Run over a distance of 2 miles and 56 yards, this is a handicap for horses aged three years or older and is one of the richest two-mile handicaps in the world with this year’s guaranteed pot totalling £150,000. It is set to be run at Newcastle racecourse this Saturday.
Established in 1833, the Northumberland Plate originally took place on a Wednesday, and for many years the meeting was a holiday for local mine workers and became popularly known as the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’. The race was switched to a Saturday in 1952. Since 2016, it has been run on an artificial all-weather surface having previously been run on turf.
The draw is important as since the switch to the Tapeta surface 5 of the 7 winners have been drawn higher than stall 10. Five of the last 11 winners went off favourite including last year’s victor Trueshan who produced a monster performance to win under 10 stone 8 pounds with Hollie Doyle doing the steering. Take a look at my free horse racing tips for the big race.
Trainer: Hugo Palmer
Jockey: Connor Planas (5)
Has run in the last three renewals of this race finishing 7th (beaten 7L) in 2020, 3rd (3L) in 2021 and 4th (3L) last year. A winner on seasonal re-appearance at Nottingham on soft ground has pushed him up the ratings and despite a good fifth in the Chester Cup last time is now 6lb higher than last year’s fourth. Can run well but his chance may have gone.
Trainer: Alan King
Jockey: Rossa Ryan
Trainer has won this race twice in the last four years and is looking to equal the most wins in the race. Has run in the last three renewals finishing 5th in 2020 ( beaten 2 1/2L) 15th in 2021 (8 1/2L) and 9th last year (8 1/2L). Still retains plenty of ability as shown when winning over course and distance last time out in April. A pound higher than last year and may have too much weight now as a ten-year-old.
Calling The Wind
Trainer: Richard Hughes
Jockey: Neill Callan
Has run consistently well recently following a 6th (beaten 3 1/2L) in Chester Cup with a good 1 3/4L second in last week’s Ascot Stakes over 2M 5F. 2lb well in here and can run well as long as this run doesn’t come too soon. Only two of the last 17 winners had raced at Royal Ascot the previous week and it normally pays to find a horse that comes here a bit fresher.
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Clifford Lee
Beat Rainbow Dreamer at Southwell last January but has been soundly beaten on the last two runs including when 10th of 17 at Royal Ascot in Copper Horse Handicap won by Vauban last week. Hard to fancy much as out of form and may find this coming too soon.
Trainer: Sir Mark Prescott
Jockey: Luke Morris
Interesting runner hailing from the Prescott stable. Stable has been in excellent form this last few months and this four-year-old hasn’t been seen since last October when winning at Southwell over 12F. Big step up in distance here of four furlongs although is a half-brother to the useful Dashing Willoughby who stayed well winning in Group 3 company over 2M for Andrew Balding. With stable in such fine form has to be given plenty of respect.
Trainer: Hugo Palmer
Jockey: Ben Curtis
Won the consolation Northumberland Plate last year here off of 84 in fine style and has run well on both outings this season having just been run down close home by Metier in Chester Cup (beaten a neck) prior to a credible 6th of 19 in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. 11lb higher now than last year’s consolation victory and this is a quick turnaround. Obvious claims if recovered from Ascot run.
Trainer: William Haggas
Jockey: Tom Marquand
Lightly raced four-year-old heralding from the top Newmarket stable of William Haggas who finished last season with a victory of a valuable handicap at York races on good to soft ground in October, readily winning by 2 3/4L. 8lb higher now and has fitness to prove and this will be his first run at two miles. Could be a tough ask off his mark but is given plenty of respect for top connections.
Trainer: Michael Bell
Jockey: Billy Loughnane (3)
Trainer won this race back in 2007 with Juniper Girl and this will be his first runner in contest for 14 years. Missed the cut for the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot last week, which was probably a blessing in disguise the way that Vauban won. Has yet to run on an artificial surface though apparently went to Chelmsford recently for a workout and works at home on synthetic surfaces so that shouldn’t be an issue. Steps up to two miles for the first time today and has been raised 5lb for his latest effort when obliging at Newmarket by 2L.
Trainer: Deborah Faulkner
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Picked up cheaply for just 6,000 guineas at the Newmarket horses in training sale in October 2021 having previously been trained by John & Thady Gosden with his best effort coming when 4th (beaten 2 1/4L) in the 2021 Ascot Stakes when pulling too hard. Bounced back from a 638-day absence when making all under Oisin Murphy to win over two miles at Kempton by a comfortable length and a quarter. His small trainer has only won six races (from 67 runners) in the last five years (3 from 24 this season) and it would be great if a small operator could be competitive from her Monmouthshire base.
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Jockey: Benoit De La Sayette
Soundly beaten this season on two attempts at Newbury and Chester but both came on very soft ground so could easily be forgotten. Winner at Goodwood last year and was a very good runner-up in the Cesarewitch to easy winner Run For Oscar. Only a pound higher than that run here and back on a livelier surface looks like one that could run very well with Benoit De Lay Sayette knowing him well enough having been on board on four of his last five starts.
Law Of The Sea
Trainer: Ian Williams
Jockey: Richard Kingscote
Three excellent staying efforts this season, fourth in Chester Cup, runner up at Haydock over two miles to Solent Gateway and fourth last week to Ahorsewithnoname in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot. Still relatively lightly raced with this being only his 13th career start and if none the worse for last week’s effort can run well. Wears cheekpieces for the first time.
Trainer: Charlie Johnston
Jockey: Joe Fanning
Soundly beaten in the last two renewals of this race and finds himself 6lb lower now than last year but was behind a few of these last week at Ascot and has a bit to find now. Is a pound lower than his latest victory mind which came at Ascot last August so is on a fair mark.
Trainer: Keith Dagleish
Jockey: Jason Hart
Only his eighth ever racecourse start and first beyond 1m 6F. Yet to race on a synthetic surface as well and has a few too many questions to answer now though did win at Hamilton over 1M 4F in May.
Trainer: Andrew Balding
Jockey: Harry Davies (3)
Stays this trip well having won over two miles at Kempton from Withhold in February. The latest run was easily forgotten as the ground was too soft and is a lightly raced four-year-old who could outrun his odds.
Trainer: Jim Goldie
Jockey: William Pyle (7)
A four-time winner on the all-weather who was third in this race back in 2018 but has only beaten one horse home in the last two renewals. No show on re-appearance at Ayr a fortnight ago and easily passed over as the oldest horse in the race at eleven years of age.
Trainer: William Haggas
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
One of two William Haggas-trained runners in the field. Yet to race beyond 1M 6F and has only run once on a synthetic surface (3rd in a Lingfield maiden in November 2021). Wasn’t disgraced when fourth to subsequent Ascot Gold Cup winner Courage Mon Ami in Goodwood 14F handicap last time out. Could improve for the step up in trip.
Trainer: Jennie Candlish
Jockey: Graham Lee
O from 6 on the all-weather and has the stamina to prove here having never run beyond 1M 4F on the level though is a two-time winner over timber at two miles in novice company. Would need a new trip to improve him to have any chance here.
Trainer: Ian Williams
Jockey: Andrew Mullen
Has dropped 10lb since joining Ian Williams from Owen Burrows in September 2022 but has shown little in two starts since running in Dubai earlier this year and is trying a new trip today, having never raced beyond 1M 6F nor raced on an all-weather surface.
Trainer: David Simcock
Jockey: Cam Hardie
Lightly raced four-year-old whose record on the all-weather reads 2211 including over two miles at Chelmsford last November. Bit disappointing last time at Goodwood behind Pons Aelius and not without a chance if there’s a suitable excuse for that effort.
Northumberland Plate Handicap Betting Tips
A wide-open renewal of the prestigious handicap. Many hold chances with current favourite Post Impressionist an interesting runner although we haven’t seen him this season so he’s hard to assess. Horses that come here from the Royal Ascot meeting from the previous week have a pretty poor record ( 2 winners from last 17 years) so I’m happy to by-pass the likes of Calling The Wind (2nd in Ascot Stakes), Law Of The Sea (4th), Zoffee (6th) and Themaxwecan (12th) and pick something a bit fresher.
Sir Mark Prescott’s Omniscient is an intriguing runner, stepping up in trip on his seasonal re-appearance whilst Adjuvant has questions to answer on the trip and surface here.
It would be a fairytale for small Welsh trainer Deborah Faulkner were she to strike with her well-bred Golden Rules who is obviously a difficult horse to train but stays well and should run well.
In an open race I’ll be backing Hughie Morrison’s Vino Victrix who showed his stamina and ability when running runner-up in last season’s Cesarewitch to Run For Oscar and whose two below-par runs this season can be put down to the soft ground. He looks a value each way play here at a nice price even if his starting gate of six could have been higher. I also want Welsh challenger Golden Rules as part of my staking plan as he has plenty going for him and would be a wonderful story for such a small operation if he were to pull it off.
VINO VICTRIX 1 point each way @ 16/1 with Bet365 bonus code (Paying top 6 places at 1/5 odds)
GOLDEN RULES 1 point each way @ 7/2 with William Hill promo code (Paying top 6 places at 1/5 odds)
All odds are available at the time of writing.