Friday, 30th June 2017
We head up to Newcastle for our feature betting target this weekend, the Northumberland Plate (3.30) – one of the most competitive handicaps run up North….
A field of 20-runners will head to post. Of course, the race has changed significantly in recent times. The class 2 contest over the 2-mile trip is now run on the all-weather….
I’m not too sure how that will affect the race trends over the years to come but, whatever the surface, it remains a challenging task to win this race from a wide draw. The last 4 winners – on flat and the sand – were drawn in stalls 3314.
Spare a thought for the connections of Clever Cookie….
In stall 20, he’s drawn widest of all tomorrow and he appears to be jinxed. Trainer Peter Niven has been in the papers bemoaning the fact that his charge has been drawn out wide on four visits to Ascot. Now he’s out in the car park at Newcastle – and up against it as a result….
Recent renewals suggest contrarian price-seekers like us are up against it too with the last 4 winners going off at 8s or shorter. Some punters will stick to the top-of-the-market types on that basis….
And it is Sir Mark Prescott’s Flymetothestars who is attracting all the early money.
The 4yo is lightly-raced, he’s won twice already on the Newcastle track and he won over 2-miles at the first time of asking on his seasonal debut in May. He’s also landed a decent-enough drawn in stall 7.
There’s a lot to like. But 9/2 is skinny enough for me in a 20-runner handicap. I’ll be sticking to my contrarian ways and looking beyond the shorties and down the list.
It doesn’t matter how many single-figure horses have won over the last 4-years or the last 40-years come to that….
Favourites can’t and don’t win them all and the trick is to anticipate the unexpected when everybody else is taking the outcome as read….
We won’t get it right every time, of course. But that’s the game we play. We want to be on at prices. Nobody ever got ahead following the money and running with the herd….
Before we get onto my thoughts, I should let you know that you can back any of tomorrow’s runners at a massive 100/1 with Racebets….
That’s right. It’s not a misprint. They will lay you 100/1 about any runner in tomorrow’s Northumberland Plate.
Of course, there’s always a catch. To qualify for the price, you’ll need to be opening a new account. And they’ll only lay the price to the tune of £1 each-way.
But a value price is a value price. And, if you were looking to get hold of a new account, the enhanced price would make now a very good time to obtain a Racebets account….
Jim Goldie’s SIR CHAUVELIN heads into this race on a career-high mark of 99. That will put some money off. But this horse appears still to be progressing. He’s put in a series of decent efforts this term and I reckon he remains competitive on this revised mark.
His form is better than it reads on paper. He met trouble in-running at Musselburgh and then again at Chester in the Chester Cup. And his win last time out at Hamilton (where he’s 3 from 3) came over a 12f trip that is surely not optimum yardage for the 5yo.
In last season’s Northumberland Vase (the consolation race for the Plate) he was 4th under Paul Mulrennan who resumes his duties on the horse for Goldie tomorrow.
Jockey and trainer will have learnt plenty that day which will be helpful tomorrow. And Goldie has had this race in mind for a while.
The horse is another year stronger, on a nice upward trajectory and he’s drawn in stall 6. I can see him running a big one at the 16s.
I don’t want to play for the place money. Instead I want to be two-against-the-field – backing both win only.
And Saeed Bin Suroor’s NATURAL SCENERY is my second pick at the 10s.
She’s returning off a break – we’ve not seen her since the AW Championships in April – but I’m not concerned about that. Bin Suroor can get them ready first-time-up and the vibes from the yard are positive.
Josephine Gordon is unbeaten on the horse in 3 rides and she’s booked again tomorrow. She was onboard when the filly won over course and distance back in February – a clear career-best – and they weren’t stopping that day. The 4yo showed a good turn of foot. And more of that tomorrow will see her go very close.
She was well-fancied last time at Lingfield in the Marathon but it didn’t come together that day. Newcastle appears to suit better than Lingfield and she’s a strong candidate tomorrow.
The Contrarian Bet Box….
To recap on where my contrarian money will be going tomorrow afternoon….
In the Northumberland Plate (3.30 @ Newcastle)....
That is my take on where the value lies – but you will no doubt have your own ideas and that’s exactly as it should be.
That’s all from me for now.
I’ll be back in your inbox a little later today with ATC Extra.
Until then. Stay tuned.