Published 2023/12/08

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Ellison hopeful Onesmoothoperator can double up at Newcastle

Virgin Bet November Handicap hero Onesmoothoperator returns to Newcastle for the Boost Your Acca-Fenwa With BetUK Handicap (3.30pm) on Saturday, November 7, one of two class two events on the card.

Onesmoothoperator bids to continue his strong record at Newcastle, with last month’s victory in the 12-furlong highlight taking his tally at the track to two wins and six placed efforts from 10 appearances.

The five-year-old finished third behind Earlofthecotswolds in the Marathon Championships on Finals Day in 2022, having made a successful debut in a 10-furlong novice the year before. Trainer Brian Ellison said: “I am really happy with Onesmoothoperator.

We had the option of this race or Wolverhampton and we decided to come back to a mile and a quarter because the galloping track at Newcastle suits him better.

“I was delighted with the November Handicap as he deserved a nice pot like that. He has run plenty of good races and, as a result, the handicapper has never really let him go. It was just nice that he proved himself up to it.

“We had the idea of going hurdling but the ground is not right for him at the moment. The plan is to run here and then go back to Newcastle for the trials meeting on New Year’s Day. Then we can decide after that if we want to put him over a hurdle or stay on the all-weather.”

In what looks a competitive field, G2 winner Sir Busker heads the weights as he looks to rediscover his spark for William Knight.

The seven-year-old has not contested a handicap for over two years. Felix (Marco Botti) finished third in the 2021 G1 Dubai Turf and domestically has run his best races on the all-weather, including when touched off in the same year’s G3 Winter Derby.

At the foot of the weights, To Catch A Thief makes his first handicap appearance for William Haggas after taking a Wolverhampton novice by five lengths, with runner-up Quantum Cat boosting the form next time out.

Afterwards (Ollie Pears) is another handicap debutant as he returns from 212 days off the track.

The three-year-old captured a mile novice at Newcastle in March before finishing fifth in the Listed Dee Stakes at Chester.

Zozimus (David O’Meara) steps up in trip after catching the eye over a mile last time out, while five-time all-weather scorer United Front (Mick Appleby) bids to bounce back on his first outing since early September.

Island Bandit (Heather Main), who won a decent handicap at Sandown Park in August, and Furzig (Richard Fahey) complete the field. Later on the card, Greatgadian (Roger Varian) reverts to seven furlongs in the Boost Your Acca At BetMGM Handicap (6.15pm).

A five-time winner between a mile and 10 furlongs, he has not raced over this distance since his debut in September 2020.

The 10 runners also include the lightly raced Chuzzlewhit (Kevin Ryan), who shaped with promise as he finished in fifth in the Listed Burradon Stakes on Finals Day in April.

Wolverhampton also races on Saturday evening, when the highlight is the Always Gamble Responsibly With BetUK Handicap (7.30pm) over 12 furlongs.

Owner Bjorn Nielsen looks to have strong claims with the John & Thady Gosden-trained Vaguely Royal, who landed a Newcastle handicap on his latest start.

Wynter Wildes (Charlie Fellowes) shoulders top weight after a career-best third in the Listed BetMGM River Eden EBF Fillies' Stakes at Lingfield Park a month ago.

Bascule (Richard Hughes), who has been sidelined since finishing eighth in the Chester Cup, and recent Kempton Park runner-up Graphite (Terry Kent) are other contenders to note.

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Onesmoothoperator wins the Virgin Bet November Handicap (credit: Grossick Racing Photography)

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