Local Dynasty looks to build on his early promise as he tackles 12 furlongs for the first time in the rearranged Virgin Bet November Handicap (3.45pm), highlight of a strong card at Newcastle on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The Godolphin-owned gelding was considered a potential Classic prospect after winning three of his four starts as a juvenile, including the Listed Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract.
After finishing third on his reappearance in Chester’s Listed Dee Stakes, the son of Dubawi has posted decent efforts in handicaps – finishing third in the Golden Gates Handicap at Royal Ascot and fourth in another valuable contest at Newmarket’s July Festival.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Local Dynasty is a solid horse and we feel that conditions at Newcastle are there to suit. He ran well in two big handicaps at Royal Ascot and Newmarket earlier in the season and should be a player over this trip.”
Chillingham, trained by Ed Bethell, has been a model of consistency this term, most recently coming fourth in Hamilton’s Lanark Silver Bell Handicap after finishing in the same position behind Vauban at Royal Ascot.
Bethell told Sky Sports Racing: “He’s really good. He had a break after he ran at Hamilton. He just had a few niggly issues after that race so we gave him a bit of time and we targeted this race.
“We’d probably have loved it to have been at Doncaster, however beggars can’t be choosers and we’re just delighted it is on.
“I’d love to try and get his head back in front and he’s been training really nicely, especially this week he looks to have come alive for us and he did a nice piece of work on Tuesday under PJ McDonald.
“I’m looking forward to it but it’s a pretty competitive race with the Godolphin horse getting the weight for age still and looking on a bit of a retrieval mission as well.”
Beraz brings in a progressive profile, having won two of his four starts since joining Julie Camacho. Following a narrow defeat on his debut for the yard at Hamilton in May, the five-year-old went one better at the same course over the summer and returned to winning ways last time out in a 10-furlong handicap at Leicester.
Camacho’s husband and assistant Steve Brown said: “We would not have run Beraz on heavy ground but, once the race was switched to the all-weather, we were keen to have a go.
“We are happy with where he is at the moment. He has improved all year and shown himself to be a horse with a fair level of ability.
“We have been trying to progress quietly with him and Saturday will be a bigger test. It looks a very competitive race, as you would expect, but I think we are on for a big run.”
Andrew Balding’s Teumessias Fox shoulders top weight as he makes his first appearance since a luckless fifth in a valuable Racing League handicap at Windsor in August.
Laafi (William Haggas) makes a quick return after annexing a 10-furlong handicap at Newmarket last week, while the George Boughey-trained Mr Alan ran on the same Newmarket card, going down by a neck in a 12-furlong handicap.
Other contenders include recent Doncaster runner-up Mustazeed (Harry Eustace) and the veteran Euchen Glen (Jim Goldie), who makes his first all-weather appearance since 2018.
Watch Saturday’s eight-race card from Newcastle live on Sky Sports Racing with the big race due off at 3.45pm.