Having spent the winter in the Middle-East, where he won a decent handicap, Saeed Bin Saroor’s gelding can land the Chipchase Stakes on Saturday believes Seymour Biz.
It’s an early start for the Geordies on Saturday due to commitments by ITV to the World Cup in Russia. So it’s a case of mad dogs and Englishmen going out in the midday sun with the first race due off at 12.20. They have a back up meeting at Newmarket, but they are looking to finish the programme for around 2.15 as the soccer kicks off at 3.00. The Northumberland Plate, also known as the Pitman’s Derby is for the third year split, with those horses not making it into the premier race able to contest the Northumberland Vase. There is due to be twenty runners in each race and the winners will be tough to pick, but I have given a review of the first four races on the card and hopefully they will give some pointers.
The first of the television races is the 12.20 at Newcastle, the Betfred “Supports Jack Berry House” Handicap, a six furlong sprint. Top weight Ekhtiyaar is also at the top of the betting, and Roger Varian’s charge is looking to get his season off the mark after his latest poor run at Newmarket. That was in early May and it was reported he lost a shoe during the race and was only 2 and 1/2 lengths behind the winner, so perhaps he can be forgiven. Tim Easterby has a strong hand here and his top rated Orion’s Bow should be noted if turning out here. A dual winner at the course, he has been running over 5 furlongs but is a better horse over six. Shanghai Glory for Charles Hills ran a good third to Aces at Epsom at the beginning of the month, he was hampered that day and with a clear run can go well here. But I will look to another Easterby horse, Staxton, he was less than 2 lengths behind Encrypted at the recent York meeting where he was keeping on in the final furlong. He is lightly raced and this contest looks the ideal opportunity for him.
The Betfred TV Chipchase Stakes is at 12.55 and some classy animals have been declared for this contest. Richard Fahey’s Kimbrella is the bookies favourite, he was only beaten a nose last time at Hamilton by Sir Dancealot and will be looking to go one better. Sir Michael Stoute sends up Dream Of Dreams who could finish only seventh to Brando on his other run this season, he will be looking at improvement on that. Saeed Bin Saroor also sends a runner up north for this big prize, Top Score. This gelding wintered in Dubai winning a good handicap during his time there, he also ran a good third to Jungle Cat. He looks to be the class horse in the race after his early season form in the Middle East and will be used to having the sun on his back.
So we come to the Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap at 1.30. This is a race for horses not able to get into the Plate and here I look to Mark Johnston’s Addicted To You. He was favourite last time out at Newmarket but unseated his rider, Harry Bentley, after veering sharply right after just a furlong. He had a great win on the all weather at Chelmsford prior to that coming home by ten lengths. The Grand Visir from William Haggas’s stable is fancied for this event after his latest victory at Haydock where he had several of these behind him including Byron Flyer and Euchen Glen. Dannyday from Sir Michael Stoute’s stable is a course and distance winner, he was well beaten at Ascot last week but could improve on that here. Currently at a bigger price is Willie Mullins’s Meri Devie who ran twice at Ascot running down the field on both occasions, however it could be different matter on the all-weather.
The big race of the day is the Pitman’s Derby at the ludicrously early time of 2.05. The full title is the Stobart Rail & Civils Northumberland Plate Handicap and the hot favourite for this is Roger Charltons Withhold. He has not run for 259 days when he landed the Cesarewitch by nearly 4 lengths. He was gambled on that day and it is hard to see him doing the same here especially without a prep run. Amazing Red has had a good season up to now with two fine wins, the latest at Newmarket, Ed Dunlop will have him tuned for this. There are a couple of Ascot heroes declared including Lagostovegas and Dubawi Fifty who only went down to him in the final strides. Well fancied is Natural Scenery from Saeed Bin Saroor’s stable, a course and distance winner who has wintered in Dubai, she was second in this last year and will be looking to improve on that. Last years winner, Higher Power, has been aimed at this and had a good prep run at Chelmsford finishing second to Weekender. With all these top class horses to chose from, I will go for Amazing Red, he is a half brother to Red Cadeaux, and with that in his pedigree should be enough to tip the scales in his favour.
Newcastle Saturday Lucky 15
12.55 Top Score
1.30 Addicted To You
2.05 Amazing Red
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