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Sir Mark Prescott has one cooking for the Northumberland Plate

| 25.06.2016

A first ever all-weather Northumberland Plate is the centrepiece of Channel 4 Racing’s Saturday card festooned with punting possibilities.

Sir Mark Prescott and Luke Morris team up aboard a likely sort in the big one, with Moscato among our best bets for the televised fare. Remember it’s Money Back if 2nd or 3rd to the SP Favourite on all Channel 4 races!*.

Nap – Buratino – Newcastle – 14:30

Dropped back in trip and down in grade after flopping over a mile in the 2000 Guineas, Mark Johnston’s colt could finish only fourth in Group 2 company at Haydock last time.

He’s down another level to Group 3 here and several other factors besides suggest  he can get back to winning ways.

Already the best horse in the race by 4lbs on official ratings, he receives 7lbs from all bar one of his rivals and returns to the all weather, a surface on which he won his maiden.

His Haydock conqueror Quiet Reflection has gone on to prove there was no disgrace in that defeat when winning the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

Johnston also boasts the best strike-rate of any trainer at Gosforth Park since it switched to an all-weather surface, with three winners from eight runners (38%).

NB – Moscato– Newcastle – 16:15

The canny knight, Sir Mark Prescott, looks to have prepared one for the Northumberland Plate here.

This five-year-old has never finished out of the first two in eight career runs between 2m and 2m88yds and comes into this off a career-best run.

Fourth in the 2m4f Ascot Stakes at the Royal Meeting on soft ground certain to have hindered his progress, the return to a shorter trip and sounder surface are bound to suit given his five past victories have come on good or good-to-firm.

The first-time blinkers are on and reigning all-weather champion jockey Luke Morris is in the plate.

Lively Longshot – Merdon Castle – Newcastle – 15:05

The form of this Ruth Carr four-year-old tailed off when he left synthetic surfaces behind to contest group races and heritage handicaps on turf last summer.

Prior to that he’d looked upwardly mobile in five runs on the all-weather, explaining why he runs off 97 here, despite his outsider status.

His most recent run on the sands saw him finish within three lengths of the now-108-rated Lightscameraction at Lingfield and, returned to a sphere where he has yet to finish out of the first three in five runs, he could easily outrun his odds.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.



Thomas Reynolds