Gum can stick it to Newcastle rivals

Steve Hughes has two big race selections on the middle day of three at the Curragh and Newcastle Festivals.

There is a much stronger feel about the card at The Curragh on Friday with Group 1 action included. However my preference is for the staying Curragh Cup earlier in the afternoon. I also have a selection from the traditional Friday night highlight of the meeting at Newcastle, the Gosforth Park Cup.

Curragh 3.45: Latrobe

The brave winner of the Irish Derby here last year, Latrobe has failed to win in seven starts since. However the attempt to turn him into a 10f horse has clearly failed and instead a return to a longer distance can pay dividends.

His one attempt over as far as 14f saw him finish a fine second here in the St Leger last autumn and he faces nothing of the quality of Flag of Honour here. He did go on to finish second in a Group 1 over 10f in Australia over the winter.

However he has been soundly beaten in three attempts at the trip in 2019, most recently when fourth at Royal Ascot last week. He was staying on strongly late there and although this race comes quickly off the back of that run, his main challengers also took part at Ascot and arguably had harder races.

Newcastle 6.35: Eeh Bah Gum

A horse I have been following all summer to date, I am sure there is a big sprint in Eeh Bah Gum over 5f this season and I am hoping it will be today’s Gosforth Park Cup for the in-form stable of Tim Easterby.

He has had no luck in running on his past two starts, most recently when a fast finishing fourth in the Dash at Epsom, but I think this stiffer track could play to his strengths. His last win came over an extra half furlong at the Ebor meeting at York last summer and the stiff and straight course here will suit.

He only has one run to his name on sand, where he was well beaten at Chelmsford, but that track is round a bend and on a deeper surface that favours front runners and he was drawn wide that day which was a big disadvantage. I am therefore prepared to give him another chance on an artificial surface.

Recommended bets:

1pt win – Latrobe – 3.45 Curragh – 5/2 general

1pt each-way – Eeh Bah Gum – 6.35 Newcastle – 8/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

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