Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bourgeois Looking Different Class

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bourgeois Looking Different Class

Article excerpt

Byline: By Doug Moscrop

The Chester Cup rather than the Ascot Stakes could hold the key to the pounds 175,000 John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle today.

Four of the first five home at the Roodee in May clash again in Europe's richest two-mile handicap and I expect Bourgeois to reverse the form with the winner, Hugs Dancer, the unlucky runner-up Big Moment, and the fourth Rahwaan.

Although only fifth, Bourgeois turned in a solid effort after experiencing traffic problems in the home straight. There is also a train of thought that he may not have quite seen out the extended two and quarter miles.

The galloping Tyneside track will suit him better, the ground looks ideal for him, and he has been trained all year for the race.

Arguably, he hasn't a great deal in hand of the official assessor after a 7lb hike following his unexpected Haydock win on his seasonal debut. He has gone up another pound for his Chester run which makes life just that bit tougher.

However, the ex-French horse possesses a fine turn of foot which is not usually found among stayers and, while he could have been drawn better and needs luck in running, I will be disappointed if he is not there at the death.

Hugs Dancer, so consistent and versatile when it comes to trips, has improved out of all recognition since finishing fourth to Bangalore 12 months ago. He is a staggering 23lb higher which gives you some idea of how much progress he has made in the last year.

He was raised 5lb for his Chester triumph and, much as I admire his qualities, I can't see him adding this valuable prize to his CV.

Big Moment may have missed his big chance at Chester where he ran into all sorts of trouble and was only beaten half-a-length. With Pat Eddery riding in his last Plate, having won it once before as an apprentice, Big Moment will carry plenty of sentimental money as well. …

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