Sky Sports Racing Race of the Day: Sue Smith’s team can score again in Newcastle feature with The Paddy Pie

Mike Cattermole gives his verdict on the most valuable race on Newcastle’s National Hunt card, live on Sky Sports Racing on Thursday at 2:48pm

The Follow @attheraces on Twitter Handicap Chase over two and a half miles is the most valuable race on the Newcastle undercard and sees the quick comeback of Hidden Commander after his win over course and distance a week ago. He has a 7 pound penalty to overcome.


Heavy rain for most of the day on Tuesday amounted to 14mm overall with a similar amount forecast overnight and on race day. The current good, good to light condition in some places could change from good to light or possibly softer come race time as it is the penultimate meeting of the day.



An experienced hunter with three wins in 24 starts over the hurdles who won a match here last March, but has held up well ever since, even after a six-month break at Ayr. He often likes to take the lead and arguably he is best on minimal travel.

Slanelough tasted victory at Newcastle in March


Ex-French chaser who teamed up with Micky Hammond at the start of last campaign and started with a convincing win just before this trip at Wetherby.

He was largely shipped over three miles after that and took another win on this course when he recovered late to get the better of The Ferry Master in March.

He performed very respectably on his recent comeback at Wetherby, again over three miles, tiring on the break and shaping up as if he just needed to run. He started favorite that day, too. Getting back on the ride, but he could have more to offer and is well respected.

hidden commander

She deserves credit for digging deep in field and distance a week ago when she got the best of new ex-French recruit Heroique De Maulde, the pair 11 lengths clear.

He has a 7 pound penalty to overcome today, which is 2 pounds higher than his new mark. Also, the ground this time is likely to be a bit softer than last week and that may make it more difficult for him as he seems more effective on a more solid surface.

davinci hand

Both of his wins in the UK have been over two miles and at Catterick, although it looks like he’ll stick around for this ride. Inactive since March when he had a nosebleed and probably best to keep an eye on him today.

the rice cake

Featured racer who is highly experienced and is racing what is arguably his best ride ever.

A good second place at Wetherby last January was not really built and as a consequence he has now fallen to a very reasonable mark. He returned to Wetherby for his comeback run, his first in eight months, and lined up well before fading out after jumping penultimate.

Stable form has been a big concern of late, but there have been signs that things are starting to turn and, yesterday at Hexham, they were back among the winners for the first time in months. With both the ride and the softening ground now in his favor, this may well be the time to catch him.

rowdy thief

Chase debuted for him today and has his first race since a wind operation (his second), but Lucinda Russell and Peter Scudamore are in excellent form with plenty of winners of late.

Last seen winning here over the same distance over hurdles in February. He likes to run and is worthy of respect, and also strict control in betting!


Hidden Commander did well here last week, but this time the conditions will be tougher for him. Geryville is respected, but the suspicion is that it may suit him a bit more.

Now that Sue Smith’s team is back among the winners, the attractive disabled the rice cake is the choice, although 8/1 no longer exists.

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