Ante-post weekend tips – Best ante-post picks at Newcastle and Newmarket

With some cracking racing action to come over the weekend we’ve taken a look at the pick of the racing on offer and give our ante-post weekend tips for the key races of the day on Saturday.

More top-class horse racing action goes to post over the course of Saturday where we pay a visit to the Newcastle tapeta where it is Pitmen’s Derby Day, although it is perhaps better known as the Northumberland Plate Festival.

The competitive handicap contest spearheads a fixture that also includes the Group Three Chipchase Stakes and another strong handicap in the Gosforth Park Cup. Meanwhile, Newmarket’s Saturday card is dominated by the Group Three Criterion Stakes.

All four races will be shown live on ITV Racing’s Saturday broadcast and we take an ante-post look at each of the classy contests where he give our ante-post weekend tips for each of the races going to post.


1:50 Newcastle – Betfair Backs Racing Welfare Chipchase Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 6f

A classy and competitive sprint contest MAJOR JUMBO could be worth chancing having warmed up with a recent run in the Palace House Stakes where the Zebedee gelding finished a good third despite having had the worst of the draw.

Kevin Ryan’s charge had posted a string of very good efforts to make the frame in Group company last term, including finding only Invincible Army too strong in the Duke Of York Stakes last May. He did register a Listed win at Chester in August before not running badly in soft ground at Haydock behind Group One winner Hello Youmzain and he again ran with credit under top-weight in the Ayr Gold Cup on his final start.

Probably in need of the run on his reappearance at Newmarket, he should be sharper for that outing and the return to six furlongs is a plus. He also has a good record here with a win and a placed effort from his two outings at the venue and he can make his presence felt for an in-form jockey and trainer combination.

Major Jumbo features in our ante-post weekend tips at Newcastle.

2:25 Newcastle – Betfair Free Bet Streak Gosforth Park Cup Handicap Cl2 (4yo+ 0-105) 5f

COPPER KNIGHT found only one too good in this race twelve months ago where he raced off the same mark but had 3lbs extra on his back; Tim Easterby’s charge might be able to go one place better here and his two runs this season has shown he retains all his ability.

The Sir Prancealot gelding won his only other start here earlier in his career and he was in very good heart last campaign which yielded two wins and a munber of solid efforts to finish in the frame. One of those successes came in a Listed contest at York.

He has had two starts this campaign, finishing only a short-head second to Makanah at Newmarket and then posting a creditable fourth back in Listed company latest behind El Astronaute where he had excuses having lost a shoe.

Despite carrying top-weight in this contest – 3lbs less than last season – he ought to give another good account and he’s won on his third start in each of his four seasons racing and every chance he can continue that trend here.

2:40 Newmarket – Betway Criterion Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f

MOHAATHER ran really well on his reappearance in the Queen Anne Stakes and would surely have finished a lot closer than he did had he been granted a clear passage through the field. Marcus Tregoning’s charge can build on that outing to resume winning ways dropping back in grade.

The 2019 Greenham Stakes winner was denied a Classic campaign through injury and he wasn’t seen to best effect in heavy ground when returning in the QEII Stakes on British Champions Day. He finished seventh on that recent return but he caught the eye with the way he travelled in the contest although his passage through was luckless and he couldn’t involve himself in the finish.

The Showcasing colt is surely worth another chance though and he’ll strip much fitter for that Royal Ascot return; while this drop back to seven furlongs will hold no fears. He remains with plenty of potential and he looks sure to make his presence felt here if turning out.

Mohaather ran well on return at Royal Ascot and can build on that outing.

3:35 Newcastle – Betfair Northumberland Plate Handicap Cl2 (3yo+) 2m½f

ANYONECANHAVEITALL is an improving young stayer who could make his mark in this contest for Mark Johnston and the Nathaniel gelding could be worth chancing to take another forward step up the ladder.

He showed steadily progressive form last term, winning three times and never finishing out of the first four in seven outings which included twice here where he won on his penultimate start over course and distance before finding only one too good next time also over course and distance.

There wasn’t a great deal wrong with his latest effort when he made his return to action at Pontefract in the recent Bradford Handicap, possibly just doing too much and unable to hold off the late charge of the winner. The front pair pulled four lengths clear and a 3lbs rise in the handicap could still leave him well treated where he’ll carry a feather-weight in comparison to some of his rivals.

He has the potential to do better still and if his progress from last campaign carries forward then he can make his mark at this more competitive level where a big run wouldn’t surprise.