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Nic Ladds 25th Jun 2009 - 11:43

Bell to ring in another Northumberland winner

The Northumberland Plate has Judgethemoment as favourite at odds of 8/1 where he bids to win one of the richest two-mile handicaps in the world.

Also known as 'The Pitmen's Derby' as in its early years it afforded a rare holiday for the local mining family's, The Northumberland Plate is the highlight of the Newcastle festival.

A quick look at the most significant stats in our quest to find the winner tells us that out of the last ten winners, nine were trained in the UK, nine carried 8-11 or less and eight were drawn in stall nine or lower.

This is also a race for bigger prices with two 33/1 winners in the last five years, and just two favourites obliging in the last ten.

This is always extremely competitive as is demonstrated by the betting this year with only one horse - Valentino Rossi looking out of it at 100/1 with all other runners 33/1 or lower.

The main selection for this great race is going to be The Betchworth Kid who looks overpriced at odds of 20/1.

He looks well in on his best form and his trainer Michael Bell knows how to win this having won it in 2007 with Juniper Girl. At four-years-old he is the right age to put in a big run with five of the last ten winners being aged four.

With jockey Jamie Kyne on board taking 5lbs off this takes him below 8-11 and the stable being in fine form he looks to have a great chance

The Betchworth Kid has been running in better races than this and the distance will be no problem, slight ground concerns are not enough to put us off him at a great each way price and to top it off he comes out of stall 1.

With the draw generally being a crucial factor for betting purposes it is perhaps best to discount those that are drawn very far out wide, despite some having otherwise winning credentials.

Electrolyser at 12/1 is one such horse who has won twice and this four-year-old look sure to improve in long distance handicaps but a draw of 22 could all but snuff out his chances.

Drawn next to him in 21 is the favourite Judgethemoment who at 8/1 in the betting look sure to give a big run having won his last three over marathon distances.

Jane Chapple-Hyam has been raving about his chances and how great his form is, and the very fact that he is still favourite represents how much is thought of him.

For me, if he was drawn lower could not be left out but his high draw is enough to put me off at the prices.

Record Breaker sits at 10/1 in the market and it has been well documented that Mark Johnston thinks a lot of him and that his versatility and continued improvement could mean this race is right up his street.

A draw of 20 will not please his shrewd trainer though, but Johnston does have another chance in the race with 9/1 shot Keenes Day.

The 2m trip here should suit Keenes Day better than the 2m4f at Ascot where his stamina appeared to give out having looked like the winner two furlongs out.

He generally seems to either put in a huge run or be bitterly disappointing with little in between and while he has been mopping up races on the all-weather, he is yet to translate this form to the turf

He is drawn 7 and he has a big chance, but it would take a brave punter to pile on this inconsistent performer.

Wells Lyrical is drawn 2 and made an extremely pleasing come back run where he finished second at Ripon.

That was his first run since last October and he looks a tough sort who is hard to pass and will come on a lot for that run. He racked up a hat trick at the end of last season and is no doubt still improving, this Bryan Smart horse is definitely on the short list.

Speed Ticket is also 9/1 and it is interesting that Jessica Harrington sends him over here from Ireland for a crack at this, but it's a big ask and he could be a bit out of his depth coming from stall 9.

Hendersyde looks the main rival to Wells Lyrical also at 9/1 coming out of stall 5. He has won his last two and is effective at a range of distances up to 2m which should be perfect for him here.

The Betchworth Kid is the main selection at 20/1 while it is close between 9/1 chances Hendersyde and Wells Lyrical as to who will do best but slight preference is for Wells Lyrical who should improve a huge amount for his come back run.

Recommendation:
The Betchworth Kid - 20/1
Wells Lyrical  - 9/1

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