Racing returns in the UK on Monday with a highly competitive 10-race card on the all-weather at Newcastle. Nick Luck has previewed the best of the action.

Can’t wait for Monday

I can say with my hand on my heart that trying to work out an early season card at Newcastle has never been more fun. We always obsess about how many people we might convert as racing fans, but you can be in little doubt right now that if you like it, you really love it.

If the prospect of a 10-race card on the all-weather was once a bit mundane, it is now the most improbably exciting prospect.

Appleby’s new recruit can take the opener

Such emotional overload is in stark contrast to the M.O. of owners The Horse Watchers, the outrageously successful partnership spearheaded by my RTV colleagues Chris and Martin Dixon. I have long learned it’s foolish to second guess this outfit, and I’m sure they’ll go close in the opening Class 6 handicap (1:00pm) with new acquisition STONE MASON.

This sparely campaigned and nicely bred horse showed enough for Roger Charlton to suggest he is not badly handicapped, has been gelded, and is a half-brother to a horse who was stakes class at Meydan when there was a synthetic surface laid.

Bond’s Boy to outgun his rivals

Richard Fahey had 33 initial entries for this card, suggesting that work mornings at Musley Bank have been a good deal busier than usual. The Malton maestro can strike in the Class 4 contest over six furlongs (2:10pm) with BOND’S BOY, who sets a very decent standard here.

His third to Classic hopeful Under the Stars at Newmarket, when doing best of those held up, is strong form, and the presence of a couple of smartly housed newcomers may make him a workable price.

Journey looks a Magical bet for Tate

Similar comments apply to MAGICAL JOURNEY in the second division (2:45pm), who might easily already be a Listed winner had she not had a shocking trip on her second start last autumn. James Tate’s achievements last year went slightly under the radar – I suspect that won’t be the case much longer.

Fans can go Wild for Edric

I’ll be a bit more original in selecting WILD EDRIC in the six-furlong Class 4 handicap (3:20pm).

This horse can throw in the odd real clunker, but they mostly come at Haydock. His best form invariably comes at this distance, he’s very effective on the all-weather and is reunited with the excellent jockey Richard Kingscote.

Writing’s on the wall for Broadcast

WRITTEN BROADCAST gets the nod in the Class 5 handicap (3:55pm), having lost the plot since a very promising early showing last year for Richard Hannon. There’s clearly a hole in him, but he’s well treated now, has been gelded and has joined Jedd O’Keefe – the first time might be the best time to catch him.

Bhangra can put her best foot forward in five-furlong sprint

I’m clearly in a forgiving mood for the resumption, as I am getting stuck into BHANGRA in the five-furlong sprint (4:30pm). This one is from the family of Airwave and, while never likely to scale those heights, could be okay judged on a fluent win at Windsor last year. She ran horribly at Southwell, but there were valid veterinary excuses that day, and she can make amends here.

Quinn’s contender the one in the Lucky last

I will be lynched if I don’t mention the debut appearance of LUCK ON SUNDAY in the finale (6:15pm). If you get a horse named after your show, it’s very flattering that she should be a two million Euro sales topping Galileo full sister to multiple Group One winner Alice Springs.

Even more heartening is that she is trained by John Quinn, with whom I’m lucky enough to have been a small owner for many years. I’ll be cheering her on for sure, but the loudest cheer will come at 1:00pm with the opening of the stalls for the first. It’s great to be back.

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