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Saturday Plate Selection

Morning all,

A veritable feast of top class racing over the next couple of days.  It’s the second day of the Irish Derby Festival with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby going off at 3:45. This side of the Irish Sea it’s the valuable Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.  You can watch the Irish Derby and the best of the action from Newcastle & Newmarket on the main ITV channel.

I have already looked at the Irish Derby and the Northumberland Plate earlier in the week. So today I have focused on the three other Newcastle races on ITV.

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Tuesday on a Saturday

The field for the Irish Derby has cut up a bit with the just the dead eight declared. The big names Westover & Tuesday remain as do the likes of Hannibal Barca, Lionel and Piz Badile.  As I mentioned in Thursday’s race preview. I think Tuesday will have too much speed for Westover and can become the first filly since Balanchine to win the race. Both Hannibal Barca and Lionel look progressive, and the latter is interesting at around 10/1.

Verdict: I’m in the Tuesday camp but if the rain arrives both Hannibal Barca & Lionel would come into consideration as possible bets.

Can Trueshan defy top weight?

It will be some weight carrying performance if Trueshan was to defy 10-8 to land this season’s Northumberland Plate (3:30). The 6-year-old wasn’t beaten far in last year’s race off a huge weight and Hollie Doyle is available to ride. Mind you that does mean there will be a lot of lead in the saddle. Still, I expect this classy stayer to run well.

It would be great to Brian Ellison finally the Plate. His runner Onesmoothoperator has plenty of course from and has yet to finish outside the first three on his six starts at the track.

Valley Forge improved for the step up to 2m when winning at Haydock last month. Unexposed as a stayer. He’s yet to race on the synthetics but on pedigree there’s no reason to suggest he won’t handle it.

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In Wednesday race preview I gave a favourable mention to Uber Cool at 33/1.  Looks like other saw the 8-year-old as overpriced as he’s now a best priced 18/1 with Bet365 at the time of writing on Friday evening. It’s his first run since November but he won first time up last season off an even longer absence. I have him at 16/1 on my tissue.

Verdict: Whilst I wouldn’t be shocked if Trueshan was able to defy his welterweight. I would still be a layer than a backer. Of the others at the front end of the betting I just prefer Onesmoothoperator over Valley Forge. The fancy prices have gone on Uber Cool but he’s my each-way play in the race.

Newcastle

1:50 – The first Newcastle race on ITV is the Class 2 Pertemps Network Handicap (6f). Twelve have been declared for this sprint handicap. Strike Red is 2-2 over C&D and the 4-year-old put in his best effort of the season when a ½-length 4th of 10 at Hamilton last time. Sound Reason hasn’t run on the synthetics since winning here over 5f early last year.  He built on his seasonal reappearance promise when beating seven rivals at Haydock (5f) last month. Up 5lb for that success but he’s going the right way and is totally unexposed over 6f. Raatea ran well enough on both starts here last year to think he’s effective on the surface. Hasn’t built on his Newmarket seasonal return performances on either start since have been great but he could easily bounce back here.

2:25 – Pertemps Network Chipchase Stakes (Group 3) – 6f

More 6f sprinters for the Group 3 Pertemps Network Chipchase Stakes (2:25). Sense Of Duty heads the betting after a hard-fought success in the Listed Cecil Frail Stakes at Haydock last month. The runner-up boosted the form of that race since finishing third in the Commonwealth Cup. The three-year-old should improve further and looks worth her place in pattern company.

Glen Shiel heads the official ratings and his form figures over C&D are 211. The first of those successes came in the 6f handicap on this card in 2020. The 8-year-old went onto win the Group 1 Champion Sprint at Ascot on Champions Day that season. Finished runner-up in the same race in 2021 and in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.  He hasn’t been at his best so far this season, but a better run could be forthcoming back here.

Group 1 winning juvenile Ebro River hasn’t been at his best on either start this season but seemed to be working back to form in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month. He might not be able to reproduce his juvenile best as a 3-year-old but if he does, he’s very much in the mix.  

Judicial won this in 2020 and was a 1¾ lengths 8th of 14 to Bouttemont in All-Weather Sprint Championships Final over C&D last time. He got place claims. The same can be said of Spycatcher who showed he was suited by C&D when a head third in that All-Weather Sprint Championships Final. He gets the first time cheekpieces here and the stronger the gallop the better his chance.

2:55 – Jenningsbet Northumberland Vase Handicap – 2m ½ f

Nineteen have been declared for the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate. My three against the field are: Monsieur Lambrays, Wise Eagle, Zoffee and Geremia.

If the go a good gallop you can’t rule out the talented, but tricky Monsieur Lambrays who was first past the post at Nottingham last time but lost the race in the stewards room. Another who will appreciate a strong pace is the consistent Ravens Ark who was a ½ length 2nd of 9 at Goodwood 15-days ago.

Wise Eagle is 3-6 at the track so no issues with the surface for the 5-year-old and he’s 2-4 over today’s trip. He’s down to his last winning mark and must be high on the shortlist.

Zoffee showed a good battling attitude to win at Carlisle (1m 6f) last month. This sort of stamina test should suit this winning hurdler and he’s respected on first start on the surface.

I put Geremia up in my eyecatcher column, after his running on 2-length 3rd of 17 over today’s distance at York two starts back. Wasn’t in the same form at Musselburgh last time but I’m happy to ignore that run as the track probably didn’t suit. The 4-year-old is 3-3 on the all-weather for his previous yard and although he’s yet to run on the tapeta he should be fine on it. Newcastle’s long straight will suit even if stall 18 isn’t ideal. However, he will be dropped and ridden for luck and if he gets the breaks there’s a nice pot in him.

Saturday Selection:

Newcastle

3:30 – 1pt each way – Uber Cool – 18/1 @ Bet365 (paying 6 places 1/5 odds)

Good luck with your Saturday bets.

John

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