Run over two miles at Newcastle racecourse and with ground conditions likely to be testing, this year’s “Pitmen’s Derby” is sure to be a grueling event, with the key to the race being stamina.
Last year’s winner Overturn finds himself at the top of the handicap and is bidding to become the first horse to win this race in consecutive years since Tug Of War in 1977 & 1978.
A maximum field of 22 head to post for this year’s renewal and with Eddie Ahern suspended, likely favourite Overturn is to be ridden by conditional jump jockey Henry Brooke who is taking a handy 5lb of the gelding’s back. It is however a mixture of too much weight and soft ground that makes Overturn vulnerable to a more un-exposed sort.
That sort could come in the shape of John Gosden’s lightly raced Investissement, the five year old started his career in France gaining one victory and filling the runner up spot a further three times from only seven starts. The selection was then bought to go hurdling over in Britain with trainer Evan Williams, which resulted in two below par efforts. It wasn’t until Investissement, was sent to Gosden’s yard that we saw his true potential, which has yielded a victory on his only start at Goodwood over 1m 6f on un-favoured quick ground.
With ground conditions set to be more testing at Gosforth Park on Saturday and in form Nicky Mackay taking the reins, Bet365 bookmakers 10/1 looks a great bet (£200 free bets for all new customers).
Trainer Ollie Pears has his string in good order at the moment, and he runs My Arch, who is best price 33/1 with Ladbrokes (£30 free bet), that could be the each way value in the race.