The ante-post market for Saturday’s Northumberland Plate has been fairly volatile, which has been consistent with the weather forecast for Newcastle.
Numerous leading fancies have been taken out due to the likelihood of rattling fast ground. A worry seemingly shared by the clerk of the course, as the track has been watered to ensure there is no jar underfoot.
On top of that fell a bit of rain on Thursday, followed by what could amount to about 10mm on Friday, and the fair guess is that the ground will be on the slow side of good at the very least come Saturday afternoon.
This will inconvenience a whole host of horses declared for the Pitmen’s Derby. It could be argued that Mubaraza, Montaser, Handsome Man, Lieutenant Miller (should he get in as reserve,) Arch Villain, Sun Central and Address Unknown will all be held back by any juice on the ground.
The one horse that will welcome the rain is John Quinn’s Moidore, who was a clear cut second in the York race won with consummate ease by subsequent Ascot Stakes winner Well Sharp.
Take the winner out of that race and Moidore would have gained a comfortable success, and has only been raised one pound for his efforts – the fact that Well Sharp fairly hosed up at Ascot off a 10lb higher mark suggests this could be lenient.
What’s more, Well Sharp gave weight to a couple of horses at Ascot that Moidore will be getting weight from on Saturday. Whereas at York Moidore had to shoulder 2lbs more than Well Sharp.
The final piece in the jigsaw is obtaining a favourable draw and stall 10, at first glance, is neither here nor there. But factor in the fact that the two reserves are in stalls 1 and 9, and effectively Moidore will be coming out of 8 – perfect to obtain a prominent enough position without having to expend too much energy.
The price? After all these positive factors…a barmy 14/1, available with Ladbrokes and a number of other bookmakers. I am convinced that if the rain does materialise, (let’s hope it does,) then that price might be long gone come race time.
Surely punters will cotton on to the Well Sharp form line and back John Quinn’s progressive stayer accordingly.
Moidore (each-way) – 14/1 (generally)