The North sit sixth after two weeks of the Racing League, although they have a 'home' fixture on Thursday with Newcastle hosting the third meeting; Quinn's team will have a maximum of 14 runners across the card; watch the Racing League this Thursday on Sky Sports Racing
Tuesday 23 August 2022 17:13, UK
Former Newcastle United striker and racehorse trainer Mick Quinn is team manager for The North in this year's Racing League - live this Thursday on Sky Sports Racing - and discusses his team's prospects.
Thursday evening's fixture at Newcastle feels like a home game for me and Team North. It'll be great to be back in the Toon where I enjoyed so many good times in my football days and I'm banking on the support for us being as enthusiastic as it is across the city at St James' Park.
We're all guns blazing with a maximum of two runners in all seven races and plenty of solid form chances so I'm really hoping to see us climb the table and close the gap on London & The South and Wales & The West, who have made such a strong start.
Don't miss a single minute of the action as the Racing League continues at Newcastle, live on Sky Sports Racing, on Thursday, August 25
Though we sit sixth of seven in the table after the first two rounds, I'm happy enough to have had a winner at each of the opening fixtures at Doncaster and Lingfield Park. We didn't have the same strength in depth at the Surrey track which was riding deep and didn't suit some of our horses.
It's a different scenario this time, though, with Richard Fahey spearheading our attack with no fewer than eight of our 14 representatives. Richard was really keen to run SOLAR JOE and DOUBLE DEALING, in particular, so I'm backing his judgement in those races.
Solar Joe's only win came over a stiff mile at Pontefract last month but he ran well to be second over 10f at Haydock Park last time and Richard is bullish about stepping him up in trip again in the William Hill Best Odds Guaranteed Racing League Race Fifteen Handicap (5.45).
In fact, the Musley Bank maestro had the option of running him in the 10f race on the same card but insists the greater test of stamina will play to his strengths. We also have proven stayer MIDRARR in the line-up from the stable of Brian Ellison, who grew up a stone's throw from Gosforth Park and is a big Newcastle supporter.
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Between them, the Malton due can get us off to the best possible start. Richard links up with in-form young jockey Harrison Shaw, whose ride on Solar Joe is one of three for the stable on the night. I'm chuffed to see young Harrison going so well - he won on Buckshaw Village for us at Lingfield - and this fixture is another showcase for his undoubted talents.
Harrison has ridden plenty of winners for Declan Carroll in recent weeks and the pair has a great chance of making the winner's podium again with NATCHEZ TRACE in the William Hill Extra Place Races Racing League Race Sixteen Handicap (6.15).
He'll stay the 10f trip well, having won over further at Southwell, and is officially a 1lb well in under his penalty. In the same race, Ben Robinson is doing his minimum weight of 8st 10lb to ride MY LITTLE QUEENS, who has crept into this off a rating of 70.
She belongs to the Richard Fahey Racing Club, so she won't be short of support and is already a winner at this distance. DOUBLE DEALING was one of the first horses Richard nominated for the Racing League and could provide us with one of our best chances of a winner at the meeting in the William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Racing League Race Seventeen Handicap (6.45).
This four-year-old is a multiple winner on the All-Weather who ran a sound race over course and distance on last month's return from almost a year off. In fact, the horse he was third to, Sound Angela, was fourth in a Group 3 at Deauville on her next start.
Backing him up is the ultra-reliable LOVE YOUR WORK, who is the first runner of the series for Sedgefield-based Rebecca Menzies. His best form has been achieved over 1m but he stays further which is a bonus on a track with such a demanding finish.
My good friend Patsy Cosgrave will be making the long journey from Newmarket for a good book of rides including Richard Fahey's GUMDROP in the William Hill Pick Your Places Racing League Race Eighteeen Handicap (7.15).
Richard was keen to run him in this rather than the 6f race as he stayed on so well to be a close second over 7f at Thirsk last time. He's well drawn in stall nine, right next to stable companion ZIP and Harrison.
Zip is a course and distance winner who is beginning to look very well handicapped and I couldn't think of a better time for him to bounce back to winning form! Patsy gets the plum ride on the progressive MINNESOTA LAD in the nursery, the William Hill Bet Boost Racing League Race Nineteen Handicap (7.45) for my man Fahey.
This colt finished powerfully to win a 5f Beverley maiden earlier this month and looks ready for the additional furlong off a workable mark. Though I haven't yet played a Joker, I've got a good feeling about this race as we also run Goodwood Festival winner PRAIRIE FALCON.
He's a first runner in the competition for Michael Dods and looks well treated off just a 2lb higher mark with Ben Robinson at the helm. There's a long way to go so I'm not rushing to commit the first of my two permitted Jokers but I must admit I'm tempted!
Dual Doncaster winner TRUE MASON showed his versatility by winning around the tight bends at Wolverhampton last time for my potent strike force of Carroll and Shaw but must overcome the lowest draw in the William Hill Play Responsibly Racing League Race Twenty Handicap (8.15).
At least we have Richard's recent Haydock winner STRAITS OF MOYLE on the other side of the draw so I'm not ruling out a strong finish to the card.
The lucky last is the William Hill Build Your Odds Racing League Race Twenty-One Handicap (8.45) which looks even more open.
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Scott Dixon, who I'll be relying on heavily in Round 5 at his home track Southwell next month, sends ZARGUN up north. Patsy's mount should find this less demanding than the Stewards' Cup while Richard's five-year-old SHOW ME SHOW ME will race beside him from the high boxes.
He was second over course and distance off a 6lb higher mark last year so could be on a dangerous mark.
Whether we can hit the back of the net three times, just like my other beloved team Newcastle did against Manchester City at the weekend, remains to be seen, but I'm confident I've put out a strong enough line-up to keep the big guns from the south a little quieter this time.
Watch every contest on Week 3 of the Racing League from Newcastle live on Sky Sports Racing (Sky 415 | Virgin 535) on Thursday 25th August.