15:30 Newcastle Sat 1 July 2017
Last Year's Winner
Flymetothestars (11/4), Higher Power (11/2), Seamour (6/1), Natural Scenery (7/1), Lord George (17/2), Jaameh (12/1), Good Run (20/1), Sir Chauvelin (25/1), Sam Missile (25/1), Champagne Champ (25/1), Suegioo (25/1), Hot Beat (25/1), My Reward (28/1), Clever Cookie (33/1), Yorkidding (33/1), Gavlar (40/1), Maleficent Queen (50/1), Winterlude (66/1), Cosmelli (100/1), Corton Lad (100/1)
- Higher Power
What the connections say
Brian Ellison, Seamour: "He's drawn one better than last year. I think he's better this year. He's in very good form and his home work is awesome.
"He's drawn in the middle, so it's better than being drawn wide, although the better fancied ones are inside us. We were drawn wide last year and ran wide all the way.
"He went a bit early, but the winner had a great run all the way and got a great ride.
"Everything's gone fine with his training and we had him away a couple of weeks ago. It went well and he's working well, so we're just very hopeful. It was a good run first time out and he's improved loads for it.
"It would be nice to have this race on the CV - this and the Melbourne Cup would be nice, but as long as he comes back OK, that's the main thing. We just need a good run and if he gets a good run and is second again, so be it."
Tim Palin, for owners of Flymetothestars: "Sir Mark told us that Lady Bamford was going to send him to the sales and he felt the horse would have a good chance in the Northumberland Plate if we wanted to buy him.
"We said we would buy him specifically with that race in mind and he's been trained for this race. He is in the Irish St Leger because it is possible if he were to win the Northumberland Plate you'd be looking at those staying Group races.
"He could be a Group horse masquerading in a handicap, we don't know that for sure. All we have seen so far is a nice, progressive, young handicapper that everyone has fallen in love with at Middleham Park.
"He's favourite for the Plate and deserves to be the way he beat Endless Acres last time and that horse was second in the Ascot Stakes. Our horse wasn't fully tuned up, there is some improvement in there and we go there with a big chance.
"It's a very competitive race and there have been horses laid out for it. We have and he's an improving young gun that seems to fit the bill.
"Our worst nightmare would to have been drawn in the car park, but he's drawn eight so the draw gods have been reasonably kind to us and he's had a clean, uninterrupted preparation."
Jim Goldie, Sir Chauvelin: "He's in good form and we've got quite a good draw (six). He ran a blinder in the consolation last year and seemed to handle the surface, so it's all positive.
"He's in good order and I think he's got a good chance. It's a difficult race, but he's one of the players, I think."
Tim Easterby, My Reward: "He'd have a good chance. He had a few issues last year, but we've sorted them out now.
"The only thing I'm worried about is the surface, as he came there with every chance last year and just emptied. He shouldn't do that this year."
Josephine Gordon, rider of Natural Scenery: "We're drawn 10. There could be worse draws. Hopefully she can slot in and find a nice position. I'm expecting a big run. She's won there and the further the better for her. She has her quirks but every time she's won, she's done it smartly. I think she's a very progressive filly."
Tom Queally, rider of Higher Power: "It's (wide draw) not ideal, but he's in good form. It was a good run at Sandown, so hopefully he can build on that.
"I'd like to think he's a little bit better than a handicapper, but he's weighted accordingly."
Tony Hamilton, rider of Suegioo: "He's a bit of a law to himself because he doesn't go early in the race. You've got to leave him alone so you end up out the back, but his last two have been good runs at Haydock and he was fifth at Ascot last week (behind Thomas Hobson)."
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