Kevin Blake

Alan Dudman's Big Race Verdict: Back Prescott's "other one" for Northumberland Plate success on Saturday

Sir Mark Prescott
Trainer Sir Mark Prescott could have all bases covered for Saturday

Alan Dudman steps in for Kevin Blake and brings you the latest Big Race Verdict, and previews Saturday's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle...

  • Northumberland Plate Day on Saturday and six places E/W on Betfair Sportsbook

  • Grand Providence's sire stats give her chance at Newcastle

  • Alan Dudman picks out a 14/115.00 selection

Newcastle Superboost

Talented sprinter Kinross is favourite to land the Group 3 contest at Newcastle at 14:04, and with form figures of 31122 it's hard not to see the 7yo involved in the finish.

The Betfair Sportsbook have super-boosted Kinross' price to finish in the top four from 1/31.33 to 1/12.00 so if you want to get involved then just click on the price in the below banner to go directly to the pre-loaded betslip.

Sportsbook goes six places for Saturday's Northumberland Plate

After several yawn-inducing races this week (hello Leicester and the match race with a 1/100 shot), Saturday's Northumberland Plate looks a zinger of a race with 20 in the field and with six places on the Sportsbook, it will be prime material for a couple of each-way bets for Newcastle's big day.

The race has come alive too in terms of the betting, with a Sir Mark Prescott runner in Trooper Bisdee, and he's coming into it after winning at Pontefract earlier this week and a penalty gets him in here off a pretty low weight. The Baronet is a cool customer with these long term plans, but as always with this type of horse, the market won't be missing him on Saturday.

Prescott's 4yo bolted up in Yorkshire and is on the hunt to add to his sequence of victories, and a pair of 4yos have won this in the last ten years if that's your sort of punting ally. However he'll have to go some to match Trueshan's win of 2022 - a performance described as the greatest ever Flat win in one quarter.

I think followers of Shergar and Secretariat may have something to say on that - but it was some effort two years ago from 120 and nearly 11 stone under Hollie Doyle - who Prescott has moved for to book.

I might have to let this Trueshan thing go.

Ascot's loss Newcastle's gain?

I put up Grand Providence for Saturday's big staying race at Royal Ascot - only for her to not show up as a non-runner. She was a bigger price then, and at 8/19.00 she has been cut from 10s on the Sportsbook.

She won the Ces' Trial last year and I have no doubt with her stamina, I am however pondering what tactics will be used. She has been held up (winning at Newmarket) but was more forwardly ridden last time in the Chester Cup.

Stall 14 doesn't make the pressing tactics easy, but she's certainly progressive. This will also be her debut run on the Tapeta, and if you like a sire stat, Nathaniel has a good record on the Tapeta with a win rate at around 17% and placed record of 37%. So those numbers are very much on the healthy side.

Chester Cup winner looking for historic double

Trainer Hugo Palmer is no stranger to winning the race, nor no stranger to the north as I recall him saying he studied in the north east as a student.

As the son of a biscuit Baron who owned the only silver staircase in the world, I feel our student days would have been slightly different.

Palmer's Zoffee was the Viennese Swirl rather than the Custard Cream last time winning the Chester Cup and as a former Northumberland Vase winner in '22, we know he goes well around here. He was well beaten in the Northumberland Plate 12 months ago, but he had an excuse as he'd previously been in the Ascot Stakes. That stamina-sapping prelude won't be used again by Palmer.

His win on the Roodee was a famous victory for the Michael Owen-led team, and off 90 then, the assesor hasn't been hard with a 4lb rise. However, I don't want to take that form too literally as they finished in a heap as is so often the case at Chester, races can be a mess.

Don't rule out Prescott's "other one"

Now that the main contenders are out of the way, it is very much a race I want to have a couple of darts at each-way, and True Legend is the one, also for Sir Mark Prescott at 14/115.00.

I like his profile, although if he were a song, the chorus line would be "he's unlucky, he's unlucky".

Last time out he finished second at Goodwood, and had an absolute nightmare there akin to racing around Monaco. He just could not get free, and once out in daylight, the winner had gone. That was blessed with as much ill-luck as his run over the same track in Sussex last August off 81 - where he was trapped on the inside and endured another nightmare passage.

Perhaps Goodwood is not his track?

On his York run from last season, he would rate a doubtful stayer. But he did learn to settle better last season, and while it's a jump up from 1m6f to Newcastle on Saturday, he might be able to stretch out.

His sire Camelot is 10% win at 2m-plus, and he's another tactically I can't predict. He has made the running over shorter, but he's in 15 for Saturday which makes those tactics over a longer trip difficult.

The best of the rest

In terms of my shortlist, I'd certainly like to have Grand Providence "for me" rather than a layer, while True Legend is top of the list with the six place angle. In terms of the rest of the field, there are a few non-stayers, some old timers and ones that simply don't look good enough, but Evaluation at 14/115.00 is a possible place runner.

The 6yo for Lucinda Russell is made, built and bred for stamina as the dam Estimate was a Gold Cup winner famously for the Queen.

He was sent off as 4/15.00 favourite in the Vase race behind Zoffee in 2022 and acts on the All-Weather and stays well. He's had a few trainers in his time, but he was progressive for Keith Dalgleish, and while Scotland failed miserably in the Euros, they might have some cheer here.

On a column laden with Barons and Baronets, let's go for Prescott.

Now read Tony Calvin's preview for Saturday's Newcastle card

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