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Today on Sky Sports Racing: Griezmann's Hooking seeks Easter Classic glory

Elegant Man tops the weights for All-Weather Championships feature at Newcastle, but will have Penzance and Antoine Griezmann's Hooking for company; also on the card, Dear My Friend will be tested by Fast Raaj, while Max Vega headlines the Marathon Handicap; watch live on Sky Sports Racing

The Easter Classic returns to Newcastle
Image: The Easter Classic returns to Newcastle

It is All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle, where Elegant Man and Penzance headline a fiercely-competitive field in the Easter Classic.

4.10 Newcastle - Elegant Man and Penzance head quality Easter Classic field

Elegant Man will top the weights for the Adrian Murray and David Egan combo in the BetUK All-Weather Easter Classic Middle Distance Handicap, and he arrives in grand form having scored nicely at Dundalk in January. A mark of 108 is high enough but he remains with plenty of scope and looks a Group horse in the making.

Mick Appleby's Penzance has improved at a remarkable rate of knots, winning his last four starts and progressing from a mark of 74 up to 98. He heads the dangers under usual pilot Ali Rawlinson.

Andrew Balding's Teumessias Fox warmed up for this by claiming a classy handicap at Kempton on his last start and the course-and-distance winner is another for the shortlist, along with all-weather specialist and French raider Hooking.

4:40 Newcastle - Dear My Friend and Fast Raaj feature

The Charlie Johnston-trained Dear My Friend took the Burradon Stakes on this card last season and rates the one to beat as he concedes weight all-round under Joe Fanning in the BetMGM All-Weather Championships Mile Handicap. The four-year-old son of Pivotal has won his last three starts, including when seeing off the reopposing McLean House at Lingfield last time, and must defy a mammoth weight of 10-1.

Finalists - are you ready?
Finalists - are you ready?

Watch every race from All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Newcastle, all live on Sky Sports Racing on Friday, March 29, from 1pm

French trainer Yann Barberot won this race with Bouttemont in 2022 and Fast Raaj looks to have a cracking chance under Alexis Pouchin. A winner on his prep run for this at Chantilly earlier this month, he has a nice draw in stall six and the hold-up performer should have each-way claims given a fast pace to chase.

Of the others, Balding's Lingfield winner Fantastic Fox has claims upped in class under Oisin Murphy, while Lincoln Trial front two Kingdom Come and Final Voyage should be in the mix.

Also See:

1.53 Newcastle - Max Vega the one to beat in Marathon Handicap

Ralph Beckett's seven-year-old Max Vega has proved a superb servant for the yard, winning five times including three stakes' contests, and a repeat of his recent Wolverhampton success could see him hard to beat under Rossa Ryan in the BetUK All-Weather Championships Marathon Handicap.

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Alan King's Spartan Army is unbeaten in three starts on the all-weather and, having narrowly defeated Prydwen at Lingfield on his last start, he is fancied to go close off a 4lb higher mark.

Ralph Smith saddles Palace Boy who chased home Spartan Army on his last start at Southwell in February and arrives here fresh with George Rooke in the plate, while Prydwen has also been declared.

Best of the rest

Silent Age and Room Service are the standout runners in the Listed Burradon Stakes at Newcastle (1.18), while Al Rufaa will be aiming to halt Asgard's Captain's hot run of form in the Vase Middle Distance event (2.05) at Lingfield. The Listed Cross Country goes off at Fontainebleau at 3.00.

Sky Bet odds I Today's cards

Watch every race from Newcastle and Lingfield on Sky Sports Racing on Friday March 29.

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