Mullins books Harley to pilot Max Dynamite in Plate bid
Champion trainer Willie Mullins has turned to Royal Ascot-winning rider Martin Harley in his quest to plunder tomorrow's Northumberland Plate with Max Dynamite.
The £140,000 two-mile handicap has been won by just one Irish-based horse, the Tony Martin-trained Arc Bleu in 2008.
Max Dynamite, which has been drawn in stall 15 of 22, is a 14/1 shot to double that tally under the ever-reliable former champion apprentice Harley, a 25-year-old native of Letterkenny in Co Donegal who secured his fourth Group One success aboard Goldream in the King's Stand Stakes at the royal meeting.
Peter Niven's hat-trick-seeking Clever Cookie tops the weights with 10st under Graham Lee, though he isn't guaranteed to line out on fast ground. Max Dynamite is next on the list with 9st 4lb, a pound more than the 2014 winner Angel Gabrial.
The five-year-old won just once in five hurdle starts for Mullins last season, but he contested both the Prix du Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris in his native France in 2013.
Rich Ricci's charge was beaten around eight lengths in both Group Ones, so it will be interesting to see how he fares off a handicap mark of 104.