The Irish Derby may be the more high-profile race on the racing calendar for June 28th but general odds of 2/5 for Australia to add to his Epsom Derby victory offer little appeal to many punters.
On the same day, the Northumberland Plate is staged at Newcastle and Europe’s richest two mile handicap offers much more value in an open looking contest.
Nicknamed the Pitman’s Derby, the ‘Plate’ is a notoriously difficult race for which to predict the winner and recent Queen Alexandra Stakes victor Pique Sous leads the ante-post market. Priced at 5/1 by Coral, the Willie Mullins trained gelding will be returning to the racecourse just one week after winning at the royal meeting and will be asked to carry a five pound penalty. Yet, he proved his versatility last season by winning after a two week break and so must be respected.
Pique Sous is the clear market leader with most bookmakers but several horses are vying for second favouritism. Among those horses is Suegioo who claimed the Chester Cup on his previous outing. Quoted at 14/1 by 888Sport, the five year old gelding was recording his first ever win on turf when claiming the Chester prize but he rarely runs a bad race and appeared to appreciate the 2m 2f distance that day.
Suegioo beat ANGEL GABRIAL at Chester with the latter being 1lb better at the weights for the ‘Plate’. The Richard Fahey trained horse registered a victory at Ripon over two miles in May and seems to have benefited from competing over longer trips in his previous two races. He is quoted at 14/1 by Ladbrokes to record a victory for the Yorkshire based trainer.
Fahey might also saddle Duke Of Clarence who is available at 11/1 with William Hill. However, in his first attempt at a distance beyond 1m6f when racing in the Chester Cup, his seventh placing behind Suegioo raised doubts about his stamina limitations.
There are no such concerns regarding the stamina of De Rigueur who won a two mile handicap at Haydock 12 months previously. Although his defeat of Duke Of Clarence over 1m4f at Newmarket last month proved his sharpness at a shorter distance, this effort followed two very disappointing prior performances with previous form indicating his general inconsistency. He can be backed at 14/1 with Skybet for this race.
Among other horses in the entry list is Thomas Edison from the Tony Martin stable. The Irishman is a frequent visitor to Newcastle and the latter has been campaigned over both the flat and national hunt rules. Two recent wins over 1m4f at the Curragh has highlighted his efficiency at middle distances and the J P McManus horse may prove decent each way value at 16/1 with Ladbrokes should he take his chance on Saturday.
Another horse with creditable each way claims is the Nicky Henderson trained EARTH AMBER who was beaten into second place by Tac De Boistron in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. Gold Cup third Missunited was further back in fourth place at level weights with Earth Amber. The five year old is priced at 16/1 with William Hill.
Video of last year’s Northumberland Plate won by Tominator