Withhold in mix to defend Plate

Charlton gelding one of 42 in Newcastle reckoning

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Last year’s winner Withhold is among 42 horses to stand their ground at the five-day confirmation stage for the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

The Roger Charlton-trained gelding made all when comfortably landing the spoils 12 months ago, on his first start since winning the Cesarewitch the previous October.

His only subsequent start came in the Geelong Cup eight months ago, and he is rated 8lb higher than when he was successful in the prestigious handicap at the Gosforth Park track last summer.

The weights for Saturday are headed by Hugo Palmer’s Mootasadir, while ante-post favourite Gibbs Hill is also in the list. Roger Varian’s charge has been absent since scoring at Kempton in July 2017.

Chester Cup hero Making Miracles is one of four possibles from the Mark Johnston stable – along with Austrian School, prolific winner King’s Advice and Bayshore Freeway, who was successful at Pontefract on Sunday.

Others in the mix include Red Galileo, Who Dares Wins, Dubawi Fifty, Coeur De Lion, Bartholomeu Dias and Ascot Stakes third Time To Study.

Willie Mullins’ Stratum and Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old Barbados, second in last week’s Queen’s Vase, are two Irish-trained horses left in the extended two-mile test.

Withhold in mix to defend Plate
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