This weekend's premier horse meeting comes courtesy of the North East Flat Racing calendar and the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.
After a week of bad news on the football front, here's hoping Racing will bring some sunshine into the lives of the Geordie faithful.
Tom Wilson in collaboration with GIVEMEBET brings us a preview of the top races at Newcastle this weekend.
2:25 Newcastle (AW) 29 JUN 2019 6f Betfair Exchange Chipchase Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo+)
The Chipchase Stakes is a Group 3 race for 3yo+, with a prize fund of £39,679 to the winner.
The market is headed by short price favorite, Invincible Army, who is currently 7/4 with GIVEMEBET. James Tate’s runner makes an appearance after a disappointing run in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot and connections will be hoping that a drop down in class will help change fortunes.
At this price, he is a horse I’m keen to take on, he may have started the season in a rich vein of form, but a retrospective look at those races could cast shade on the quality of horse he was beating.
Starting off his campaign with a victory in the Listed Cammidge Trophy Stakes at Doncaster on 30th May, subsequent form coming out of this race looks startlingly weak. Of the other competitors that day, they have had 13 runs since with a grand total of zero winners.
The form from his victory in the Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2) at York on 15th May can also be brought into question. Two of the runners have come out since and recorded wins (El Astronaute & Ornate with two wins a piece), that being said, the highest win from the field comes in the Listed Class and no Group winners have materialized.
I would therefore query the depth of this race as a true Group 2 caliber renewal and am happy to take on the form.
Mr Lupton (7/2 with GIVEMEBET) is also a solid competitor at this level, but the horse that I’m going to side with is last year's winner Abovetherest. He’s been in poor form recently, but returns to good conditions and will relish coming off the pace at a hold-up track like Newcastle.
Each Way Fancy: Above The Rest @ 10/1 with GIVEMEBET
3:00 Newcastle 2m½f (2m56y) Betfair Exchange Northumberland Vase Handicap (Consolation Race For The Northumberland Plate) (Class 2) (3yo+)
For horses unable to compete in the main event of the day, the Northumberland Vase provides a consolation race, with the winner netting £46,668.
Canford Heights (7/1 with GIVEMEBET) has the profile of a horse that I like for this type of race. His sire is Irish 2000 Guineas winner Canford Cliffs and his mother, Higindi by Mondeju, brings stamina to play in the pedigree.
He has some decent form in the book, beating a good horse in Elegiac in a handicap at Haydock at the back end of the season and he’s an interesting prospect and rather unexposed when stepping up to this 2 mile trip.
Stamford Raffles is an average horse over 1m4f – 1m6f distances, but over 2m he absolutely comes to life. He runs off a handicap mark of 91 in this race, with handy claimer Paddy Bradley taking 3lbs off.
He is 3 of 5 when running over the 2 mile trip and is a previous course and distance winner, most notably, his win over the 2 mile distance at Kempton in February. Here he beat 107-rated Spark Plug, Grey Britain (106) and Higher Power (105) and will have a huge chance running off 91 on anything like the same form.
Each Way Fancy: Canford Heights @ 7/1 with GIVEMEBET
Each Way Fancy: Stamford Raffles @ 22/1 with GIVEMEBET
3:35 Newcastle (AW) 2m½f (2m56y) Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo+)
The Northumberland Plate is the feature race of Saturday’s action in Newcastle. Gibbs Hill from the Roger Varian yard has been subject to sustained market support all week, so can he land the gamble for the trainer here?
Mootsadir (20/1 with GIVEMEBET) carries top weight in the race, he is the son of Dansili and is a classy horse that runs off of 112 here, with claimer Dylan Hogan taking a further 5lbs off. He steps up to a 2m trip for the first time, which could present an angle to bring out further improvement.
Dansili, his sire, has previous at the trip having also sired 2m winner Illustrious Blue, while his mother, Mahoohba, was a high class horse herself, with wins at 1m4f at Listed Class and 1m2f in Group company.
Godolphin send Red Galileo (12/1 with GIVEMEBET), with Saeed Bin Suroor’s gelding arriving off the back of an impressive win in a 1m6f handicap at Nemarket. The form of that race looks strong with The Grand Visir emerging from the race to win the long distance staying race at Royal Ascot.
Being by Dubawi, the step up to 2m on a Tapeta surface will suit and his progeny are 2 of 4 (50%) when stepping up to 2m on the surface for the first time.
On collateral form with Red Galileo is Speedy Boy who can also be very competitive. He gets a 5lb swing in the weights since his two length defeat at Newmarket and could overturn the placings and claim the £92,000 pot for Ian Williams.
Each Way Fancy: Mootsadir @ 20/1 with GIVEMEBET
Each Way Fancy: Red Galileo @ 12/1 with GIVEMEBET
Each Way Fancy: Speedy Boy @ 14/1 with GIVEMEBET
All odds accurate at the time of publishing and are subject to fluctuation. T&C’s apply. 18+. www.begambleaware.orgNews Now - Sport News