Northumberland Plate, Irish Derby, & Criterion Stakes Previews.

3.30 Newcastle Northumberland Plate 2m 1/2 (Class 2)

The Northumberland Plate this year is yet again another fiercely competitive renewal and it’s headed by Flymetothestars for Sir Mark Prescott and top drawer all weather rider Luke Morris. He justifies favourtism here on the back of two course victories here of which the form has turned out very well, he’s currently trading at a general 9/2. I will be looking to take him on though and there’s a couple that take the eye here starting with last year’s runner up Seamour for Brian Ellison and Ben Curtis, he’s been extremely unlucky in a few big handicaps in the last year or so including in this last year. He made his return with an impressive third in a listed contest at York which suggests another big run might be on the cards. The other I like here is Higher Power for James Fanshawe and Tom Queally. He’s got some great form to his name including an impressive second behind Gold Cup winner Big Orange in a Group 3 at Sandown last time out and a second on the Polytrack at Kempton. He has been progressing steadily throughout and looks sure to run his race.

Selections: Seamour 11/2 EW- Higher Power 8/1 E/W

3.15 Newmarket Criterion Stakes 7f (Group 3)

The Criterion stakes this year looks to be a hot renewal with lots of high class horses involved. Home Of The Brave heads affairs for Hugo Palmer and James Doyle following his comeback win in a Listed contest at Leicester. He won his maiden here before going on to take a Group 3 and placed in a couple of Group 2’s. He has won on good to soft if there is likely to be rain and is a strong market leader. Breton Rock can’t be ruled out as he ran a cracking race when third in the Group 3 Lockinge at Newbury and Thikriyaat seems to be verstatile when it comes to ground so is another who shouldn’t be overlooked. Ibn Malik looks to be a decent each way shout for Charlie Hill and Silvestre De Sousa, he’s goes well fresh and well relish the ground and trip.

Selections: Home Of The Brave 9/4 – Ibn Malik 10/1 E/W

5.20 Curragh Irish Derby 1m 4f (Group 1)

This year’s Irish Derby at the Curragh takes place this Saturday evening at 5.20. It’s headed by this year’s Epsom Derby winner Wings of Eagles for AP O’Brien. He won the English Derby in quite comfortable style in the end coming from the back off a ferocious pace. The pace that day was set by a horse I fancy as a live each way contender this time around and that’s Douglas Macarthur also for AP O’Brien. He set a lightening pace at Epsom and did remarkably well to finish where he did following that. With that in mind he might just be used to more effect here and could well sneak his way into the frame. French raider Waldgeist certainly can’t be ruled out and a lot of money has come for Andre Fabre’s runner this week, however the one i’ll be siding with is Cracksman for John Gosden and Pat Smullen. He ran in snatches at Epsom and didn’t seem to handle the track all that well resulting in him looking beat someway out. He did however stay on very well to finish third that day. The Curragh is a much more straight forward track than Epsom and I think he will of come on massively from that run and a big showing is certainly on the cards.The negative for him is obviously the tactics that the mass of O’Brien horses will use against him but I think he’s the makings of a quality animal which could show on Saturday, he’s currently trading at a general 10/3.

Selections: Cracksman 10/3 – Douglas Macarthur 14/1 E/W

For selections throughout the other meetings for this Saturday click the link to the Weekend Selections section below.

Weekend Selections

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