Talking Horses: Dubious Affair rates smashing bet in Northumberland Plate

It will be one of the greatest weight-carrying performances since Red Rum’s second Grand National in 1974 if Trueshan can defy 10st 4lb in the ultra-competitive Northumberland Plate on Saturday.

Alan King’s stayer, who runs off an official rating of 118, has a well-known liking for soft ground on turf but he has form on the all-weather Tapeta surface and Rhys Clutterbuck’s 5lb claim is helpful too.

But it remains an immense task to give between 7lb and 22lb to 19 rivals including Dubious Affair (3.30), who looked unlucky when a close second at Royal Ascot last week. Charlie Fellowes’s mare remains progressive and runs off the same mark here.

Newcastle 1.45 While Woven has yet to win over six furlongs, he was just a neck away on his debut for Michael Dods in April and again ran well next time up at York. At around 11-2, he could edge out Ejtilaab in a fiercely competitive heat.

Newmarket 2.05 Cachet sets a high standard but may need seven furlongs already and Najat showed enough on debut at Thirsk to suggest she can bridge the gap.

Newcastle 2.20 Diligent Harry and Khuzaam were both impressive winners at Lingfield on All-Weather Finals day, with the former successful over this six-furlong trip and Khuzaam spread-eagling his field over a mile. Preference is for the latter despite the drop back in trip, as he travelled strongly at Lingfield and stopped the clock in an excellent time.

Newmarket 2.40 THe 2019 St Leger winner, Logician, was scratched from the Hardwicke last Saturday when the ground eased but should finally get the fast surface he relishes here.

Newcastle 2.55 East Asia is unbeaten since joining Ian Williams this year and still had something in hand to win his third race in a row at Goodwood this month. He is able to race off a 2lb lower mark here.

Newmarket 3.15 At the likely odds, Motakhayyel could reward an interest at around 10-1, as he returns to this track and trip for the first time since an impressive success off 105 in last year’s Bunbury Cup.

The Curragh 3.45 Hurricane Lane has just over three lengths to find with Mojo Star on their Derby form behind Adayar, but he did not look at home at Epsom. He was two lengths in front of High Definition, the likely favourite here, on his previous start in the Dante and looks a big price at around 11-2 to confirm the form, with this course more likely to suit.