I WOULDN’T swap Euchen Glen for any other horse in the Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap at Newcastle today.
He was a very ready winner of the Winton Cup at Ayr last Saturday and makes a quick reappearance to take advantage of a 5lb penalty and a lower all-weather rating, compared to his turf mark.
He is drawn well in nine and trainer Jim Goldie’s horses are flying with five winners in the past fortnight. I can’t see the switch to all-weather being an issue and he’s got a massive chance in what is the consolation race for the Northumberland Plate.
I ride Arch Villain in the Plate itself. I can’t tell you much about him first-hand as I’ve never sat on him before.
That said, I’ve ridden a winner before for Amanda Perrett and more importantly she won this race back in 2002 with Bangalore.
This is definitely the time to be backing Arch Villain. He’s won three times after lengthy breaks and was fourth in the Ebor last year after more than a year off. He comes into this race after 275 days off. He could be value at 50-1.
Sir Michael Stoute enjoyed a terrific Royal Ascot, a week which saw him become the winningmost trainer of all time there. I’m delighted to be riding for him in the Betfred TV Chipchase Stakes.
I’ve ridden a winner before for Sir Michael and his Dream The Dreams is clearly a good horse on his day.
The four-year-old signed off last season with a win in Listed company at Doncaster and has only run once this season, when seventh in Abernant Stakes back in April. He’s only 1lb off the top-rated horse in the field, looks an improving, progressive four-year-old, and appears to have as good a chance as any in this Group Three.
The other one I’d pick out from my rides at Newcastle is Normandy Barriere, who runs in the Betfred “Supports Jack Berry House” Handicap.
He’s been running well in a lot of the big handicaps – he was beaten under four lengths in last year’s Wokingham when only 9-1 – and has come down in the ratings. This is his first run since a wind op and the Nigel Tinkler yard are in great form.
I’m at Doncaster this evening, when the pick of my rides looks to be Makanah in the Gilks Fencing “Here To Have Fun” Handicap.
I won very nicely on him at Redcar last time out and the race has worked out well. This looks a step up but he could be a horse that does nothing but improve.
Hee Haw is not without a chance in the sunbets.co.uk Handicap. We finished a good fifth at York a fortnight ago and the step up to seven furlongs could bring about some improvement.
The big race of the weekend is the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and I take Dee Ex Bee to go one better following his second in the Investec Derby.
He finished three lengths ahead of Saxon Warrior at Epsom, yet that horse is a red-hot odds-on favourite. Silvestre De Sousa got a great tune out of De Ex Bee at Epsom and is riding like a man possessed right now. I’d love to see him win the Irish Derby for Mark Johnston and I think he will.
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