Wally’s Wagers: Quest claims Plate victory at Newcastle

Wally's Wagers with Darren Walters
Wally's Wagers with Darren Walters
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It was the end of an era as Quest For More showed a smart turn of foot to win the last Northumberland Plate to be run on turf at Newcastle.

The 15­/2 second favourite ran on strongly towards the finish to the delight of the Geordie faithful.

Trainer Roger Charlton and jockey George Baker paid tribute to the five-year- old.

“He’s improved so much through the winter, he is much more straightforward and willing, every year he keeps on improving,” said Baker.

The Plate has been contested since 1883, and although opinion is divided, many trainers have reacted strongly to the idea of replacing the grass course with an all-weather track.

Trainer Ed Vaughan took to Twitter calling the decision “an act of vandalism” while Ryedale-based Tim Easterby suggested Catterick would be a better choice.

My personal opinion is that although an all-weather track in the north is essential, Newcastle is the last place I would have opted for.

All eyes will be at Sandown on the unbeaten Golden Horn in Saturday’s 3.00 Coral Eclipse, with only four rivals ready to take on the Derby-winning colt.

Trainer John Gosden said: “Frankie (Dettori) did a lovely piece of work on him the other morning, skipping clear of a horse rated 118.”

Although small fields can become somewhat tactical and messy, this horse has too much class and can build on his Derby form with another exceptional display.

Odds of 1/3 are just too short for me, I think he will win, and win well, but at this price I would rather not have a bet in this particular race.

The three races I’ve concentrated on this week start with the 2.00 Coral Charge class one at Sandown. With 19 runners this will be a fast, furious five-furlong dash.

When I’m making my selections, I firstly cross out the horses that I don’t believe will win, narrowing a long list down to five or six.

In this race, I am all in on Mecca’s Angel, providing the ground stays good Michael Dods’ filly will take some catching.

The horse looks like she’s still improving and her form backs that up. With odds around 5/1 I can see her running a big race.

The bet365 Old Newton Cup is a one-mile three-furlong race run at Haydock.

Having looked through this race in some depth, my selection must be Astronereus who was very unlucky at Ascot three weeks ago in the Duke of Edinburgh.

She came very fast to grab third spot, but a length more and she would have won. A repeat of the same will see this gutsy colt go close.

I will be at Beverley this Saturday, the track has a great family feel to it, and if you haven’t been racing before, Beverley is a must.

Long Awaited is the horse I’m tipping to prove doubters wrong.

Although not recently running with much credit, I think this sort of track will suit, and having dropped down to a class four, shrewd trainer David Barron may think his horse has enough to take the £8,000 win fund.

Wally’s Wagers

2.00 Sandown: Meccas Angel 5/1.

3.25 Haydock: Astronereus 7/1.

3.00 Beverley: Long Awaited 6/1.