Northumberland Plate Preview – Saturday 30th June
Last updated: June 29, 2018 by Leon Marshal
The feature race at Newcastle on Saturday is the £150,000 Northumberland Plate over two miles. The race is also known as the Pitmen’s Derby and is one of the top staying handicaps of the season.
Only Underhand (1857 to 1859) has won the Plate three times, Tominator being the most successful horse in recent years with victories in 2011 and 2013. Other notable winners include Celeric (1996), Sergeant Cecil (2005), Overturn (2010) and Quest For More (2015). Last year’s race was won by Higher Power for James Fanshawe and Tom Queally.
Withhold gamble for Northumberland Plate
Bookmakers are bracing themselves for another pay-out on Roger Charlton’s Withhold. The five-year-old gelding was the subject of a major gamble in last season’s Cesarewitch Handicap at Newmarket. He was racing off an official mark of 87 that day and ran on strongly to beat London Prize. The handicapper has put the gelding up 12lbs for that success but punters have latched on to him ahead of Saturday’s race.
Amazing Red is a progressive five-year-old gelding trained by Ed Dunlop. He beat Golden Wolf comfortably at Newmarket last time and has been raised 5lbs. He is already a winner over two miles on the all-weather at Kempton and looks to be a leading contender here. Frankie Dettori was aboard at Newmarket but is unavailable due to commitments in Ireland. Jim Crowley has been booked to ride the son of Teofilo.
Higher Power bids to repeat last year’s victory and comes here in good form. He was beaten two and a half lengths by Weekender at Chelmsford last month. He is only 1lb higher in the handicap and Tom Queally retains the ride.
Lagostovegas bids for big race double
The Ascot Stakes is often a good guide to this race and the form is represented here by winner Lagostovegas. The six-year-old mare is trained by Willie Mullins who targets these big staying handicaps with his sharper hurdlers. She wore a hood for the first time at Royal Ascot and responded well to pressure. Lagostovegas is dropping down half a mile in distance and is up 5lbs in the weights.
Natural Scenery was runner-up in this race last year under Josephine Gordon. The Dubawi mare has been tried in Group 2 company since, most recently finishing sixth to Vazirabad in the Dubai World Cup. The return to handicaps could bring about an improvement and she is 2lbs lower than in 2017. Paul Hanagan takes over the reins on Saturday.
Sir Chauvelin also comes here after running well at Ascot. Jim Goldie’s gelding was runner-up to Dash Of Spice in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes over a mile and a half. He finished a fair sixth in this race last season and is just 1lb lower.
Byron Flyer has always threatened to win one of these top staying handicaps for Ian Williams. He was beaten only half a length by The Grand Visit at Haydock last month but disappointed next time behind Amazing Red.
Mark Johnston saddles three runners here with Time To Study, Watersmeet and Soldier In Action. All three look fully exposed and could be in the grip of the handicapper at present. Lord George was only beaten a nose by Funny Kid in the Lingfield All-Weather Championships in March. He was unlucky not to hold on that day but has been put up 4lbs by the handicapper.
Northumberland Plate Betting Tips
Amazing Red @15-2 BlackType
Each-way ¼ odds, 1,2,3,4
The Northumberland Plate is due off at 2.05pm at Newcastle on Saturday 30th June and will be televised live on ITV.