Northumberland Plate tips and runner-by-runner guide to Saturday’s 3.30 at Newcastle

Trueshan heads the field... and has to give lumps of weight to his rivals!

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

Trueshan faces a huge task in the Northumberland Plate as he must give 19lbs or more to all 19 of his rivals.

Having skipped the Ascot Gold Cup due to unfavourably firm ground conditions, Alan King’s superstar stayer has been rerouted to Saturday’s 3.30pm at Newcastle, a year after finishing sixth off top weight in the lucrative handicap.

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Chester Cup third Rajinsky appears to be the leading threat as up-and-coming jockey Harry Davies claims a valuable 5lbs. Onesmoothoperator is also prominent in Paddy Power’s betting having never finished outside the top three at Newcastle in six course appearances.

You’ll find Northumberland Plate tips from our horse racing experts and a nifty runner-by-runner guide to the 20 horses below.

Northumberland Plate runners

Trueshan

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Hollie Doyle Age: 6 Weight: 10st 8lbs

Established himself as the best stayer in Europe last year, winning Goodwood Cup, Cadran at Longchamp and Long Distance Cup at Ascot. Took Nottingham listed race on return but asking an awful lot of him to defy a mark of 120 (only sixth in this last year off 118).

Red Verdon

Trainer: Ed Dunlop Jockey: Ben Curtis Age: 9 Weight: 9st 3lbs

Admirable veteran who has more than paid his way over the years, winning 10 times in total and countless good efforts in defeat. Poorly placed at Royal Ascot last time but would still be a surprise winner.

Rajinsky

Trainer: Hugo Palmer Jockey: Harry Davies Age: 6 Weight: 9st 3lbs

Genuine and reliable stayer who looked better than ever when winning 2m Ripon handicap on return. Good third in Chester Cup under this rider since and was unlucky not to finish closer when placed in this 12 months ago. Lots to like.

Alright Sunshine

Trainer: Keith Dalgleish Jockey: Billy Garritty Age: 7 Weight: 9st 1lbs

Not seen to best effect in this last year and good placed efforts in handicaps last 3 starts, fourth of 16 in Copper Horse at Royal Ascot (14.2f, good to firm, 40/1) 11 days ago, closing all way to line. Respected.

Rainbow Dreamer

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Kevin Stott Age: 9 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Nine wins from 32 Flat runs. 1 win from 3 runs this year. Bit below form fifth of 12 in class 2 event at this C&D (10/1) 71 days ago, unable to sustain effort. Needs to get back on track.

Island Brave

Trainer: Heather Main Jockey: Benoit de la Sayette Age: 8 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Placed in this last year before game display when accounting for Alright Sunshine and others in the Old Borough Cup at Haydock in September. Struggled to make an impact since, though, tenth of 16 in handicap at Royal Ascot (14.2f, good to firm) 11 days ago.

Bandinelli

Trainer: Charlie Appleby Jockey: Tom Marquand Age: 4 Weight: 9st 0lbs

Winner of 3 of his 4 starts after being gelded last year and perfect start to this season when landing a 2m handicap at Kempton in March. Subsequent effort at Haydock was too bad to be true, and shaped as if quickly back in form at Royal Ascot since.

Spirit Mixer

Trainer: Andrew Balding Jockey: Callum Hutchinson Age: 4 Weight: 8st 13lbs

Took his form up a notch in recent months, completing a quick-fire staying hat-trick in emphatic fashion over 13.4f at Chester. Not best placed when fourth off revised mark there 2 weeks ago.

Themaxwecan

Trainer: Charlie & Mark Johnston Jockey: Jason Hart Age: 6 Weight: 8st 13lbs

Well backed to land small-field Goodwood handicap (2m) in September. Best effort since when creditable tenth of 19 in handicap at Royal Ascot (20f, good to firm) 11 days ago.

Tribal Art

Trainer: Charlie & Mark Johnston Jockey: Joe Fanning Age: 4 Weight: 8st 12lbs

Improved over long distances this season, winning on return at Wolverhampton before good efforts in defeat, including when seventh of 19 in handicap at Royal Ascot (20f, good to firm, 40/1) 11 days ago. 2m should prove more suitable but drawn widest.

Summer’s Knight

Trainer: Sir Mark Prescott Bt Jockey: Luke Morris Age: 4 Weight: 8st 12lbs

Typical improver for the yard, registering fifth career success at Haydock (14f) in September in impressive fashion. Shaped as if better for the run when fifth of 6 in handicap at Newmarket (14f, good) on return 43 days ago. Makes tapeta debut. Interesting.

Pirate King

Trainer: Charlie Fellowes Jockey: Cam Hardie Age: 7 Weight: 8st 11lbs

Good record on the Lingfield polytrack, runner-up again there 2 starts back. Sixth of 9 in handicap (11/1) at Epsom (12f, good) 67 days ago. Significantly up in trip. Cheekpieces on 1st time.

Who Dares Wins

Trainer: Alan King Jockey: Saffie Osborne Age: 10 Weight: 8st 11lbs

Smart dual-purpose performer at his best and won this 2 years ago off 6 lb higher. Has aged well so not dismissed back in this sphere.

Golden Flame

Trainer: Charlie & Mark Johnston Jockey: Connor Beasley Age: 4 Weight: 8st 11lbs

Largely consistent stayer who ended 2021 with success from the front at Haydock (14f) in September. Better for return when second back at that venue but trip too far when fifteenth of 19 in handicap (25/1) at Royal Ascot (20f, good to firm) 11 days ago.

Onesmoothoperator

Trainer: Brian Ellison Jockey: Ben Robinson Age: 4 Weight: 8st 11lbs

Useful sort with a consistent record on the AW. Stiff task on turf debut last time and this test much more suitable.

Graphite

Trainer: T. J. Kent Jockey: Ray Dawson Age: 8 Weight: 8st 10lbs

Smart miler in France for Andre Fabre in 2019 who produced best effort for current yard when scoring at Ascot last August. Better for return when good third of 8 in handicap at Kempton (12f) 24 days ago. Significantly up in trip. Makes tapeta debut. Not taken lightly.

Valley Forge

Trainer: Andrew Balding Jockey: David Probert Age: 4 Weight: 8st 9lbs

Struck in the big-field Melrose Handicap at York last season. Career best when winning 12-runner handicap at Haydock (16.2f, good, 4/1) 35 days ago by head from Golden Flame. Makes tapeta debut. Remains unexposed as a stayer and shortlisted.

Sir Chauvelin

Trainer: Jim Goldie Jockey: Paul Hanagan Age: 10 Weight: 8st 8lbs

Still useful despite veteran status, having notched 3 wins on the AW this winter. Good record here but may find this too competitive at this stage of his career.

Uber Cool

Trainer: Jane Chapple-Hyam Jockey: Robert Tart Age: 8 Weight: 8st 7lbs

Did well last season, including when winning at Chester on return, so no forlorn hope on belated comeback here.

Solent Gateway

Trainer: Hugo Palmer Jockey: Andrew Mullen Age: 4 Weight: 8st 6lbs

Encouraging stable debut when going close at Epsom on return. Excuses both starts since but needs to settle better back up in trip.

Trueshan

Northumberland Plate tips

Fran Berry: It’ll be some effort if Trueshan can win this off top weight but I like Alan King’s second string RAINBOW DREAMER. He’s been dropped 4lbs since running in April. His form is good and he likes the all-weather track. He’ll do me!

Matt Chapman: I’ll take a chance with another Keith Dalgleish runner in the shape of the seven-year-old ALRIGHT SUNSHINE who is ridden by Billy Garrity. My hope has a decent racing weight of 9st 1lb, and a mark of 99 is workable as he showed when fourth behind Get Shirty at Royal Ascot. That was over a bit shorter than this but he stays no problem at all. Strong place claims at least. Was an unlucky 10th last year off the same mark.

Mick Fitzgerald: I feel a bit mean deserting Trueshan as he is the best horse in this contest. However, the burden of 10st 8lb and the fact he was beaten in the race last year has to be a little concern. Throw in the fact that he was a non-runner twice at Royal Ascot last week and I’m swerving him. Brian Ellison has not won the Northumberland Plate and it is one of his life ambitions. I feel ONESMOOTHOPERATOR gives him a very good chance. He ran very well at the track behind Earlofthecotswolds on all-weather finals day. Andrew Balding has a few chances in this and Valley Forge has to have a big chance for him and David Probert.

Timeform: Loads to consider but it could be worth chancing SUMMER’S KNIGHT, who was most progressive as a 3-y-o and should prove all the better for his comeback run. The veterans dominated this last year and Graphite could be the pick of the older brigade trying this trip for the first time, while the likeable Rajinsky and the progressive Valley Forge are also high on the shortlist.

Ruby Walsh: This seems a hard race to pick a winner so I’ll go with ALRIGHT SUNSHINE as he could place. Billy Garritty rides for Keith Dalgleish and he came home well at Ascot. He’s consistent and he usually runs a solid race. He likes to come off the pace and he’s a good each-way play.

Jason Weaver: TRUESHAN has been kept off the racecourse because the rain hasn’t arrived and he turns out for another crack at this contest after a fair effort in here last season. He’s an improved model this time round and there’s no getting away that he goes particularly well for this pilot Hollie Doyle as well. It’s a big ask under a big weight but he’s a big boy who can handle all that’s thrown at him.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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