Newcastle tips: Four to follow at the Northumberland Plate Festival | Racing News

Thursday sees the start of Newcastle’s three-day Northumberland Plate Festival – live on Sky Sports Racing – where Declan Rix has a quartet of horses to follow.


2.00 – JenningsBet In Scunthorpe Handicap

The race that kicks off the three-day Northumberland Plate Festival – live on Sky Sports Racing – may well prove tactical enough, with just six runners declared and only Gulf Legend making the running recently, doing so off steady fractions.

The Charlie Johnston-trained Attila The Honey likely won’t be far away, but hopefully this potential setup doesn’t deter the chances of Tryfan who stayed on well over twelve furlongs last time out.

Local boy Brian Ellison (trainer) didn’t start the 2024 Flat Turf campaign in great order, but the month of June has seen a stable renaissance, the yard’s horses clearly in a better spot, whatever the reason. That will delight Ellison as he heads into one of his favourite meetings of the year.

In this son of Nathaniel, the yard may start with a bang, Tryfan an impressive-looking horse physically who is having his first start in handicap company. It will also be his second start here on the all-weather at Newcastle, Tryfan running well on debut last season as a juvenile, arguably still the best effort of his three-race career.

His efforts on turf this season haven’t been too bad either, especially given the stable form; Tryfan shaped better than the distance beaten at Beverley back in April, a mid-race stumble not helping his cause before he did ever-so-well to finish runner-up at Thirsk 40 days ago, hanging his chance away off the home bend before running on.

If that wasn’t a sign that he is going the wrong way mentally, or he is developing into a tricky ride, he looks a player in this small-field, tricky contest.

What’s She At

2.30 – JenningsBet In Boroughbridge Restricted Maiden Stakes

Not a whole pile of form to go on here in this 10-runner juvenile race, but there are fewer better trainers of a 2yo in Britain than Archie Watson and it’s interesting that he sends What’s She At all the way to Newcastle from his Upper Lambourn base.

Watson has a 21 per cent strike rate when sending juveniles to this track, one of his highest at all the UK courses, and maybe his most solid given the size of the data set (253 runners). In general, his young horses often know their job and so, What’s She At is worth following here.

By first-season sire Arizona, who we are still learning about, What’s She At is out of Fifer who has already thrown two nice horses in her broodmare career, in Enzemble and Udododontu. The former won on the all-weather while Fifer herself is from a family who have won plenty of races on an artificial surface.

Arizona, from the No Nay Never and Scat Daddy line, should be able to produce horses who handle all-weather surfaces, but overall, the market will likely be the best guide to this €8,000 purchase.


3.00 – JenningsBet in Boroughbridge Restricted Maiden Stakes

Division Two of the above juvenile contest and not the strongest-looking of races on paper. Experience can often be key with such young horses so hopefully Wedadi can put hers to good use for the Charlie Johnston and Joe Fanning combo.

Fanning may have to be at his wily best given the forecast headwind at Newcastle on Thursday – I suspect he would love a lead and some cover – as on debut, Wedadi showed excellent professionalism from the gates and good early pace to lead her Leicester rivals.

In what was a stronger race than this, she had much of the field off the bridle going past 3out before she steadily weakened, shaping better than the distance beaten, having been a significant drifter in the market.

On both sides of Wedadi’s pedigree, she should be very much at home on an artificial surface for a yard that have had its fair share of winners here.


3.35 – Coopers Marquees Novice Stakes

The Wathnan Racing team can hopefully continue on from a highly successful Royal Ascot with Veydari.

The son of first-season sire Hello Youmzain was beaten a 2/1f on debut at Haydock 21 days ago, but probably did a little bit too much on the front end into a headwind. Richard Fahey’s inmate was fresh and well and will hopefully switch off a bit better with that experience under his belt.

He faces a forecast headwind at Newcastle again on Thursday so hopefully jockey Jack Garrity can switch him off a bit better than his debut run, while also getting some cover.

It was an above-average novice that he made his debut at Haydock and so far, the race has worked out nicely enough with three horses running placed on their next starts.

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