Race of The Day Wednesday June 27
16:001m3fur (2200m)

totesport.com Cumberland Plate Handicap (Class 4)


  • Current Favourite  Ad Libitum
  • Current Odds 7/2
Race Analysis Runners 12 Going Good to Firm Distance 1m3fur (2200m)

Race Overview

Along with Carlisle Bell that precedes it half an hour earlier, the Cumberland Plate is one of the world’s oldest documented races having reportedly been run for around 350 years. The Carlisle Bell is older having been inaugurated in 1599 and both events form the centrepiece of a tremendous day’s sport at the Cumbrian track.

With £31,200 in prize money this is one of the most valuable events for Class 4 handicappers of the year, the race being run over an extended one mile three furlongs and is open to horses rated 66-85. It always draws a competitive field and this year’s renewal is no exception.

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Horse racing Donncha, Oh This Is Us, Bravery

Favourite Ad Libitum

Roger Fell’s three-year-old may just edge favouritism having really caught the eye when hacking up over course and distance nine days ago. He’ll carry a 6lb penalty but it is likely that plenty of punters will be prepared to wager he can follow up.

Other Contenders

There are plenty of horses with genuine claims in this event including the Tim Easterby-trained top weight Aasheq who is on a hattrick mission. Others arriving in form include Tor, Daawy, Theglasgowwarrior and Zihaam, while the likes of The Navigator and Compton Mill and Roar will also have their supporters.

Race Analysis

The horses at the top and bottom of the handicap are of particular interest. Top weight AASHEQ was trained until the start of this season in Ireland by Dermot Weld. He had good maiden form finishing runner-up to the Group 1 winner US Navy Flag on his debut as a three-year-old, but left Weld having failed to score in six outings and been sent off favourite on no less than five occasions.

He had wind surgery last November and made a promising start off a lowly rating of 73 for Tim Easterby, finishing third in a 1m2f handicap at Newcastle in April. Back on turf, he scored in ready fashion at Chester last month then followed up off a 6lb higher mark, staying on bravely to edge out Zabeel Star over 1m1f at Hamilton last time. This step back up in trip looks tailor made, and although raised a further 6lb he seems to have finally got his act together and there could be more to come.

Ad Libitum got off the mark recently over course and distance at the 11th time of asking having gone very close on his two previous outings at Ripon and Haydock. He won with plenty of authority and turns out again under his statutory 6lb penalty before the handicapper can review his mark following his eased down four-length victory here. This is tougher as he takes on much better opposition, and will also be having his fourth race in just 20 days. He seems to be thriving however so a bold show is very much on the cards.

Iain Jardine’s Tor took advantage of a falling mark to run hs best race for some time when second at Chester recently. He stays really well , but would ideally prefer a little ease underfoot, but Daawy handles conditions and is running into form with two good placed efforts of late. He is fairly handicapped and is not without a chance.

Theglasgowwarrior was runner-up to last year’s Cumberland Plate winner Dance King at Musselburgh earlier this month and had previously scored over this trip at Hamilton. He remains in decent shape and is respected, while souther raider Compton Mill probably found 1m6f too far at Goodwood last time and it wouldn’t surprise to see him do better aback at this trip. Another journeying north is Roger Charlton’s Roar who propably needed his first run of the season at Windsor last month and a better display could well be on the cards off a 2lb lower mark.

The dark horse is Richard Fahey’s three-year-old The Navigator who has had just three runs, winning a mile novice stakes at Thirsk in April before running disappointingly in a similar event at Doncaster last time. He makes his handicap bow here and has been pitched in at the deep end so must be held in some regard so any market support could well prove a significant pointer in his favour.

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.