Famous for the Northumberland Plate and the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, Newcastle these days is earning an increasing reputation for top-class flat animals beginning their careers on Tyneside.
Nowadays, anything sent to the track by John Gosden, William Haggas or Roger Varian that wins well on debut is very possible a future Group winner.
The Plate, and even its consolation race for that matter, is a huge betting event and one of the highlights of the racing summer.
Newcastle is left-handed, and since 2015/16 has reverted to all-weather for its now very busy flat racing schedule.
While that wasn’t a very popular move at the time, it has actually proven ultimately to be terrific for the venue. The Tapeta surface has been a revelation, with the stiffness of the track and the fairness of the surface being a reason for top Newmarket trainers sending some of their best to learn their trade here.
The likes of Headman, Enable, Stradivarius and Without Parole all won their first races on Tyneside.
As well as having a Tapeta surface, Newcastle’s all-weather track is different from many others in that it has a straight mile and floodlights.
In the handicaps, if your horse is drawn on the inner on the round course you may have a slight advantage given the big sweeping bend, while on the straight course they tend to come down the middle in larger fields these days.
The jumps tracks are among the most popular in the country for jockeys, and it pays to remember that trips here take some getting given the uphill finish so always make sure there are no stamina doubts before putting money down.
Top Trainers and Riders at Newcastle
Given the intricacies of the tracks here it can pay to find out who the better performers are to give yourself an advantage. The better trainers in recent years have been:
- John Gosden*
- William Haggas*
- Roger Varian*
- Richard Fahey*
- Jim Goldie*
- Iain Jardine
- Sue Smith
- Nick Alexander
- James Ewart
- Micky Hammond
- Nicky Henderson
- Keith Dalgleish
The top jockeys at Newcastle are:
- Ben Curtis*
- Danny Tudhope*
- Rab Havlin*
- Callum Rodriguez*
- PJ McDonald*
- Harry Bannister
- Brian Hughes
- Danny Cook
* Flat racing, others are National Hunt
Top Newcastle Handicap Races
Newcastle now has a very valuable Listed race, the Burradon Stakes, as well as the Group 3 Chipchase and Hoppings Stakes which are run on Plate day.
Over the jumps the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle is considered to be the leading two-mile race outside of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham too, but the handicaps at Gosforth Park are very well supported too. Here are the best of them:
|Gosforth Park Cup||Northumberland Plate Festival, June||Class 2||5 furlongs|
|Northern Sprint||Northumberland Plate Festival||Class 2||6 furlongs|
|Northumberland Vase||Northumberland Plate Festival||Class 2||2 miles, 56 yards|
|Northumberland Plate||Northumberland Plate Festival||Class 2||2 miles, 56 yards|
|Rehearsal Chase||Fighting Fifth Day, November/December||Listed||2 miles, 7 furlongs, 91 yards|
|Eider Chase||Eider Chase Day||February||4 miles, 1 furlong|