4.05 Newcastle – SONG OF LOVE (nap)
The selection, trained by Shaun Harris, is a son of Fastnet Rock who was in fine form for previous handler Joseph O’Brien 12 months ago, landing the third of three victories for that stable in a 12f handicap at Dundalk last February (all five career wins gained at that venue). He was soundly held from a revised mark of 82 next time and joined current connections soon after, offering little during the remainder of 2017 albeit highly tried on occasions, and his two latest runs at Southwell last month (within seven days of each other) saw him run his best race of the year over 12f before shaping like a non-stayer over 2m next time. He has since undergone surgery for his breathing, having regularly worn a tongue tie for previous connections (has never done so for this yard), and now switches to a surface on which his sire’s progeny have a particularly good record. He is also now 9lbs below his highest winning mark and only 2lbs above his lowest; undoubtedly a risky proposition and this looks a decent race for the grade, but there’s enough reason to believe this gelding isn’t a lost cause just yet and no surprise to see him outrun his odds.