Sabotage heads Pitmen's Derby entries

SABOTAGE heads a field of 49 horses left in the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.

Godolphin's four-year-old is now the top weight with 9st 10lb after Tastahil was among the withdrawals at the latest acceptance stage. Sabotage's team-mate Sopranist is also a possible for the two-mile heritage handicap, commonly known as the Pitmen's Derby.

The stamina test is restricted to the top 20 in the handicap and those certain to get a run should they turn up at Gosforth Park include the Michael Jarvis-trained Opinion Poll. A winner in France last week, he does need some cut in the ground. Luca Cumani's Drunken Sailor, Andrew Balding's Chiberta King, Alan Swinbank's Merchant Of Dubai and the Richard Fahey-trained Halla San would all have chances.

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David Pipe has left in Chester Cup Mamlook, while he has another possible in Junior – although that Pond House inmate is not yet in the elite 20 despite incurring a 5lb penalty for his win in the Ascot Stakes.

The runner-up in that Chester marathon was Elyaadi and John Queally's charge is guaranteed a place. Other Irish entries are the Charlie Swan-trained duo of Rajik and Zaralabad, who are on the fringe of making the cut.

Deauville Flyer has been installed the 6-1 favourite with Ladbrokes, while the Pipe pair Mamlook and Junior are 8-1 and 9-1 respectively. David Williams of Ladbrokes said: "Deauville Flyer is by no means certain to get into the race but if he creeps in we expect him to be all the rage. His recent win at York was the perfect prep for the Northumberland Plate."

Meanwhile, last year's English and Irish Oaks winner Sariska is among 18 five-day acceptors for Saturday's Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. Michael Bell's classy four-year-old, runner-up to the brilliant colt Fame And Glory in the Coronation Cup on her latest start, heads a quality entry.

Other British-trained possibles are last week's Royal Ascot winner Strawberrydaiquiri, Flying Cloud, High Heeled, Kinky Afro, Sajjhaa and Saphira's Fire.

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