Turf Talk: Star cracker finale set for Newcastle races

Garlick's Goodies
Garlick's Goodies
  • Desert Ace – Fri– Newcastle 7:45pm
  • Star Cracker – Fri – Newcastle 9:20pm
  • Maarek – Sat - Newcastle 2:00pm
  • White Bullet – Sat – Newmarket 2:50pm
  • Totalize – Sat - Newcastle 3:45pm

Middleham’s Mark Johnston was again the leading Yorkshire trainer at Royal Ascot with two of our three winners.

David O’Meara saddled Amazing Maria to win the Duke of Cambridge Stakes to complete the Yorkshire haul.

But it could have been oh so much better for our trainers.

Thirsk trainer Kevin Ryan must have kicked a few black cats as he saddled three seconds, all beaten in photographs.

The Grey Gatsby should have won the Group One Prince of Wales Stakes when not given a particular great ride from jockey Jamie Spencer.

The same rider was on board Ryan’s two-year-olds Areen and Ashadihan who were both just touched off.

Still these two youngsters, combined together with Buratino and Easton Angel gives the North a lot to look forward to in the top juvenile races this year.

The big race this weekend is the Northumberland Plate run at Newcastle, more commonly known as The Pitmen’s Derby.

Malton trainer Brian Ellison was actually born in Newcastle on ‘Plate day’ in 1952 and as a proud Geordie has been striving to win the race throughout his career.

He has entered four horses in an attempt to land his dream win so all his runners deserve a second look.

Seamour and Totalize look his best chances, the former is the shorter price but I fancy the chances of Totalize if he makes the line-up.

Earlier on the Newcastle card I fancy Maarek to win the Listed sprint. This Group One winner missed Ascot due to the fast ground so hopefully the underfoot conditions will be more favourable on Tyneside.

Jamie Spencer is booked to ride so let’s hope he does not find the same sort of trouble he encountered during some of his Ascot rides.

Newcastle also race on Friday where it is Gosforth Park Cup night.

County Durham trainer Michael Dods earmarked Desert Ace for this race after his second to Red Baron at Thirsk in May, and that horse has franked the form twice since.

He looks a good bet, with 2010 winner Captain Dunne seen as his biggest danger.

The same trainer/jockey combination of Dods and Mulrennan also have a sporting chance of winning the finale with Star Cracker.

Also on Saturday I’m hoping that Ryan’s luck changes as he hopes to run his promising youngster, White Bullet, at Newmarket.