Thursday, 25th Jun 2020
Having run well to finish runner-up in his last two starts, Carnwennan looks value to go one better and land the spoils in the valuable 2m Northumberland Plate Handicap at Newcastle on Saturday (15:35).
This Charlie Fellowes trained five-year-old improved throughout last season, rattling up a hat-trick in May and June.
In the last of those successes over this course and distance, Carnwennan stayed on strongly to easily beat Rare Groove by 3 1/2 lengths in the 15-runner Northumberland Vase consolation race off a mark of 87.
After racing in mid-division, Carnwennan was produced earlier than usual to take up the running two from home by regular pilot Stevie Donohoe.
The son of Cacique then forged clear to quickly put the race to bed and win with tons in hand. It was a totally dominant display.
Carnwennan went on to round off the campaign with a solid three-length fifth of 17 to Eddystone Rock in another competitive class 2 off 94.
He has looked as good as ever this year, being beaten just a neck by All Yours at Kempton before chasing home Smart Champion over course and distance in February.
Carnwennan looked the likely winner in the latter before being collared close home and beaten half-a-length. He now meets the winner on 4lb better terms – so that gives him every chance of turning the tables.
The yard is also in good form and Fellowes also has a healthy strike rate of just over 23 per cent with his Newcastle runners in the last 12 months.
So, taking everything into account, there is nothing not to like about Carnwennan’s profile for this and he can be backed at 8/1 with Betway to notch a fifth career success.
Despite being worse off at the weights with Carnwennan, the aforementioned Smart Champion looks sure to go well given his progressive profile.
The five-year-old, who hails from the yard of David Simcock, overcame trouble in-running when beating the selection here and has since run a cracker at Royal Ascot off 4lb higher.
That came in the Ascot Stakes over 2m 4f where, after racing at the rear under Callum Shepherd, the son of Teofilo made good headway a furlong from home. He then stayed on strongly to be nearest at the finish and beaten just 1 1/2 lengths when fourth of 19 to Coeur De Lion
Smart Champion appeared to have been ridden conservatively in order to get the marathon trip, which he was tackling for the first time. That makes the drop back to 2m over which he is 1-1 is sure to suit.
The assessor has put him up another 2lb for that excellent effort and Smart Champion now has to race off a career-high mark of 89.
However, he is clearly going the right way and appeals as the type to keep on progressing. Simcock’s horses were also generally needing the run at the time.
A bold bid looks assured and Smart Champion, who is 1-1 on the Tapeta surface and 7/1 shot with Unibet, thus rates the main danger to Carnwennan.
In a typically fierce renewal where a case can be made for most of the 20 runners, the Alan King trained Rainbow Dreamer appeals most from an each-way betting perspective.
This five-year-old has won five of his six starts on all-weather surfaces and has a tremendous 44 per cent strike rate at the Northumberland Plate trip, having won four times and been placed once from nine starts over it.
He landed the four-timer in fine style at Kempton back in February when forging clear to beat Chipiron by four lengths and has since run well in a Group 3 over this course and distance following a break of 111 days.
That came in the Sagaro Stakes where Rainbow Dreamer held every chance when disputing second place a furlong out, before being unable to find any extra inside the last to finish a five-length fourth of 11 to Nayef Road.
Given that the winner is a classy sort who finished third in last year’s St Leger and was rated 7lb his superior going into the contest, it was a fine effort by Rainbow Dreamer.
The son of Aqlaam is also entitled to come on for that spin and this class 2 contest represents a return to calmer water.
King can also do little wrong at present and Hollie Doyle is three from four on Rainbow Dream. At 9/1 with William Hill, who pay five places, he should hit the Northumberland Plate frame.