Northumberland Plate Odds
The Northumberland Plate is the feature race of Newcastle's major Flat meeting of the season, which runs for three days at the end of June.
The race itself is a two-mile handicap for horses aged three-years-old and up and is unique in its nature as it attracts horses from both the Flat racing scene and also ones from the Jumps.
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It was first run in 1883 when it was called the Pitmen's Derby, but has developed over the years to become known as the Northumberland Plate and become one of the richest two-mile handicaps in the world. It is one of the most well attended racing festivals on the planet with 24,000 race fans flocking to Gosforth Park to revel in the atmosphere.
The Gosforth Park Cup, run over five furlongs, remains the feature race on Friday and the Seaton Delaval Trophy, a valuable handicap, opens the festival on Thursday.
With the nature of the race being a staying handicap run at a testing track, finding a horse that is well weighted is a key to unlocking the race.
Every single winner in the last nine years have carried 8st 11lbs or less in the handicap, so eliminating all the horses at the top of the handicap is a great place to start when assessing the race. Race fitness also is crucial, with the last 14 winners having raced just 55 days before taking in the Northumberland Plate.
The markets also have a tendency to get the race wrong in terms of making a horse a favourite as only two market leaders have triumphed in the last 11 years.
The 2012 renewal was won by classy Jumps trainer Donald McCain with the gutsy stayer Il De Re.
The horse had won the Chester Cup earlier in the year in similar heavy ground, becoming the first horse to complete that double since 1974.