Saturday Racing Preview: Top Tips From Northumberland Plate Day

Betfred's Matt Hulmes gives us his best tips from Saturday's racing in Newcastle
16:00, 30 Jun 2023

An early start to the racing front this weekend with ITV committed to showing England Women’s game and the Tour De France, meaning a 12:20 opening contest to ensure coverage on the main channel.

It’s a mixture of all-weather action from Newcastle with the Pitmen’s Derby, the Northumberland Plate their feature, while a trio of turf races at HQ in Newmarket dovetail nicely and there are a couple I want to be with in the North East.


Only eight go to post in the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes and I am with MOUNT ATHOS to turn form around with Spycatcher at their Thirsk meeting in April. 

He was very keen that day which was unlike him and he was never going to see out his race the way he pulled on soft ground. He did well to hold the rest off but had no answer to Spycatcher who loves soft ground but is now 7lb worse off for that victory. 

MOUNT ATHOS has had a breathing operation subsequently suggesting there was a reason for the below par effort, he drops down to the stiff six furlongs which promises to suit and he’s two from two on the all-weather (both wins on Kempton Polytrack). 

Neil Callan in the plate is another positive after his brace of Royal Ascot victories and he has continued that good form. It’s a tight race but James Tate’s 4yo can resume his improvement.


There has been a huge gamble on Oisin Murphy’s mount Golden Rules in the Northumberland Plate. He won on his sole start for Deborah Faulkner since a 6000 guineas switch from the Gosdens and connections have been quite bullish about his chances. 

Despite a wide draw in 19, I do fancy the claims of POST IMPRESSIONIST for William Haggas and Tom Marquand. The 4yo was a progressive stayer and was very unlucky not to win at Haydock in September, meeting lots of trouble in running and proved that with an easy win at York a fortnight later. He is up 8lb for his seasonal return (13lb if you take away Adam Farragher’s claim) but he went like a very progressive stayer and is one of just a couple of unexposed stayers in the line-up. 

Two of the last three winners have come from stall 17 so there is promise and if Marquand can find a handy position, the long galloping straight will play to his strengths.

His stable companion Nathanael Greene is 15lb better off for four lengths on the York race and will have a fitness advantage. He has finished behind Epsom winner Sheer Rocks and Ascot Gold Cup hero Courage Mon Ami in two runs this season and is respected. 

Rainbow Dreamer lowered the course record carrying 2lb more on Good Friday and could go well for each way backers for last year’s winning trainer Alan King.

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