Newcastle Northumberland Plate Day Preview
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Newcastle Northumberland Plate Day Preview

Newcastle's summer highlight is in full swing with their three-day Northumberland Plate meeting well under way. The main event is on Saturday afternoon on the Tapeta track at Gosforth Park, with the Northumberland Plate (3.30pm) and the Northumberland Vase (2.55pm) joined by the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes (2.25pm). It's an eight-race Newcastle card (1.15pm-5.13pm) and the Racing Post has analysis and selections for all the Saturday action.


1.15pm - Racing Welfare Handicap (1m4½f)

A very open start to proceedings. Brancaster boasts C&D-winning form having scored here in December 2020 on just his second start after moving to Brian Ellison. He missed 529 days afterwards, but shaped with plenty promise at York in an amateur riders' contest this month on comeback. If this second run back doesn't catch him out, he's a contender.

Last time out Wolverhampton scorer Lopes Dancer ought to find this company more challenging, while Midrarr was fifth in this contest a year ago and returns having undergone a wind op after a poor run at York last time. He's the second Brian Ellison contender.

King Of Unicorns won a turf bumper here in 2021 and was placed over a mile in a novice contest in March on this surface. He was a bit disappointing at Ripon in last month's handicap bow, but could find this extra distance favourable.

A 7f course winner for Mark Johnston last spring, GHOST RIDER may find his propensity to break slowly isn't a major hindrance upped in trip. He ran well enough here in late April and, now visored, has the potential to do better for James Horton and PJ McDonald.

Selection: Ghost Rider

Next Best: King Of Unicorns


1.50pm - Pertemps Network Handicap (6f)

STRIKE RED is 2-2 over course and distance here at Newcastle and Richard Fahey's 4YO looks to have fine claims of maintaining that perfect record now. The Dark Angel gelding ran well on comeback at Newmarket in April before a couple of lesser efforts in warm handicaps there and at York afterwards.

This month's close fourth at Hamilton was his first time partnering with new stable jockey Oisin Orr and they caught the eye finishing the race off well.

Call Me Ginger (fourth) and Tipperary Tiger (fifth) both won their next starts and the latter re-opposes here for Karl Burke. He has also run well at this venue in the past, but Strike Red looks well placed to get another Newcastle win on the board.

Bottom-weight Be Proud ran well in second at Ayr last Saturday and Jim Goldie's vastly experienced 6YO has five course wins and a multitude of experience here, rarely running a bad race around Gosforth Park.

Selection: Strike Red

Next Best: Be Proud


2.25pm - Pertemps Network Chipchase Stakes (Group 3, 6f)

Fast-improving 3YO SENSE OF DUTY is hard to oppose here for William Haggas and Tom Marquand. The Showcasing filly has won 3-4 starts and is unbeaten in two this term. Her Redcar novice score was gained in facile fashion in April and last month she stepped up into Listed company with a determined, rallying effort to overcome Flotus at Haydock (6f, good).

The runner-up ran a blinder when third in last week's Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot for Simon & Ed Crisford, while third home Benefit was a Listed winner since at Salisbury for Clive Cox. The Haydock win looks a strong piece of form and the attitude shown really bodes well for this promising young filly.

Glen Shiel is a Group 1-winning sprinter at best and boasts figures of 13211 here at Newcastle, Archie Watson's charge cannot be dismissed under Hollie Doyle.

Both Spycatcher and Edraak are solid performers and trainer Karl Burke and Mick Appleby reach for first-time cheekpieces now in bids to find that little bit extra.

Veteran Judicial, meanwhile, won this for trainer Julie Camacho in 2020 and was far from disgraced over C&D on All-Weather Finals Day in April. The market is perhaps underestimating his claims of finding his way into the frame.

Selection: Sense Of Duty

Next Best: Judicial


2.55pm - JenningsBet Northumberland Vase Handicap (2m)

A 5lb penalty for scoring at Musselburgh three weeks ago leaves Keith Dalgleish's Evaluation carting top-weight in this 19-runner consolation contest for the main event.

The 4YO has progressed rapidly to win all four turf starts since joining this yard from Sir Michael Stoute, where he was a 2m Lingfield Polytrack winner last summer. He must be on any shortlist in current mood, but the dangers are plentiful.

York winner Zealandia could challenge him for favouritism by the off. That was a first UK run for the French import and he belied odds of 33/1 to score in an amateur riders' race over 1m4f on the Knavesmire. Ian Williams will be hoping there's more in the locker upped in trip.

A useful middle-distance performer in 2019 for Tom Dascombe, ZOFFEE spent a couple of seasons with Philip Hobbs afterwards and landed wins both over hurdles and fences without ever truly looking like he'd make a major mark in that code.

He joined Hugo Palmer and ran well (third) back on the level at Salisbury in early May before a game success since at Carlisle (1m6f, good) off a mark of 81. He's only 3lb higher now and stamina shouldn't be an issue. He can have a leading say under Ben Curtis and is some value against the market leaders.

Auriferous is reliable on the all-weather and he quickly put his Chester Plate disappointment behind him when finishing close fourth at Goodwood over 1m6f on ground softer than optimal this month. He's another with place claims for Andrew Balding and David Probert.

Selection: Zoffee

Next Best: Auriferous


JenningsBet Northumberland Plate Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 2m)

Group 1 winner Trueshan is the class act, of that there's no doubt. Alan King's charge was a well-held sixth in this contest a year ago and is now rated 2lb higher. His form on turf since is outstanding, but it remains a major challenge to lump weight to 19 rivals in a contest as competitive as this one.

Summer's Knight will be sharper for his run at Newmarket six weeks ago and is a player for Sir Mark Prescott in that case, while Alright Sunshine ran a fine fourth in a Royal Ascot handicap 11 days ago and comes here in good heart.

Bandinelli left a poor Haydock run behind when going well at Ascot for a long way in that same contest. The blinkers are retained now upped in distance.

Cases can be made for the likes of Rajinsky and Andrew Balding's Valley Forge, but maybe SPIRIT MIXER will be the answer for the latter trainer.

He was a convincing Chester scorer in May (1m5½f, good) in May and things didn't go his way back there since over 2m when only fourth. With Callum Hutchinson once more taking 5lb off his back, they can be key players.

Selection: Spirit Mixer

Next Best: Summer's Knight


4.03pm - JenningsBet EBF Novice Stakes (5f)

CLEARPOINT and Harry Brown look the pair to focus on in this novice sprint. Richard Fahey's Ardad colt put lots of daylight between himself and four rivals in a winning debut at Ayr (6f, good to firm) last month and he showed more than enough dash to believe he'll be effective at this minimum distance.

He concedes 6lb to Harry Brown, a son of Group 1-winning sprinter Harry Angel, with David Simcock's gelding having made odds-on favourite Far Shot work hard at Yarmouth (5f, soft) earlier this month on debut. That rival was well down the field at Ascot in the Windsor Castle last week, but Luke Morris' mount is entitled to go close here.

Mint Edition was a 16/1 chance in a four-runner Carlisle novice last month and he swerved left, unseating Rowan Scott, as they left the gates.

Newcomers How Exciting, Mystical Dreams and Naomi's Charm will need to hit the ground running, but they all make some kind of appeal on paper, with perhaps the last-named for Karl Burke most interesting here.

Selection: Clearpoint

Next Best: Harry Brown


4.38pm - JenningsBet Handicap (7f)

Another great opportunity for the Haggas/Marquand axis to strike. BOOSALA was second-best at Chester (7½f, good to soft) last month in a contest where Ryan Moore attempted to make up late ground after the winner had got first run on him.

Giving away lots of weight, they were beaten a nose on the line and compensation may await this lightly-raced 5YO, who was also denied by a nose over this C&D in December.

Biggles has won this last three starts for Ralph Beckett and cannot be dismissed in current mood, but last-time-out Goodwood second The Attorney could emerge as a more significant threat. He's making his first Tapeta start but has won at Chelmsford and Lingfield. Trainer Charlie Hills has got the services of Benoit De La Sayette and his valuable 5lb claim here.

Selection: Boosala

Next Best: The Attorney


5.13pm - Bet With JenningsBet Handicap (1m2f)

Quite a few of these have struggled with winning in recent times. Ming Dynasty is one exception having scored at Leicester in May, but he was beaten out the gate since at York and, at ten, isn't one to rely heavily on.

Sea The Shells, by contrast, is just four-years-old and has won both previous starts on all-weather surfaces. They came at Wolverhampton in the spring of last year, so handling Tapeta won't be an issue.

He wasn't disgraced in a Newmarket Listed contest over this trip in May last year and has moved to Roger Teal during his absence. He needs a close look with Tom Marquand booked for this stable bow.

VULCAN didn't appear to handle Epsom in April in what was his first start for Ralph Beckett after time spent jumping for Dr Richard Newland. It was also a first spin in 400 days and he was much more like it last month when second of nine at Haydock (1m2f, good) behind the market leader. That race has worked out well and Hector Crouch's partner should have a say in the Newcastle finale.

Selection: Vulcan

Next Best: Sea The Shells






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V: 1.38.0 All rights reserved. August 2021