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Ventur' for a Rebel return at Newcastle

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FLAT OUT: Berlin Tango ridden by David Probert wins the Unibet Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton Park. Photo: Bill Selwyn/Pool via Getty Images

FLAT OUT: Berlin Tango ridden by David Probert wins the Unibet Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton Park. Photo: Bill Selwyn/Pool via Getty Images

Getty Images

FLAT OUT: Berlin Tango ridden by David Probert wins the Unibet Classic Trial Stakes at Kempton Park. Photo: Bill Selwyn/Pool via Getty Images

Ventura Rebel can make a victorious return to action and book his ticket for Royal Ascot in the Betway Pavilion Stakes at Newcastle.

Richard Fahey's runner won his first two starts in fine style last year, springing a 20-1 surprise at Ascot last May when he accounted for highly-touted American raider Lady Pauline without too much fuss.

That run prompted connections to return to Berkshire for the Royal meeting and Ventura Rebel did them proud in the Norfolk Stakes over five furlongs.

A 16-1 shot on that occasion, Ventura Rebel did not enjoy a dream passage but was putting in all his best work at the finish, although he never looked like topping A'Ali, who reopposes here.

Just a neck separated the pair that day and with A'Ali having to concede 3lb, Ventura Rebel, theoretically, has a fine chance of reversing the form, particularly as this six-furlong trip promises to suit.

Ventura Rebel's supporters will have to forgive him for his defeat as favourite in the Super Sprint though, in what transpired to be his final run of last term.

Beaten two lengths, he was then sidelined for the remainder of the campaign but should not be underestimated here, with a step up in distance looking ideal in what is a trial for the Commonwealth Cup.

Fahey should also be on the mark with Splinter in the first division of the Betway Heed Your Hunch/British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Median Auction Stakes.

He was slowly away on his debut at the back end of last year but still managed to finish fourth, beaten just a length, and looked a likely future winner.

Newmarket's 10-race feast opens with six juvenile events, so it may pay to wait until later in the day for Mia Mento in the first division of the Play 4 To Win At Betway Handicap.

The four-year-old was rated as high as 91 when trained by Tom Mullins, but she did not quite find her stride last season and was transferred to the care of Peter Chapple-Hyam over the winter.

She shaped with a good bit of promise on her first run for the yard at Newcastle in February, finishing fourth after failing to find a clear run at the business end of the race.

Mia Mento then returned to Gosforth Park the following month but was up against it from the start as she was slowly away, and probably had to expend a bit too much energy making up lost ground which told in the finish.

Her mark of 85 still looks competitive and switching back to turf should not be a problem.

Cliffs Of Capri gave his connections a great pay day when springing a 33-1 shock at Meydan in February and he is one to consider in the Betway Handicap.

The application of blinkers that day seemed to work the oracle and he retains the headgear for this seven-furlong heat.

TODAY'S SELECTIONS

NEWCASTLE: 1.00 Bottom Bay, 1.35 Splinter, 2.10 Al Salt, 2.45 Thaayer, 3.20 Rogue Tide, 3.55 VENTURA REBEL (NAP), 4.30 High Peak, 5.05 Buniann, 5.40 Nataleena, 6.15 Brodick.

NEWMARKET: 1.15 Sacred, 1.50 Tactical, 2.25 Existent, 3.00 Creative Force, 3.35 Risk Of Thunder, 4.10 Cirrus, 4.45 Mia Mento, 5.20 Magic J, 5.55 Cliffs Of Capri, 6.30 Givinitsum.

DOUBLE: Ventura Rebel and Mia Mento.