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WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith takes a look at this weekend’s racing fixtures and provides his tips and analysis for the Northumblerland Plate at Newcastle racecourse and the 3.15 at newmarket.
Read Will’s tips below or watch the video round-up for more information and explanation of his selections.
Kings Advice – 14/1 EW (Bet365)
The Northumberland Plate is a hugely historic and prestigious race, known locally as the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’, it has taken on a slightly different guise over the last few years – since Newcastle laid the all-weather surface.
So too, this year it will be different again, as there won’t be the throngs of merry Geordies packing out the enclosures, and the prize money is significantly down. But all that won’t have stopped connections of likely horses plotting a path to the race.
Indeed, I’d say in the shape of Carnwennan, who is available generally at 9/1, that trainer Charlie Fellowes has had this target in mind ever since the horse comfortably won the Northumberland Vase (Plate Consolation race) on this weekend last season.
Newmarket-based Fellowes has been enjoying a good time lately, and rounded off Royal Ascot with winners from his last two runners at the meeting, in the shape of Onassis and Chiefofchiefs, who were both making their seasonal reappearances at the Royal meeting.
Carnwennan will be also making his seasonal bow, but for a trainer going so well and having been prepared for the race, the lack of a recent run is certainly no negative, and could actually work in his favour, as quite a few of the likely opposition have hard fairly tough races in the last two weeks.
Carnwennan was spectacularly good when winning the Northumberland Vase last year, always travelling smoothly, and perhaps having hit the front soon enough Stevie Donohoe had no choice but to go on. Kept up to his work in the last two furlongs, the horse clocked a faster time than the Plate itself 35 minutes later, which featured a number of horses who he will take on this Saturday. With the notion that Carnwennan might have improved again with another year on his back, he rates as a very good each-way bet at 9/1 generally.
Volkan Star – 9/2 (Bet365)
The rest of the card at Newcastle on Saturday features a number of races I would be keen to have an involvement in, but races such as the Gosforth Cup and Chipchase Stakes are on the straight track, and it would be important to see the draw and likely track conditions on the day before siding with anything confidently.
The Irish Derby is the highlight of the card at the Curragh over the weekend, and again there are a number of races/horses I would be interested in, but the lack of available markets and/or definite running plans, makes it tricky at this stage.
The Irish Derby itself is at the mercy of Aidan O’Brien, who has no less than 10 entries, and it is virtually impossible to predict who he will run and also who will ride. If there was one that could be a big price, and will prove well suited to this kind of test, it could be Dawn Patrol who is 16/1 generally, but that is a very tentative early thought.
So, as for another bet for the weekend, at this stage, it is Newmarket I turn to, and there is a good opportunity in the Betway Fairway Listed Stakes at 3.15 – Volkan Star at 9/2 with Bet365 is worth taking now.
Charlie Appleby’s Volkan Star ran a cracker on seasonal debut over course and distance three weeks ago, when running into second behind John Gosden’s Mishriff, for whom that trainer has some lofty targets in mind. He beat Waldkonig into third, who could frank the form on Wednesday afternoon at Haydock. While in fourth was Cherokee Star, who ran a belter in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, and in fifth was Al Aasy, who has since hacked up back at Newmarket. It looks by far the strongest piece of form on offer.
When you look at Volkan Star’s likely rivals, then the 9/2 makes even more appeal – John Gosden’s Ricetta has had two quick starts now and a third might possibly be going to the well again too quickly for a big backward filly, Highest Ground runs at Haydock on Wednesday, Thunderous has other entries upcoming, Papa Power ran disappointingly at Royal Ascot, and the others don’t look anywhere near the level of ability that Volkan Star possesses.