In May 2016, Newcastle Racecourse introduced an artificial ‘all-weather’ Tapeta surface, doing away with its turf strip used for flat racing since the late 1880s.
By September 2016, the completion of a £10 million upgrade program was finalised when the first race meeting at Newcastle under floodlights took place. And the gamble has paid off, with the new racing surface proving a massive hit with horse racing fans and bookmakers.
Newcastle Racing Tips for Today
There’s a competitive nine-race card at Newcastle on Saturday evening, with the feature race being a Class 2 handicap at 6:15pm.
Our top tipster, Charlie McCann, has a 9/2 selection running at Newcastle on Saturday - click the link below for full details and reasoning.
And we’ve also highlighted below two betting angles that could pay dividends when betting at Newcastle.
Such is the popularity of Newcastle, it typically has big fields, mostly eight or more runners, which allows for each-way betting of three places and sometimes more.
With its ‘no hiding place’ layout, quite often, a horse with big odds can sneak into the frame thanks to the better-fancied runners being drawn into a protracted battle, which leads to them dropping out in the closing stages.
On a similar theme, an analysis of winning distances at the track shows that siding with wide-margin winners can be profitable. This can be a great money spinner with the online bookmakers that offer Newcastle race odds on winning distances.
Top Newcastle Jockeys
On the flat, jockey Jack Mitchell is one to keep a close eye on - he’s sitting with a 21% strike rate at the course over the last three seasons.
While over the jumps, Ryan Mania is a jockey to keep on your side - he’s showing a £55 profit to £1 level stakes on his rides around Newcastle since 2020.
Top Newcastle Trainers
Flat racing fans should take note of Roger Varian and George Boughey sending their horses to Newcastle, with both trainers boasting a 24% strike rate with their runners at Gosforth Park over the past three years.
Sandy Thomson is the man to follow in the national hunt season, showing a sizeable profit to level stakes over the last seasons with his chase and bumper runners.
In addition, Warren Greatrex rarely sends a runner to Newcastle, but take note when he does - two of his last three bumper runners have won at the course.
Newcastle Racing Free Bets & Betting Offers
As a track which showcases its feature races on a Saturday, the leading races at Newcastle are normally covered by ITV Racing, seeing some excellent promotions and betting offers for punters to enjoy.
The Fighting Fifth Hurdle is currently sponsored by Betfair, and as a key trial for Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle, you can typically get enhanced odds about the winner going on to land the ‘big one’ in March – something Constitution Hill did last year.
Newcastle Racecourse Layout & Info
Newcastle, also known as Gosforth Park, is a left-handed course, oval in shape and is one mile six furlongs in circumference.
But the straight course, the only part of the track that is floodlit, is used for races of up to one mile and features a steady uphill climb from the outset.
It’s an incredibly fair track with no statistical evidence of a draw advantage, meaning a horse’s starting stall position rarely influences the race odds.
But there is more to Newcastle than just flat racing - even though that takes place year-round. Gosforth Park also has a national hunt course raced on during winter, featuring hurdles and chase races.
It is classed as a ‘stiff track’, which can lead to some races being slowly run and developing into a sprint in the closing stages - in-play punters will tell you Newcastle horse odds can change a lot during the closing stages of a race.
With no starting stalls in jumps racing, there is no draw bias, but it is noticeable leading riders often head to the stand-side rail in hurdle races in the closing stages.
Punters often lean towards leading northern jockeys, such as Brian Hughes, who know the worth of this racing strip through experience.
Newcastle Racecourse Top Featured Races
The five biggest races of the year at Newcastle occur on a Saturday.
With £150,000 in prize money, the Northumberland Plate, also known as the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’, is probably the best known of all. It is one of the richest two-mile handicaps in the world, and its history stretches back to 1833.
While the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle is an early-season target for many of the top hurdlers in the UK and is used as a stepping stone to the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Here are the key dates in the Newcastle racing calendar:
|Eider Chase||Handicap||4 miles 1 furlong||February|
|Burradon Stakes||Listed||1 mile 5 furlongs||April|
|Chipchase Stakes||Group 3||6 furlongs||June|
|Northumberland Place||Handicap||2 miles||July|
|Fighting Fifth Hurdle||Grade 1||2 miles||November|