George Boughey will be looking to hit the ground running in 2023 with his all-weather star Pocket The Packet, who aims for a fifth all-weather win at Gosforth Park.
2.20 Newcastle – Packet tries to Pocket another prize
Pocket The Packet disappointed when favourite last time but it wouldn’t shock if he bounced back in the talkSPORT Download The App Handicap (2:20) at Newcastle.
Kevin Stott takes the ride, having won on his two previous starts before only finishing sixth last time out for the George Boughey team.
A pair of handicap debutants will also be worth considering in Tantalus (Ben Haslam) and Deepdale (Ed Bethell).
2.30 Hereford – Saint Segal looking to follow up
Jane Williams looks to have a decent novice chaser in Saint Segal, who will look to defy a penalty in the Vickers.Bet Novices’ Chase (2:30) at Hereford.
The five-year-old won well on chasing debut at Chepstow, although possibly has a tougher task this time giving weight away to a pair of rivals who have a higher rating.
They are Christopher Wood and Dans Le Vent, whilst Brian Hughes rides Grey Skies who disappointed last time but has some decent form prior to that.
3.30 Hereford – Loup aims to maintain excellent form
Loup De Maulde is away from his beloved Huntingdon but still has a great chance of taking his record to three wins in his last four starts in the Cazoo Handicap Hurdle (3:30).
Apprentice rider Toby Wynne keeps the ride on the Robbie Llewellyn-trained six-year-old, who put in arguably a career best run last time.
He will have to take on 11 rivals and faces softer ground than might be ideal – that could put Mountain Leopard in the picture for Venetia Williams, with ground and trip likely to suit.