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Richard Hoiles: My best bets for Northumberland Plate Day

28 Jun | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: My best bets for Northumberland Plate Day

The horse racing broadcaster picks out his fancies for Saturday's racing, including the big race at Newcastle.

Football might not be coming home, but it is possible Saturday’s feature race, the Northumberland Plate, might be. Trainer Brian Ellison was born in Newcastle on Plate Day in 1952 and has been trying to win the race ever since he took out his license nearly 30 years ago. Tilt (third, 2007) and Seamour (second, 2016) have gone close, but ONESMOOTHOPERATOR / (15:10 Newcastle) could go one step further and fulfill a lifetime ambition this weekend.

Stable companion Tashkhan heads the weights and will be trying to perform a Trueshan-like victory under 9st 13lbs, and his presence stopped the weights rising, giving Onesmoothoperator a nice racing weight of 8st 9lbs. Ben Robinson has remained loyal to Tashkhan, with Connor Beasley riding the selection who was down the field behind Trueshan in 2022, but this is a weaker renewal. In 2022, the lowest-rated horse was 90, yet this time around more than half the field line up of that mark or lower. Onesmoothoperator has clearly been prepared with the race in mind after a staying on second at Southwell last time, and his tactical speed from shorter distances could prove an asset in a race that historically is often steadily run.

Half an hour later, Connor also rides the lightly raced UNITED APPROACH / (15:40 Newcastle). So far, absences from the track have stopped him fulfilling the potential he has shown on it, which included proving he still had plenty of ability when fourth on his handicap debut at Newbury last time, off a long absence of over a year. With that under his belt and dropped a generous 2lb, he looks to have more than enough ability to handle that mark and higher if he can hold together physically.

Charlie Fellowes’ stable is very much one to be on the right side of at present, and WAY TO DUBAI / (15:00 Chester) can continue his upturn in fortune. Runner-up last time at the track over 7f, he is nicely drawn in stall 2 in a race that looks likely to be strongly run with several who like to go forward. He looked unlucky that day, having to wait for a run and then collared right on the line, and can land his first success since being purchased from Germany.

GREAT MAX / (19:00 Doncaster) has twice left the money behind after being heavily backed on both his runs since joining David O’Meara from Michael Bell, for whom he was placed in Group company as a juvenile. He has been through several yards since those days before a second stint with Bell before moving to his current stable. He is on a long losing run but travelled well for a long way at Doncaster, having found trouble at Newmarket the time before, and is worth another chance for a yard that is excellent at rejuvenating handicappers.


Our regular line up of jockeys heading for venues where they have a particularly good career record in relation to the number of winners ridden, compared to the prices they have been sent off. Actual/Expected Ratio where par = 1.00.

Newcastle: Josephine Gordon (33/193, A/E 1.30). Has two rides for Ian Williams in the Vase and the Plate, where she partners course-and-distance winner Zealandia (15:10).

Newmarket July: Oisin Murphy (40/213 A/E 1.28). Has six rides, including Remaat (13:40), for Andrew Balding.

Windsor: Ed Greatrex (12/73, A/E 1.90). Four rides, the pick of which may be Allonsy (17:00), who was runner-up over C&D earlier in the season in a race which has worked out well.


No runners on Saturday, so a brief recap on another busy week that provided two wins and three places from nine runners.

Split The Profit (second, 1/1f). Has one more run for the tracker.

Global Asset (first, 13/8f). Comfortable winner but is now released, having scored.

Middle Earth (third, 9/4). Needed a stronger pace. Retained.

Boadicia (0, 7/2). Raced a bit keenly, but worried Salisbury win may have been shallow. Retained.

Jewel Of London (fourth, 80/1). Ran well at Ascot and has one more run left. If her sights are lowered, she will go close.

Knightswood (0, 3/1). Not too worried as bigger fields should suit and he was earmarked for Goodwood.

Original Outlaw (third, 3/1). Just lost out in a tight finish at Kempton and is competitive in similar company.

Glimpse Of Glory (0, 5/1). Been disappointing, possibly still a bit weak, and after three runs is let go.

Tareefa (first, 1/3f). Had to work to justify the short price. As she won, she is released.

Two horses are added:

Consolidation: An eye-catcher at Sandown when failing to find the gaps needed as he began to run on. One of the expensive breeze-up purchases by Wathnan Racing and better than this bare form.

Simmering: Got mugged by the flying Fairy Godmother in the Chesham, and that rather masked an excellent turn of foot that she had shown to get into contention. This looks strong form, and she looks an ideal type for races like the Duchess of Cambridge at the July meeting and the Lowther at York.

A full list of the current tracker horses can be found here.


Stable Tracker: 17/18.46, A/E 0.92

Day Selections: 32/33.16, A/E 0.97

Jockeys For Courses: 31/33.62, A/E 0.92

Overall: 80/85.24, A/E 0.94

Visit Betway’s horse racing betting page.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.