Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.
The ground for the race is going to be on the soft side and at the time of writing was being described as good to soft, good in places but with forecast rain every day it looks like being easier than that.
That would have to be a real concern for last year’s winner Overturn who missed Royal Ascot because of the rain softened ground.
He is currently 7/1 second favourite at Skybet for the two mile handicap. If he does run it will be a huge day for jockey Henry Brooke. He is a conditional jockey over jumps and will be looking for his first win on the flat! He rides in place of the suspended Eddie Ahern and has had one second place from just eight rides on the flat.
Activate is Skybet’s current 5/1 favourite with Harlestone Times 8/1. The former the mount of Hayley Turner for Michael Bell. The trainer also runs the Queen’s horse Tactician, who won’t enjoy conditions if they are very soft. Activate on the other hand, is a winner on heavy and that won’t be a concern.
I quite like the look of John Gosden’s horse Investissement who has had this race as his target for some time. He is a 9/1 chance with Sky Bet. He also holds an entry in the Group 1 Irish Derby, so clearly they think plenty of him.
He has just had the one run in the last 15 months and that was a winning outing at Goodwood in April and he has been given plenty of time to recover from that so he shouldn’t ‘bounce’. He hasn’t been an easy horse to train with breathing problems and a fractured pelvis to contend with, but he is the sort to progress with age and I hope he is well drawn and runs well.
Mount Athos (also 12/1) warrants plenty of respect for David Wachman. He was fourth in the Chester Cup last time out from an horrendous draw and if the draw is kinder to him here can make his presence felt for his new trainer.
One point to make though is you are having a bet in the race, is that the draw is significant. The wider out you are, the harder it is to ride a race and even over two miles the lower the draw the better. I don’t have the benefit of that information at the moment as the draw hasn’t been made, but it is something to look out for when you pick your fancy. My picks are Investissement and Mount Athos and I will back whichever one is better drawn
Alex Hammond’s Saturday tips
Investissement and Mount Athos in the Northumberland Plate, both @ 12/1 with Sky Bet
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