Who Dares Wins rallies to deny local favourite
Who Dares Wins got up in the last strides to prevent a local win for Dubawi Fifty in the Betfair Exchange Northumberland Plate Handicap.
On a searingly hot afternoon at Newcastle, Alan King's victor produced a stirring late run down the middle of the track to prevail by a head - with Proschema a further length away in third.
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In-form jockey Tom Marquand was capping a brilliant week in the saddle, adding this 12-1 success to wins on 100-1 and a 50-1 shots in the past five days.
Many in a packed crowd would doubtless have been delighted to have instead cheered home 14-1 chance Dubawi Fifty, representing Karen McLintock - who trains in Ingoe, only 20 miles from the Gosforth Park track.
But Marquand and Who Dares Wins made stealthy progress as Dubawi Fifty passed the pace-setting Speedo Boy and went for home - and in the end it was King's charge whose timing was spot on, for a trainer who has endured a deeply frustrating time of late.
King said: "We've had a quiet spell - we've had a lot of placed horses, but we've gone 50 or 60 runners on the Flat without a winner, so I needed that today.
"I was a bit worried early, because he couldn't go the pace and he wasn't as far forward as I hoped he'd be."
The Barbury Castle trainer always knew, however, that stamina was a strength for the six-year-old dual-purpose gelding who won last year's Cesarewitch Trial over two-and-a-quarter miles at Newmarket.
"I knew he'd stay on, but I must admit I thought the line was going to come too soon," he added.
"At the furlong marker I thought 'great, we're going to get placed', but Tom pulled him out and the horse ran on again.
"He's been a marvellous horse for us. He's been placed at Cheltenham and Aintree, and in three Chester Cups. He'll be a very exciting novice chaser as well - that's the plan for the autumn.
"I don't think he'd be quick enough for the Ebor, but he could go for the Cesarewitch if we get a bit of dig in the ground."
Marquand said: "This horse has had his big day coming for a long time. I was a 5lb claimer when I first won on him, and he's come here and won a Northumberland Plate. I was always pretty confident I was going to get there."
Henry Ponsonby, head of the ownership syndicate, was delighted to have secured Marquand's services in the first place.
"I want to give a lot of credit to Richard Hannon, who allowed us the jockey today - and the aeroplane," he said.
"We're getting the jockey back for the 5.55pm at Doncaster!
"He's a great horse. He's been placed at Cheltenham and Aintree and Royal Ascot - he's wonderful."
Supporters of several market leaders had only fleeting reason to hope.
Ante-post plunge Gibbs Hill appeared to be going well alongside Who Dares Wins in midfield - but that illusion quickly vanished as the 5-1 joint second-favourite lost his place dramatically and failed to finish.
Sole Irish challenger Stratum was backed into 9-2 favourite at the off in this edition of the famous handicap feature, but failed to make a telling impact - fading after racing prominently.
Sunday Indo Sport