John Smith’s Northumberland Plate
The Northumberland Plate is one of the flat season’s great handicaps and there is a fiercely competitive look to the latest renewal of this historic contest.
The ground and the draw are both likely to play their part in the outcome.
Underfoot conditions may not suit the highly talented top weight, Clever Cookie who missed the Gold Cup at Ascot due to underfoot conditions there, whilst it is never easy to overcome a high draw in this race.
The draw is a bigger concern for us as most of those on our shortlist seem to have been given unfavourable berths in the stalls.
Drawn widest of all, OASIS FANTASY is still our main fancy. He has been extremely unlucky in running on his last two starts, but his handicap mark has been preserved as a result and if he improves for this further step up in trip he could overcome the negative stats. His trainer took the Gold Cup with Trip To Paris and so clearly knows how to handle a good stayer.
The other one we like also has an unpromising draw, but his price reflects it and as a result ARAMIST looks the pick of the outsiders.
The key to him will be the trip as he looks sure to be suited by two miles and could easily put up a career best effort here. Although he has plenty of form on softish ground, his handler is convinced he will handle quicker conditions here.
|Oasis Fantasy (ew)||3.45 Newcastle||14/1||Bet365|
|Aramist (ew)||3.45 Newcastle||28/1||Bet365, Ladbrokes|
150th Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby
The day’s other big race is the Irish Derby at the Curragh, which revolves around the Derby runner-up Jack Hobbs and also features shock Oaks winner Qualify.
Aiden O’Brien is always a man to fear on his home territory and GIOVANNI CANALETTO and HIGHLAND REEL look each-way bets to nothing with the dead eight going to post.
The former was fourth in the Epsom Classic despite a lack of experience and an interrupted preparation, whilst the later chased home the hugely impressive New Bay in the French equivalent of this contest, and should relish the step up in trip and quicker ground here. Both should also be suited by this big, galloping track.
|Giovanni Canaletto (ew)||6.30 Curragh||12/1||Coral|
|Highland Reel (ew)||6.30 Curragh||4/1||Stan James|
Today’s other tip is in the 3.10 at Newcastle:
|Russian Realm (ew)||3.10 Newcastle||6/1||Sky Bet|