5.15 ROYAL BRAVE (NAP), 5.45 Cadeau Magnifique, 6.15 Arctic Angel, 6.45 Lady Bacchus.