Resiliency Big Price To Turn On The Tears At Newcastle
There will be a few tears in the grandstand at Newcastle on Saturday when the last ever Northumberland Plate (3.45) takes place on turf, prior to it being switched to the all-weather next year.
The good news is that punters have one last chance at finding the final Northumberland “turf” winner, in which Brian Ellison’s Seamour heads the market at 8/1.
Seamour’s Draw Not Ideal
Europe’s richest 2m handicap has once again attracted a talented line-up, including the aforementioned, Seamour, who went unbeaten over hurdles (2-2), before converting that improvement to the Flat at Haydock last month (2m, good).
Seamour won a decent race by almost 2l that day, and the 8lb higher mark on Saturday may not stop this fast-improving 4yo, although his outside stall in 22 is not ideal…
Of the last 10 Northumberland winners…
10 were 4-7yo’s
10 were officially rated 102 or lower
10 had 2 or more handicap wins
10 ran in a handicap last time
10 had an 11-60 day rest period
9 were drawn 16 or lower
9 avoided 2m last time
9 were non-winners last time
8 had 11 handicap runs or more
D McCain Jnr won it twice
Brian Ellison also has Totalize (12/1), who was just under 2l behind his stablemate, Seamour, at Haydock, but will be 4lb better on Saturday, and any softening of the ground would be in his favour.
The above trends inform that those who avoided Saturday’s trip of 2m did well in this race, which points to Ed Dunlop’s Oasis Fantasy (9/1) who caught the eye running on strongly over 1m4f at Epsom earlier this month (good to firm). Runner-up to Quest For More (8/1) prior to that, over 1m6f at Goodwood (kept on), this step up in trip should suit.
As for Quest For More, Roger Charlton’s 5yo will be 1lb worse with Oasis Fantasy than at Goodwood, suggesting there won’t be much between them again.
Chester Cup Form
Arguably the hottest formlines in the Northumberland come via last month’s Chester Cup, though, where the winner, Trip To Paris, went on to land the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup. Around 3l behind in fourth was Gabrial’s King (10/1), who was subsequently beaten 6l by Seamour at Haydock, while the Chester fifth, Gabrial’s Star (12/1), will be of interest if any rain arrives.
Mullins’ “Dark Horse”
But, could there be a dark horse lurking in the shape of Willie Mullins’ Max Dynamite (10/1), who was last seen 57 days ago at the Punchestown Festival? This 5yo was previously fourth in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, and was lightly raced on the Flat in France. If the market speaks in his favour come Saturday, then take note.
Others of interest include the top weight, Clever Cookie (14/1), a Listed/Group 3 winner this season over 1m6f, who was a 2m hurdles winner, while Blue Surf (12/1), won a valuable Epsom handicap over 1m4f last time and was beaten by only a head when tried at 2m last autumn.
Plenty in with chances in a wide-open renewal, but the lightly raced, Resiliency, looks excellent each-way value near the bottom of the weights at 20/1.
Seen staying on over 1m6f last time, he loves fast ground and may improve some more yet.
*Prices correct at time of publication