Racing: Ground-breaking win for Frontier

Simon Holt of Channel 4 Racing analyses today's Northumberland Plate
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The Independent Online
Windsor Castle: Won this race last year, now 11lb higher in the weights. Disappointing in last week's Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.

Sausalito Bay: High in the handicap and well beaten at Royal Ascot. Yet to win at two miles.

Arctic Owl: Spread-eagled the opposition at York - 14-length runner-up Top Cees has won since to boost the form. Must have plenty of give in the ground.

Leonato: Ex-French, has run well all three starts this season.

Symonds Inn: Tries a new trip after staying on well over a mile and a half. High in the weights.

Jaseur: On a high handicap mark and beat only two home at Doncaster last month.

Dovedon Star: Tough filly who was well beaten in the Ascot Stakes but won the Queen Alexandra Stakes just three days later. Well handicapped and should go well if ground is soft.

State Fair: Held on recent efforts and needs a drop in the ratings.

Mithak: Weighted to turn tables on Dovedon Star for race at Newmarket last year and caught the eye when staying-on in Chester Cup on only start this term. May have been trained for this.

Cloud Inspector: Tailed-off on last two starts and struggling to recapture consistent 1997 form.

Subtle Influence: Twice a winner in France last season but well beaten this year in Britain.

Georgia Venture: Improved last season but weakened tamely at Haydock last time.

Cyrian: Lacks finishing kick but has been running creditably.

Little Acorn: Tail-swisher who was tried unsuccessfully in blinkers in last week's Ascot Stakes.

Jawah: Unplaced this season.

Rainbow Frontier: A leading juvenile hurdler who ran a blinder when four lengths second to San Sebastian in Ascot Stakes last week. On a decent handicap mark and a threat to all.

Princess Topaz: Off the course since fourth of five on the all-weather at Lingfield in April.

Opaque: In grand form but needs holding up for a late run.

Arctic Thunder: A light of other days judged on his last three efforts on the all-weather.

Maridpour: Gutsy winner of Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot. Could be thrown in at the weights, though three-year-olds have a poor record in this event.

Conclusion: Maridpour, Arctic Owl and Dovedon Star (in order of preference) are all potentially well handicapped but the pick is RAINBOW FRONTIER who ran a blinder at Royal Ascot.

10-YEAR-TALE ON THE NORTHUMBERLAND PLATE

1988 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97

Fate of the favourites: 1 1/4 2 12 3/8 2 2 7 1 5

Winner's place in betting: 1 1J 2 0 3 0 0 0 1 0

Starting-prices: 9-4 4-1 9-2 10-1 6-1 7-1 25-1 12-1 2-1 10-1

Winners' weights: 9.2 7.7 8.11 7.7 9.9 7.11 8.8 9.10 9.4 8.10

Winners' ages: 5 3 4 4 5 7 6 4 4 3

Profit or loss to pounds 1 stake: Favourites -pounds 1.25 Second Favourites -pounds 4.50

Percentage of winners placed 1st, 2nd or 3rd in last race: 60%

Shortest-priced winner: Celeric (1996) 2-1

Longest-priced winner: Quick Ransom (1994) 25-1

Top trainer: No trainer has won this race more than once in the past 10 years

Top jockey: W Carson - Al Maheb (1990), Celeric (1996)

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