Bukit among Plate hopefuls

Ante-post favourite Bukit Tinggi is among a maximum field of 20 declared for the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.

Ante-post favourite Bukit Tinggi is among a maximum field of 20 declared for the John Smith’s Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.

Michael Jarvis’ four-year-old safely made the cut for the prestigious two-mile Heritage Handicap.

All the leading fancies stood their ground as there were only a few withdrawals, although these were headed by the original top-weight, Godolphin’s Eastern Anthem.

His stablemate Spring City, Ajaan, Colloquial and Kasthari are the others not to have been declared.

Due to Eastern Anthem’s absence, the weights have been raised 2lb to put Tungsten Strike on top with 9st 10lb.

Last year’s third, Tilt, will bid to go two places better while his trainer Brian Ellison also has Carte Diamond.

Richard Fahey is also double-handed with Halla San and Greenwich Meantime as other leading contenders include Highland Legacy, Pippa Greene, Double Banded and Desert Sea, plus a French challenger – John Hammond’s Far From Old.

There are two reserves – Tony Martin’s Irish raider Arc Bleu and Tim Easterby’s Bollin Derek.

They will replace any non-runners notified by 10.30 on Friday morning.

Rationale sneaked in at the foot of the weights on 8st 2lb and trainer Stuart Williams is pleased to have secured the services of smart young pilot William Buick.

Rationale is used to running at shorter distances than the two-mile trip, finishing third to Emirates Skyline at Epsom on his latest outing over 10 furlongs.

“I’m definitely pleased to have got in and we’ve got a good draw (eight) and a good jockey on board,” said the Newmarket trainer.

“He hasn’t run over two miles before but he has won over a mile and six furlongs and for a big prize like this, it’s worth taking a chance.

“Obviously it’s a very competitive handicap, but it should be for the money and I am hopeful of a good run.”

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