Newcastle racecourse hosts an exciting All-Weather meeting on Saturday with the Chipchase Stakes and the Northumberland Plate, all featuring some Royal Ascot runners from last week.
The Chipchase Stakes is the highlight of the card and the Group 3 contest is set to fill all 14 potential runners while the Northumberland will feature Trueshan, who had to pull out of two Royal Ascot races, as the rain just didn’t come.
Trueshan is rated 120 and is an expert stayer but the only thing the Alan King-trained gelding needs, is a bit of rain on the flat turf.
That didn’t quite come enough at Royal Ascot as the hot weather dried up the course to keep it on the fast side, and the late rain on Saturday wasn’t quite enough for the 6-year-old.
Now the Class 2 Northumberland Plate is calling with no worries of rain affecting the contention as the all-weather track will give Trueshan his third run on the tapeta.
But being rated 120 has its downfalls in a class 2 event and will be giving a huge amount of weight to the rest of the field, 19lb minimum.
But before the Northumberland Handicap gets underway the Group 3 sets off first.
Chipshape Stakes betting tip
This 6f Group 3 contest is ideal for those who could handle the all-weather and have plenty of pace.
The favorite for this, Sense Of Duty has a form that would suggest this is ideal.
The filly trained by William Haggas beat Flotus by a neck last time out at Haydock in May, who then finished third at 40/1 in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup beating 17 others in the process.
But there’s never certainty a switch from turf to tapeta will illicit results, which makes Edraak a great contender at a much better price of 8/1, having already won at this course and distance previously.
The Gelding trained by Michael Appleby finished just two lengths behind in a Class 1 at Salford earlier this month but returning to the all-weather looks like it will be ideal.
In fact, Edraak has finished in the top three in all nine of his runs on the tapeta or polytrack and his course record reads, 1332, and was beaten by just a short head in a Class 2 in April.
Northumberland Plate betting tip
Soapy Stevens at 16/1 & Star Caliber 20/1
Trueshan is appealing for obvious reasons, you can’t ignore his form but the gelding took this race on last year and lost by over six lengths.
And that was off a rating of 118, which has now been upped to a massive 120 after winning the Goodwood Cup Stakes by 3¾l just a month after coming sixth here.
There are still 60 runners in contention to take this heritage handicap on and the maximum 20-field is going to be thrilling no matter what.
Royal Ascot runners Bandinelli, Alright Sunshine, Golden Flame and Tribal Art among a few could make a bold bid just a week after the big event.
Soapy Stevens could be well-weighted and well handicapped in this early stage after that impressive win at Chester earlier this month.
The 4-year-old has a good record over this distance too and should go well on the tapeta.
His form is also notable having only been beaten by Nate The Great by seven lengths in May, who went on to take on the big guns at Royal Ascot.
Star Caliber has been close in behind on numerous outings last season and hasn’t quite followed up that winning debut.
The 2m trip should be ideal after finishing just half a length behind Surrey Gold at York in October and since then it was gelded, and that can often have a positive impact on performance.
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