Montaser hit by high draw in Northumberland Plate
Montaser, an impressive winner at York last time out, has been installed 7-1 joint-favourite for the Northumberland Plate after the 48-hour declarations. He has been raised 5lbs for that victory but has been handed a wide draw in stall 20.
Jockey Jim Crowley will almost certainly have to drop him in at the back and hope that he can weave his way through the field to deliver his finishing kick.
Sharing favouritism is Ed Dunlop’s Mubaraza who was a respectable fourth in the Ascot Stakes last week. Paul Hanagan takes the ride and will be looking for a change in fortunes after his luckless second on Mukhadram and unseating from Ektihaam at the Royal meeting.
The ante-post market for this race was thrown into confusion with the news that Ascot Stakes runner-up Tiger Cliff would not be running due to the likely fast ground. Lieutenant Miller, third at Ascot and running in the same colours, was expected to deputise but missed the final line up by one.
Richard Fahey was also out of luck at Ascot, his runners finishing second on four occasions. He has aimed his Chester Cup first and second, Address Unknown and Ingleby Spirit, at this race for some time but neither have been favoured by the draw with stalls 15 and 18 respectively.
The two most recent winners have fared better with 2011 winner Tominator drawn in stall 3 and last year’s winner Ile De Re in stall eight. Tominator is now on a 12lbs higher mark but ran an excellent race in the Chester Cup whilst Ile de Re will appreciate every drop of rain that falls before race time.
Godolphin’s Handsome Man (drawn 2) has been supported this week and is stepping up in trip after some solid efforts over shorter distances. Arch Villain is chasing a fourth consecutive winner for Amanda Perrett but has also suffered a miserable draw (22) whilst Ardlui and Sun Central are others to consider in a typically competitive renewal of the Pitmen’s Derby.