Mootasadir shoulders top weight in Plate

Withhold back to defend crown in maximum field of 20

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Hugo Palmer’s Mootasadir will carry top weight in the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate Handicap at Newcastle – in which last year’s winner Withhold also lines up.

A maximum field of 20 will go to post on Saturday for the famous handicap, with Palmer’s classy four-year-old due to carry 9st 12lb – having won the Magnolia Stakes at Kempton in March.

He was last seen racing in America in the Belmont Gold Cup on turf. But his form on a artificial surface is a perfect six out of six, so he will be more at home this weekend.

Last year’s winner Withhold will run for Roger Charlton, but he has not been in action since breaking blood vessel in Australia in October.

In the same Tony Bloom ownership is the Willie Mullins-trained Stratum, the only Irish runner in the race.

Mark Johnston’s Austrian School is one of three set to represent the Middleham trainer – along with Chester Cup winner Making Miracles and the prolific King’s Advice, who has won all six of his races for his new yard since joining from France.

King’s Advice is regally bred, being by Frankel out of the speedy Queen’s Logic, but he has found his niche over staying trips.

Speedo Boy and Shabeeb will attempt to continue Ian Williams’ good run – with ante-post gamble Gibbs Hill, Saeed bin Suroor’s Red Galileo, Tom Dascombe’s Proschema and Gay Kelleway’s Cosmeli, winner of the consolation race 12 months ago, also involved.

Mootasadir shoulders top weight in Plate
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