Racing: Brier buckles under weight

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The Independent Online
BRIER CREEK, who had been among the early favourites for Saturday's Northumberland Plate Handicap at Newcastle, was declared a probable non- runner yesterday after it emerged that he would be expected to carry a burden more suited to a National winner.

An 8lb penalty for him winning in the Group Three Henry II Stakes at Sandown last month would take Brier Creek's weight in the Pitmen's Derby to 10st 4lb, which his trainer, John Gosden, considers unrealistic in such a competitive event.

William Hill keep Brier Creek in their list, but have added the 'with a run' clause to their price of 9-1. The firm's other leading odds are 5-1 Not In Doubt, 6-1 Balasani, 10-1 Quick Ransom, 12-1 Castle Cavalier, Highflying, Snow Board & Welsh Mill, 14-1 others.

The absence of Brier Creek would cause a 10lb rise in the weights, bringing another 10 entries into the handicap proper.

A new racing club was launched yesterday aimed exclusively at people who have retired, or are about to retire. The Midweek Racing Club, which hopes to have five or six horses in training with Mark Usher, can be contacted through Carl West-Meads on 0488 648 808.