AN EXCELLENT evening card at Gosforth Park for the second day of their Northumberland Plate meeting and the feature is the listed Hoppings Stakes for fillies’ and mares’ over the extended mile-and-aquarter.
Thunder storms are due across many parts of Britain but, at the time of writing, they are not expected to hit Newcastle and Pelerin (7.10) is a confident selection having looked an unlucky loser in a similar contest for 3-yearolds only at Newbury last time for Marco Botti.
That step up in distance from a mile clearly suited and, in receipt from 12lbs from her elders, she can put the record straight. Another stepping up in trip is Magic Of Reality for Lady Cecil; a daughter of Galileo she has been campaigned exclusively over a mile of late but looks to be crying out for a return to ten furlongs.
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The Gosforth Park Cup is the big betting race of the night with five last time out winners in the field including Robot Boy (7.45) 5lb higher than when scoring at Musselburgh on soft ground earlier in the month reverting to the minimum trip for the first time since his breaking his maiden as a 3-year-old.
The selection will, hopefully, head for the stands’ rail and, whilst he might need luck in running, he looks sure to go close for David Barron who saddled Magical Macey to win this corresponding race 12 months ago. He is back to the same mark of 12-months ago but might need softer ground to be seen at his best.
Sound Advice has been knocking on the door of late and would not be eligible for tonight’s race if it were run a day later as he is already due to be put up 3lbs by the handicapper. The same can be said of Anderiego who is 4lbs worse off from tomorrow but they are likely to be very short in the betting as a result and marginal preference is for the 3-year-old Sbraase (8.20) who receives plenty of weight from the principles and got no run at Haydock last time. Sound Advice is likely to make it a decent test and the hope is that Sbraase can pounce fast and late for Paul Mulrennan who has ridden the colt twice previously.
The unexposed Mr McLaren (6.10) can take the opener for David O’Meara despite the fact that he has yet to race on fast ground.
He was sold for just 7,500 Guineas as a 2-y-old having fetched 82,000 Guineas as a yearling but not for the first time his excellent trainer seems to have done the trick and he already looks a very shrewd piece of business.
Connections of Free Rein (6.40) will be desperate to get a win next to her name for breeding purposes given she is a half-sister to Group One winning sprinter Reckless Abandon. She showed enough promise at Newmarket on debut to suggest a modest maiden was within her compass and this looks the reason why Jim Crowley heads north.