Newcastle is the venue for the final round of Racing League fixtures and Robbie Wilders from the Racing Post shares three big-priced fancies on Thursday's card.
Matchless @ 16/1
Golden Mayflower @ 10/1
Muker @ 12/1
The Racing League action has been some of the most competitive around in recent weeks and there is rarely too much disparity between the shortest and biggest-priced runners.
The races are wide open and the first horse I like at likely decent odds is Matchless for Ivan Furtado in the 1m2f handicap (6.15).
Matchless is at his best when making the running and has been drawn perfectly in stall one for Lewis Edmunds to execute those tactics.
A formerly smart operator for Aidan O'Brien who ran as a pacemaker in the 2021 Irish Derby, Matchless hardly ever runs a bad race and produced his best performance for the Furtado stable on Racing Post Ratings on his last run when a close second to three-year-old Value Theory.
Raised 1lb for that effort, Matchless is a big player if replicating that form and might not see another rival.
Another who could be underestimated is Golden Mayflower, who tackles the mile handicap (6.45) and returns from a 90-day break following wind surgery.
Golden Mayflower is by some way the least exposed runner in this field with just four starts to her name and two of those were of particular promise.
She scored on her debut at Lingfield last autumn before running a good second in a conditions race in April, and subsequent struggles behind Group 1 winner Nashwa on her first turf start in a Newbury Listed race and in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot are perfectly forgivable.
The fact Amy Murphy is only 8 per-cent with horses returning after a wind op is an obvious concern, but that statistic is only slightly inferior to her overall 10 per cent strike-rate, and at the likely odds Golden Mayflower looks worth chancing off a mark of 81.
It is still early days with her and it is encouraging she has a win and a second from two all-weather starts.
Sprint specialist trainer Paul Midgley has recently acquired Muker from Phillip Makin and he could be underestimated in the concluding 5f handicap (8.45).
Muker was rated 103 last May, but a string of regressive performances have led to his mark falling 22lb to 81.
However, it has been more like it from Muker since he joined Midgely and he shaped well on his return from a year off at Thirsk in August when third to the well-handicapped Alligator Alley.
The son of Mehmas ran to a similar level next time at Haydock off a mark of 85, but returns to the all-weather off a career-low mark and that could be the key to him.
The best performance of his career came on a synthetic surface when he finished a neck second to Urban Beat in a Dundalk Group 3, while he is one from one over this course and distance as he accounted for the smart Significantly on his debut at two.
The icing on the cake is the fact Muker has been drawn widest of all in stall 14, which is no bad thing for a front-runner on Newcastle's straight course, as he can bag the rail and take some pegging back.
I've few doubts Muker will win races for Midgely, and perhaps that will occur at Newcastle.