Betting on the 2018 Northumberland Plate Festival

Few festivals capture the attention of racing lovers in the North of England more than the Northumberland Plate Festival. The three-day event traditionally takes place near the end of June and it regularly attracts crowds of up to 24,000 at Newcastle Racecourse. Despite its classification as a Class 2 race, the Northumberland Plate handicap remains the highlight of the festival.

The Plate race is also known as the Pitmen’s Derby and back in the 19th century, it was the big event of a holiday period known as Races Week where the race used to be run on a Wednesday.

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In this preview, I will look at the 2018 Northumberland Plate and two Class 1 events that are on during the week. The main issue with the trends used in this guide is that Newcastle has been an All-Weather course since 2016 so this could have a significant impact on future trends.

We’ll also be comparing the ante post odds offered by the world’s top racing betting sites. These odds show what you can get right now on the winner of each race, and comparing the odds makes it possible to ensure you get the best value for your money.

Hoppings Stakes

Friday, June 29

This Group 3 event is run over 1m 2f 42 yards and is open to fillies and mares aged 3yo+. It is a relatively new event and was only inaugurated in 1999 when Fictitious won it. Even so, there have been 18 running’s of the event so it is worth seeing if enough data exists to form useful trends. The Hoppings Stakes was abandoned in 2012 due to a storm.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Making Eyes12/1
2015Covert Love3/1
2017More Mischief10/1

 Betting Trends & Information

There are nine runners in this year’s Hoppings Stakes with Smart Call the early 9/4 favourite followed by Four White Socks at 7/2 with the rest of the field 13/2+.

  • 15/18 winners were in the Top 3 in the betting market.
  • 17/18 winners had an OR of 92+
  • 14/18 winners last ran 8-60 days before the race.

Unfortunately, trends from the race’s entire history don’t tell us a great deal other than the fact that the three horses at the top of the betting market tend to win. As Magnolia Springs is 13/2 and Maid to Remember is 7/1, there is a chance that either one could be in the Top 3 once the field has been finalized. Mia Tesoro is also 7/1 and could feasibly have its odds cut enough to warrant consideration.  None of the runners have an OR below 92 so that trend is useless in this race.

Given their proximity to the top of the betting market, and the fact they have all won a Class 1 race, Give and Take, Magnolia Springs, and Mia Tesoro all warrant extra attention.

Ante Post Betting Odds

ComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Smart Call9/45/2
Give And Take7/210/3
Four White Socks9/29/2
Mia Tesoro7/16/1
Magnolia Springs7/113/2
Maid To Remember7/17/1
Company Asset12/112/1
Snowy Winter12/112/1
Law Girl14/114/1
Light Of Joy18/114/1
Spirit Of Appin18/114/1

Chipchase Stakes

Saturday, June 30

This is another Group 3 race and is open to all horses aged 3yo+. Fillies and Mares receive a three-pound advantage while 3yo horses carry 8-11 against the 9-3 carried by 4yo+. The Chipchase Stakes was established in 1994 and upgraded to Group 3 status in 2001. It takes place over 6f and the change to Tapeta from Turf could make the event difficult to predict.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2013Jack Dexter4/5

 Betting Trends & Information

There are 11 runners in the Chipchase Stakes with Kimberella the current favourite at 5/1 followed by five horses at 7/1 at the time of writing!

  • 7/21 winners finished in the Top 3 in their previous race.
  • 8/21 favourites won the race but 8/21 winners were not in the Top 4 in the betting market.
  • 20/21 winners last ran within 49 days of the race.
  • 6/6 winners were aged 3, 4, or 5.
  • 16/16 had won over 6f before.

Recent form is not relevant for the Chipchase Stakes as only one-third of previous winners finished in the top 3 in their previous race and the last 12 winners did not win their last race. Eight winners have been outside the top 4 in the market. One of the most important trends shows that only horses that have run within seven weeks of the race are likely to be in contention.

When we combine all of the above, it is possible to narrow down the field significantly. There are five horses aged 6+ so they can be eliminated. Bizarrely enough, we can also remove horses that won last time out which leaves us with six contenders. After focusing on horses that last ran within seven weeks and have a 6f victory to their name, we are left with two contenders: Yafta and Cardsharp. Although it is Joe Fanning and not Silvestre De Souza riding Cardsharp, I feel he represents real value at 11/1.

Ante Post Betting Odds

ComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Dream Of Dreams7/16/1
Above The Rest8/17/1
Never Back Down8/19/1
Top Score8/17/1
One Master10/110/1
Classical Times11/110/1
Juliet Capulet12/114/1
Ravens Lady16/114/1
Fashion Queen25/125/1
Soldiers Minute40/140/1

Northumberland Plate

Saturday, June 30

This is the festival’s big race and is one of the most lucrative two-mile handicaps in the world with a total prize fund of £150,000. It is a classic stayer’s race as it takes place over a distance of 2 miles and 56 yards and is open to all horses aged 3+. The race was first run in 1833 and was won by Tomboy.

The Northumberland Plate was run at Town Moor until the festival was relocated to Gosforth Park in 1882 where it has been taken place every year since. The meeting was a holiday until 1949 and the race was run on a Wednesday until 1952 when it was moved to a Saturday. Please note that the races have taken place on Tapeta since 2016 after over 180 years on the Turf.

Previous Winners

YearWinner Odds (SP)
2014Angel Gabrial4/1
2015Quest for More15/2
2017Higher Power11/2

 Betting Trends & Information

There are 20 confirmed runners for the Northumberland Plate and Withhold is the 10/3 favourite followed by Amazing Red and Lagostovegas at 7/1. Last year’s winner Higher Power is 8/1 with the rest of the field 12/1+.

  • 15/21 winners finished in the Top 3 in their previous race.
  • 18/21 winners were aged 3-6.
  • 7/21 winners were in the Top 3 in the betting market.
  • 21/21 winners had an OR of 85+
  • 21-21 last ran 10-52 days before the race.

If we focus on the age and Top 3 in previous race trends, the field is reduced to just seven contenders. Once we remove horses that didn’t run within the last 52 days, there are five likely winners. Most winners carry over 9-0 which eliminates Sir Chauvelin. Although respect is given to last year’s winner, Amazing Red boasts a win over 2 miles on Kempton’s AW track and enjoyed an excellent win at Newmarket last month. With a five-pound allowance, he could be the one to beat at 7/1.

Ante Post Betting Odds

Racebets.comComeOn.comWilliam Hill
Amazing Red15/28/18/1
Higher Power9/19/19/1
Dubawi Fifty8/18/110/1
The Grand Visir12/112/112/1
Financial Conduct14/114/114/1
Law Girl14/122/114/1
Look My Way20/120/114/1
Lord George14/114/114/1
Meri DevieN/A16/114/1
Natural Scenery14/114/114/1
Byron Flyer14/116/116/1
Euchen Glen16/116/116/1