Tony’s Trends – Two Top Tips for Tomorrow – The Northumberland Plate, 24 June 2022

Royal Ascot reflection

Royal Ascot Day 5 provided us with one surprise after another. If you had placed a Tricast in the opening race, it would have paid out at 66,000/1, based on odds from William Hill!

In the Wokingham, our Trends selections finished close together. Both ran well, but just not well enough to place (even though both were supported) making the final day a bit of a downer for Trends followers. Add to that, the winner of the Wokingham, Rohaan, defied the Trends for the second year running!

After seeing the result and also recalling that this year we have had multiple Trend busters (The Grand National winner amongst others) I decided to have a detailed look at how the Trends have performed over the first 35 episodes.

I have taken the price that was advised (except at big meetings where BOG was available), offers I highlighted (EW cashback in the Grand National, for example) and maximum places available, which is another factor I consider when I look at the profit and loss.

As you know, I always advise you to use to find the best bookie deals and Oddschecker to compare odds and place terms. So, when tracking results, I look at the advice given, in terms of the horse itself and the various offers available.

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After 35 Episodes and 64 selections, we have had just seven winners, which is a 10.94% strike rate. If they had all been short-priced favourites, we would be in deep trouble, but the majority I’ve put up have been trading in double figure odds.

We’ve also had 20 runners who have placed (31.25%) again often at big prices, the most notable one went off at 80/1. There have also been 35 ‘honourable participants’ (54.69%) and 2 non-runners (3.12%). So, just over 50% of the time, we lose our stakes to the bookies. I take these hard, as I invariably feel bad when followers do not make a profit from any of my selections.

However, in terms of profit and loss, assuming a £1 EW stake on all bets (except one advised at 5/2, which is not an EW price) then the outcome after just under six months is actually a healthy £94.55 profit.

After Episode 3, when a few of the potential runners I had considered won, or placed at decent prices, I started adding a saver. This has definitely been a good decision, as they have more than paid their way over time.

NOTE: I have deliberately not added the aforementioned non-advised horses in retrospectively to pad my results.

Some people have asked if the Trends are of benefit at the larger racing festivals. To offer a perspective, I looked at the multi-day meetings I’ve covered in Trends pieces and thankfully we have also made modest profits in that sector. At Cheltenham, we made a profit of £16.55 to our £1 EW stake and at Royal Ascot, despite huge fields and trend defying results, we made a profit of £7.90 (thank you Dark Shift).

IMPORTANT – you should never increase your stake when following any pundit based on past results. For example, there have been 12 Trends episodes where the selections made no return at all, so please be aware of the risk involved.

I always advise that you should stake according to your means and you should look at your results over time, certainly not on a race-by-race basis.

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The Northumberland Plate, 2 Miles, Newcastle 15.30

Our Trends race this week is the Northumberland Plate, which is colloquially known as the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’. It was originally run mid-week and the local miners were allowed a day off so they could attend the race meeting.

Unfortunately, the meeting ceased to be a holiday in 1949 and the race was switched to a Saturday in 1952. It is now one of the richest two-mile Handicaps in the world and attracts top-class runners as a result.

We again will review all of the race renewals since 1988. However, since 2016, the Northumberland has been run on the AW Tapeta surface at the track, so I will pay special attention to the results since that time to see if the Trends have been affected the winner’s profile in any way.


The previous 34 winners were aged 3 years (x 3), 4 years (x 12), 5 years (x 6), 6 years (x 7), 7 years (x 3), 8 years (x 2) or 9 years (just one, Nicholas T, who won last year).


All previous winners carried between 7-09 and 9-10. Given featherweights are no longer permitted, it pays to focus on those carrying between 08-02 and 09-10.


29 of the 34 previous winners were sent off at odds of 16/1 or less and there have been nine winning Favourites.

All previous winners since 2000, who were allotted an OR, were rated at least 85, but not more than 103.The last 20 winners were rated between 87 and 100.All previous winners since 2000 achieved an RPR of at least 77, but not more than 110. If we exclude the Tony Martin horse (Arc Bleu in 2008) then it pays to focus on those who achieved an RPR of at least 95.Since 2016 when the race moved to an all-weather surface, all winners had placed first or second in an AW race.Since 2002, all previous winners achieved a top five placing in their prep run.While the last two winners ran in a Class 3 and 4 Handicaps, the majority had run in a class 2 Handicap on their final prep run.All bar one previous winner had run within 52 days of the race. The one that did not (Withold in 2018) changed trainer in the lead up to the race and had placed in the Cesarewitch, where he was sent off Favourite.

I will firstly discount those runners who have too much weight, which immediately removes Trueshan from the field.

In racecard order, I will now discount any runner who has not placed in the first two on an AW track previously:

Alright Sunshine (who did me a big favour when placing at Royal Ascot)Summer’s KnightGraphiteValley Forge (who has not been tried, but must be discounted nonetheless)Uber Cool (who has also been off too long)

Next, I will remove any runner who is unlikely to be sent off at odds of 25/1, or more:

Pirate King (who has also been off the track too long)Red VerdonThemaxwecanWho Dares Wins (who is also too old)

I will also discount any of the remaining runners who has not run within the last 52 days:

Once again in racecard order, I will remove any of the remaining runners who did not place in the top five in their prep run:

Island BraveBandinelliTribal ArtGolden FlameOnesmoothoperatorSir ChauvelinSolent Gateway


The Trends have really weeded out the field this time, leaving me with just two qualifiers to review in detail. They are presented in racecard order once again.

Rajinsky has run in the last two renewals, improving his placing from seventh in 2020 to third in 2021. He carried 08-07 last year and due to Trueshan lining up, he will carry 08-12, after taking his riders claim into account.

His last run at Chester, behind Cleveland and Coltrane, has been franked in no uncertain terms, as they placed first and second when meeting again at Royal Ascot. His performances this year show that he has stepped up, at Chester he was described as “always to the fore and keeping on determinedly in the closing stages”.

He also posted his best ever RPR (107) after moving to Hugo Palmer’s yard. Palmer also trains Caravan of Hope, who won this race in 2020. The yard had been hitting the crossbar quite a bit recently, until landing a decent race at Carlisle on Wednesday.

Rajinsky is the current Favourite, but given how well they seem to perform in this race (nine have won, with further 14 placing in the top five) that will not lead to him being passed over. Palmer has a 21% strike rate at Newcastle, with 50% of his runners finishing top four places, so he knows what it takes to train winners on the AW track here.

Spirit Mixer is the young gun, who at just four-years-old is seeking to step up. He has won over 1mile 6 furlongs twice already this year and has improved for each run to this point. At Chester last time he was drawn wide and had to run three wide the entire time without any real cover, so his proximity to the winner was a decent effort.

In a bigger field with a decent draw, he will get better cover, so is likely to be closer to the lead throughout and try to run on. Like Rajinsky, they have put a decent 5lb Claimer up, who has ridden four winners in the past two weeks (including Coltrane at Royal Ascot) achieving an 18% strike rate. Rajinsky’s trainer has run 92 at Newcastle, with 60 placing in the topfour, which adds to confidence in him.

With just two qualifiers, who are both 5/1 or more, we can play both. Especially given that William Hill is going seven places for the race.

Given his excellent performances over the past few years and his exceptional run in the Chester Cup, Rajinsky is the main selection, but Spirit Mixer, who also tuned up at Chester, is definitely one who is up and coming and we can also support.



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Author: Ronald Butler