Stratum Could Prove A Class Apart At Newcastle6 min read
A cracking weekend of racing with classic action from the Curragh and the Northumberland Plate the highlight from a terrific card at Newcastle.
We start at Newcastle and in the “Pitmen’s Derby” Gibbs Hill has been the subject of a major gamble in recent days having been as big as 20/1 ten days ago but is now just 10/3. The gelding has not been seen on the track for 724 days but was a most progressive stayer on the all-weather when last seen and this has long been his target. He has an excellent draw in stall five and might be worth a saver if he drifts.
The each way vote, however, goes to Stratum (3.35) who is 13/2 with BetVictor (5 places on the race). The six-year-old is trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins who has not been in the best of health at present. Let’s hope Stratum aids his recovery. The horse is owned by Brighton FC chairman and owner Tony Bloom who saddled the winner of the corresponding race 12 months ago with Withhold who was pulled out of the race yesterday after he was found to have a low-grade infection.
In the consolation race over the same C&D as the Plate, I am going to take a chance on Seamour (3.00) who finished runner up in the Plate three years ago before missing the whole of 2018 through injury. His return to the track over 12f here back in April gave little cause for optimism but the fact that connections – who would love a winner on Plate Day – are persevering with the 8-y-old says much. The each way selection is 16/1 with BetVictor who are betting 4 places on the 15-runner contest.
Ellison saddles three in the 12f handicap, but my two against the field are Francophilia and Rashdan (4.10) with marginal preference for the Hugo Palmer runner who won here over 10f from a 6lbs higher mark last summer. The selection would not be the most consistent horse in training, but this Newmarket raider gets the each way vote.
Seamour (3.00) Each Way
Stratum (3.35) Each Way
Rashdan (4.10) Each Way
There are showers forecast at the Curragh and if the ground turned soft then Addeyb would be something to bet on in the Gp 3 International Stakes. I am going to take a chance however on Georgeville (3.30) who has been in my notebook since winning at Roscommon back in May. He was entered for a couple of races at Royal Ascot but didn’t make the trip for Dermot Weld. There are no odds at the time of writing, but he should be a double-figure price.
I feel Japan will become the best of the three-year-olds who contested the Derby in time, but I hope to see Madhmoon (5.20) reverse Epsom form with Anthony Van Dyck for Kevin Prendergast in the Irish Derby. The selection made his ground up too quickly at Epsom and had nothing left to repel the challenge of AVD swooping fast and late down his inside. I expect Chris Hayes to creep into the race this afternoon and give his veteran trainer a welcome and popular classic success.
At Windsor I hope to see Bless Him (4.35) reverse recent Chelmsford form with winner War Glory for David Simcock. The selection was dropped in from the worst of the draw, pulled hard and yet still ran a cracker when staying on in fourth. There is no guaranteed pace in the race this afternoon, which is a concern given his propensity to pull, but I am convinced he is ready to strike off his current mark.
Tip: Bless Him (4.35)
At Uttoxeter on Sunday Doing Fine is 4lbs wrong at the weights in the Summer Cup but conditions are ideal, and a market move would be worth noting. Winter Lion (4.05) finished fourth in the corresponding race 12 months ago and has changed stables since last year. He has had a couple of prep races for today on the level and Bryony Frost takes over in the saddle. He gets the each way vote.
Tip: Winter Lion (4.05) Each Way
There is a cracking card at Cartmel, too, on Sunday and Get Out The Gate (4.15) can make it three from four over fences for Jim Goldie. The each way selection should have the race run to suit with Double Treasure likely to make it a true test over 2m 6f.
Tip: Get Out The Gate (4.15) Each Way