Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mikao's Looking Good for Plate

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mikao's Looking Good for Plate

Article excerpt

Byline: Racing Preview

Mikao has the right profile to win the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle tomorrow (3.20).

Mark Tompkins' five-year-old will have to work the oracle if he is to replicate Sergeant Cecil's feat by winning the Gosforth Park feature, the Ebor and the Cesarewitch.

That said, he is already carving out quite a niche at this grade on the evidence of his recent performances.

Although he trailed home 13th behind Admiral in the Chester Cup last time, a line should be put through that run on account of his shocking draw, which effectively gave him no chance in the race.

Before that, however, his record was one of a real improving type who should readily handle the inevitable quirks of a Northumberland Plate.

Having defeated Pitmen's Derby rival Bulwark on his final start of last season over two miles at Warwick, Mikao showed real grit to repel Nawamees at Newmarket on his return to the track in April.

Moreover, he has already proved his appetite up to tomorrow's trip and has also been handed a favourable low draw.

Mikao, ridden by Kevin Darley for the first time, clearly has further progress in him and he should go well at a good price.

One Putra can kickstart what should be a cracking afternoon at Gosforth Park by landing the opening John Smith's "Extra Cold" Chipchase Stakes (2.10), won last year by Jeremy Noseda's Soldier's Tale.

Michael Jarvis' Indian Ridge colt left a favourable impression when winning at Haydock before he took a decent Listed prize at Windsor, when he had Wokingham winner Baltic King comfortably held in third.

While that form was reversed at Royal Ascot last weekend, Jarvis' charge still emerged with credit shouldering 9st 11lb and only weakening at the death.

Things will be far easier for him in this Group Three test and he is taken to reproduce his best form in this six-furlong event. …

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