Weekend Racing with BetVictor

The Northumberland Plate is the feature race in Britain today with this valuable and prestigious handicap for three-year-olds and upwards over two miles first run in 1833. The classic generation are not represented this afternoon and we have a warm favourite in Withhold making his belated seasonal reappearance.

Withhold ran out a comfortable winner of the Cesarewitch having just his second start for Roger Charlton back in the autumn and there were many who felt he would make up into a Cup horse this season. He is 12lbs higher this afternoon and at 7/2 with BetVictor he might be worth opposing given his astute handler has voiced concerns about his preparation for the race.

Willie Mullins’ mare Lagostovegas won the Ascot Stakes just 11 days ago, has a cracking draw in stall six and a 5lbs penalty may not prevent her following up although she has no experience of racing on an all-weather surface.

Natural Scenery (2.05) finished runner up in this corresponding race 12 months ago to Higher Power and is 3lbs better off with that rival for the half a length she was behind the winner. A draw in stall 14 is a negative but she has an excellent record fresh and she returns from a near three-month lay-off having run well out in Meydan earlier in the year. The selection has been well supported earlier in the week and is 10/1 with BetVictor to go one better than last year. She is the each way recommendation.

Dannyday (1.30) won the consolation Northumberland Vase two years ago from a mark of 91 and is just 4lbs higher as he bids to win the race for horses balloted out of the Plate. Dannyday just missed out on getting a run in the big one and must shoulder 9st 8lbs today but Sir Michael Stoute’s 6-y-old travelled like the best horse for much of the Ascot Stakes last week and would have been my recommendation for the Plate had he got a run.

Jim Crowley takes the mount this afternoon with regular pilot Pat Dobbs riding the Queen’s Elector at York and a draw in stall seven looks fine for Dannyday who is 8/1 with BetVictor and is another each way recommendation.

The opening 6f sprint is a cracker and my two against the field are Shanghai Glory and Ekhtiyar (12.20) with marginal preference for the latter who is 5/1 at BetVictor. This stiff track should suit Roger Varian’s 4-y-old who would have finished much closer with a clear run at Newmarket last time from a 1lb higher mark. The selection has yet to race on an all-weather surface but many racehorses will have trained on polytrack or tapeta on their home gallops especially with the grass gallops likely to be quite firm at present.

Shanghai Glory would have given subsequent winner Aces plenty to think about at Epsom had he not met trouble in running and at 15/2 with BetVictor he looks a big danger.

In the concluding 10f handicap Light Of Joy (4.25) may have been let off lightly given she is only 4lbs higher than when scoring over C&D earlier in the month. That form looks decent given the second and third have run well in defeat subsequently, and I liked the way David Lanigan’s filly travelled through her race on today’s surface. John Gosden’s Garrick could be the main threat but she is 3lbs higher than when finishing runner up at Windsor last time and this looks a stronger race.

Talking of Windsor Humble Hero (3.35) can score at the Royal track having met trouble in running over slightly further at Goodwood last time. Sofia’s Rock will ensure there is a true gallop and William Haggas tries the selection in cheek-pieces for the first time.

Oh This Is Us (4.10) will find the listed Midsummer Stakes more his level having dipped his toe into Gp 1 company at Royal Ascot last week when beaten just over 5l in the Queen Anne.

Saxon Warrior (4/7 at BetVictor) heads the market for the Irish Derby at the Curragh despite having finished behind Mark Johnston’s Dee Ex Bee (7/2) at Epsom last time. My two each way alternatives are Latrobe and Platinum Warrior (5.15) with preference for Mick Halford’s progressive grey who beat Latrobe over 10f here in a Gp 3 at the end of May. He promises to be as equally effective over the additional couple of furlongs later this afternoon and 20/1 with BetVictor looks a fair each way price.

For all the latest odds head to BetVictor.com and follow @BetVictorRacing on Twitter

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