Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Saturday 28th June 2014

Racing UK

Nearly May Not Be Caught in the Northumberland Plate

On the train back from London on Thursday afternoon, a man sat next to me wearing a Miami Dolphins top.  Occurrences such as these are funny old coincidences on this occasion the relevance is that in three months the Oakland Raiders will be taking over Regent Street then on Sunday 28th September they are the home team at Wembley where they take on, yes the Miami Dolphins! My household are cautiously excited.

The happenings at Grace Road made me smile on Thursday, thought Leicestershire coped admirably with the daunting task against an India side which was very close if not the main squad. Derbyshire, it’s over to you on Tuesday!

More immediately hope you enjoyed my thoughts on all things betting across Royal Ascot.  Since writing that I have watched all thirty races a number of times and found some horses to follow throughout the season.  Arab Spring and Cannock Chase will obviously be etched in most notebooks, but how about Boomerang Bob or even a couple of trainers in the immediate future Luca Cumani, William Haggas and Hughie Morrison.  All three had horses placed but never really got a name check.  I sense this is indication enough it might be worth following them.

Quirky then that my first selection is Saayerr trained by William Haggas.  The three-year-old was to be my pick in the Wokingham on Saturday but he was taken out the night before.  The winner of last year’s Group 2 Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood ran well enough in the European Free Handicap behind Shifting Power but might not have stayed the seven furlongs out fully.  He has his three-year-old allowance and the benefit of Graham Lee in the saddle who’ll be hoping for his third straight Chipchase Stakes after victories aboard Maarek and Jack Dexter.

On to the Northumberland Plate and there will be much debate about the draw among other factors.  As I said there were big runs by horses trained by Hughie Morrison, Another Cocktail was second in the Ascot Stakes, Chil The Kite second in the Royal Hunt Cup, Arab Dawn was fifth in the King George V Handicap and Pastoral Player although tenth in the Buckingham Palace Stakes won on the far side and had he been drawn better quite possibly could have reached the frame. 

He saddles Nearly Caught in the Northumberland Plate who ran second to one of his race rivals Noble Silk at Haydock Park in late May. He is only having his ninth start he has recorded three wins to date and is drawn exceptionally well in stall 2.

Another horse who I must consider is last year’s runner-up Oriental Fox, he didn’t disgrace himself in the Gold Cup behind Leading Light and now finds himself dropped dramatically in class having run in the Sagaro Stakes and Henry II Stakes previously this season Joe Fanning must be relishing the task from stall 3.

At 5.30pm at the Curragh it’s the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, with Australia taking on Kingston Hill and Fascinating Rock in an attempt to win the Classic for an eleventh time.  A tactical affair is sure to ensue.  Let’s hope whatever transpires it continues to make this season one of the best.


Tanya's Tips for Saturday

2.40 Newcastle - Saayerr

3.50 Newcastle - Nearly Caught (Oriental Fox each-way)


William Haggas has a 40% strike rate with his three-year-olds at Newcastle

Five of the last ten favourites have won the Chipchase Stakes, Newcastle’s 2.40

Graham Lee will be attempting a record breaking third win in the Chipchase Stakes


Since 2000 Eight Chester Cup winners have come on to run at Newcastle only Ile De Re has won.  2002 Fantasy Hill 9th, 2003 Hugs Dancer 8th, 2004 Anak Pekan 3rd,  2007 Greenwich Meantime 19th, 2010 Mamlook 19th, 2011 Overturn 6th, 2012 Ile De Re won, and last year Address Unknown 15th, today Suegioo

Eight 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 ten years have accrued five wins, four seconds two thirds and three fourths.  (14 of a possible 40 places)

Prior to Ile De Re last year, Attivo in 1974 was the last horse to complete the Chester Cup, Northumberland Plate double in the same season

In the last twelve years 49 five-year-olds have tried to win the Northumberland Plate all have failed.

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 in 2011.

Only five winners in 20 years have carried over 8-11 to victory

Only two of the last ten favourites have won

Only one of the last ten winners were trained in Newmarket

Seven of the last ten winners were no better than fourth in the betting

Eight of the last ten winners bypassed Royal Ascot


Aidan O’Brien is attempting to win his 11th Irish Derby, he has won seven of the last eight

Australia will attempt to be the 17th horse to complete the English-Irish Derby double


Six of the last seven winners of the Empress Stakes had all been beaten on their previous start

Eight of the last ten winners of the Empress Stakes had come from the first three in the betting

Seven of the last ten winners of the Fred Archer Stakes were aged four

Eight of the last ten winners of the Fred Archer Stakes came from the first two in the betting

Only two of the last ten favourites had won the Criterion Stakes

Only one of the last ten winners of the Criterion Stakes had won on their most recent start

Four of the last five winners had at least won a Group 2 in their career

Eight of the last ten winners of the Criterion had run at least three times prior in the season