Gamesome, Set and Match at Newcastle
A trip to Newcastle is always good value and there is no match for entertainment when it comes to Northumberland Plate Day.
The enthusiasm from the crowd is infectious as they concentrate on the action on the course.
It’s a race the surrounding area has taken to its heart and I wonder what they feel about the future as after this year it will be run on Tapeta. Rather than surmise just yet about 2016, let’s look forward to the party and carnival atmosphere, plus a fantastic race.
In recent years biblical-type storms have caused havoc with the ground and had clerk of the course James Armstrong reaching for the headache tablets. This time around the heavens haven’t opened – not to the degree to having a radical effect on the going anyway.
I guess this will prevent Clever Cookie running. He would have been my pick, despite top weight. But the fear is the ground is against him, and trainer Peter Niven will have to sit and wait for the rain to pour.
Instead I have looked elsewhere across the plethora of racing. The Chipchase Stakes offers up the ideal opportunity for Mattmu, who has been brilliant so far this season when pitching up against his elders. It’s hard to believe he is only three. He never shirks the issue and has that bit of class about him and is the type of horse the crowd will warm to. His big danger is last year’s victor Danzeno.
One of my friends from last season finally returns to the course at Windsor this afternoon. Kodi Bear was last seen in the Group One Dewhurst at Newmarket. He showed immense promise at two and it’s just a shame injury has prevented his return until now. His sights have been set at a sensible level and hopefully he can restart his career with a victory.
Having gone through the recordings of all the races at Royal Ascot Gamesome was one of the horses I wrote down to latch on to next time. He ran a blinder in the Wokingham Stakes and finished strongly. He turns up in Windsor’s 3.55 where he’ll meet Huntsman’s Close who appeared to be spooked by something prior to the Wokingham. He dispatched William Buick and ran loose for a considerable time. He is a very able and talented horse but I want to see how he is after his exploits so I’d rather side with Gamesome.
Reviewing all the Royal Ascot races has been very revealing, with a long list of names to follow some obvious, some less so.
Keep an eye out for Opal Tiara, St Isaac Newton, Age Of Empire, Bronze Angel, Always Smile, Maftool, Udododontu, Kingfisher, Pamona, Wedding Vow, Balty Boys, Famous Kid, Bantry Bay and Tommy Doc.
Other than Bawina and Ervedya, Bronze Angel has to be one of my current equine heroes on the Flat. He is so tough, and even at this stage he could claim a third Cambridgeshire or another Balmoral Handicap. His seventh in the Royal Hunt Cup showed his strength.
Newcastle 2.00 Mattmu
Windsor 3.20 Kodi Bear
Windsor 3.55 Gamesome
William Haggas has a 50% strike rate with his three-year-olds at the course - Mubtaghaa
Five of the last ten favourites have won
Paul Hanagan (Mubtaghaa) and Graham Lee (That’s Is The Spirit) will be attempting a record breaking third win in the Chipchase Stakes
Seven of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Five of the last six took in Royal Ascot
Sir Michael Stoute has trained the winner three times – Gospel Choir
Seven of the last ten winners were no better than sixth in the betting
Nine of the last ten winners were no older than six
Richard Hughes has won the race five times in the last seven years – Bournemouth Belle
Eight of the last ten winners came from the first three in the betting
Nine of the last ten winners came from the first five in the betting (inc four favourites)
Richard Hughes has won the race three times - Lincoln
John Gosden is trying to win the Criterion for a record fifth time – Wannabe Yours & Kasb
Only one of the last ten favourites has won
Only one of the last ten winners has won on their most recent start
Five of the last six winners had at least won a Group 2 in their career
Seven of the last ten winners had run at least three times prior in the season
3.45 NORTHUMBERLAND PLATE
Seven of the last ten winners raced no more than three times prior that season
Horses deriving from stalls 4, 5, 6 & 7 over the last eleven years have accrued five wins, four seconds two thirds and three fourths. (14 of a possible 44 places)
In the last thirteen years 57 five-year-olds have tried to win the Northumberland Plate only Angel Gabrial last year succeeded.
Five of the last ten winners had previously won over hurdles
Only Tominator out of the last ten winners had previously run in the Northumberland Plate, and he won it!
Only five winners in 20 years have carried over 8-12 to victory
Only three of the last ten favourites have won
Only one of the last ten winners were trained in Newmarket – 2007 Juniper Girl
Seven of the last ten winners were no better than third in the betting
Seven of the last ten winners finished in the first three on their most recent start
Eight of the last ten winners bypassed Royal Ascot
Aidan O’Brien is attempting to win his 12th Irish Derby, he has won eight of the last nine
The last British-trained winner was 1994, Balanchine