Newcastle puts on two valuable Fast-Track Qualifiers on Wednesday, January 8 - the £30,000 Betway Conditions Stakes (2.30pm) over five furlongs and the £25,000 Bombardier Golden Beer Conditions Stakes (3.00pm) over a mile.
Up for grabs is a free and guaranteed start in the corresponding final - the £150,000 Betway All-Weather Sprint Championship or the £150,000 Bombardier All-Weather Mile Championship - at Lingfield Park on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 10.
Former All-Weather champion Corinthia Knight (Archie Watson/Hollie Doyle) faces six opponents in the Betway Conditions Stakes. He captured a Fast-Track Qualifier over the course and distance in February, 2018, his only previous appearance at the track, on route to victory in what is now the Ladbrokes Three-Year-Old All-Weather Championship on Finals Day.
Royal Birth (Stuart Williams/Jason Hart) is another standing dish in All-Weather sprints and the nine-year-old recorded his biggest victory to date in the Listed Betway Hever Sprint over five furlongs at Lingfield Park in 2017.
Good Effort (Ismail Mohammed/Ben Curtis) finished fifth in the G3 Bengough Stakes at Ascot in October and has followed that up with two good performances on the All-Weather. The five-year-old was narrowly denied by Watchable (David O'Meara/Shane Gray) in a course and distance handicap on November 21, before relishing the step up to six and a half furlongs when posting an impressive conditions race victory at Deauville, France, on December 14.
Iain Jardine is hoping Lomu (Paul Mulrennan) can take another step forward after winning both of his starts since joining the trainer. Lomu broke the five-furlong track record at Wolverhampton on his first start for the yard in early December and doubled up over the same course and distance on December 20, beating Royal Birth a length, despite encountering trouble in running.
Jardine, who is based in Carrutherstown, Scotland, said today: "Lomu is in tremendous form at the moment and seems to be on the improve.
"He won well at Wolverhampton the last day, having broken the track record there the time before.
"I suppose there have been some fast horses around there in the past, so to go and do that was pretty impressive.
"I think he relies on a strong pace to aim at, which you are generally guaranteed in a five-furlong race.
"Wednesday is obviously tougher and he will be wrong at the weights with a few of them, but he is going the right way which can be important in races like this.
"I think he is capable of running a big race and it would be great if we could get him to Lingfield on Good Friday. There is great prize money on offer and I suppose Wednesday will tell us more in that respect."
Lomu's previous trainer Keith Dalgleish saddles consistent six-year-old El Hombre (Callum Rodriguez), who finished third behind his former stablemate at Wolverhampton on December 20.
Course scorer Hareem Queen (Karl Burke/Clifford Lee), the only filly in the field, completes the seven runners.
Via Serendipity (Stuart Williams/Hayley Turner) sets the standard in the Bombardier Golden Beer Conditions Stakes with an official rating of 107. The six-year-old defied top weight to win a mile optional claiming handicap at Kempton Park in October and was not disgraced over the same course and distance last time out when fifth behind Set Piece in the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Hyde Stakes on November 20.
Another Touch (Richard Fahey/Barry McHugh), the winner of a Listed race on turf at Pontefract in 2017, is defending a 100 per cent record on the All-Weather following a pair of decisive victories so far this winter. The latest of those successes came in a class two handicap at Lingfield Park on December 31, when he defeated Goring by two lengths.
Fahey said today: "Another Touch is in good order and is due to go up in the ratings to 101, so we thought this was worth a go and we will see what happens.
"To be honest, Another Touch had a little issue when he came back from Dubai and he is just getting his confidence back now.
"The horse at the bottom Via Serendipity is the one to beat on ratings, but we are happy with our fella and he must have some sort of chance."
Raydiance (Karl Burke/Ben Curtis) and Home Before Dusk (Keith Dalgleish/Callum Rodriguez) also come into the race in winning form, following victories at Southwell and Wolverhampton respectively.
Trevithick (Bryan Smart/Graham Lee), who is a two-time winner over the course and distance, completes the five runners.
Newcastle's eight-race Tapeta programme starts at 1.00pm and ends at 4.30pm.