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Dual-Discipline Overturn Backed for Northumberland Plate


It's not often you see a contender rated 160 in the National Hunt switching over to the flat for a high-profile encounter – especially not one that gets bet down to a co-favourite alongside an accomplished Heritage Handicap contender. However, that is the case with Overturn (Barathea) who stormed to victory at Newcastle last year in the Northumberland Plate – and he's being backed to do it all over again.

His National Hunt campaign this season was relatively forgettable but he was tangling with some of the best hurdling contenders on the circuit. He ran against the likes of Binocular, Mille Chief, Hurricane Fly and Khyber Kim without a victory but was placed in a Grade 2 at Ayr. After his seasonal switch back to the flat, he claimed a victory at Chester by capturing the Chester Cup on May 4 against a tricky field of 17.

The Donald McCain-trained gelding is one of the most versatile contenders going these days. He was recently shortened by several major bookmakers and was cut down to 8/1 – which brings him alongside Activate (Motivator), who turns out for Highclere Racing.

Activate will certainly be looking for his fourth victory on the bounce and he got things off to a rollicking start on his seasonal debut on May 28 when he took a handicap contest by half a length. He'll likely improve on this next outing and it appears as though the betting public think he has a great chance but aren't getting too carried away at the moment.

Some bookmakers have trimmed Activate to a 6/1 margin but several others keep him deadlocked with Overturn.

Talented four-year-old Harlestone Times (Olden Times) had a decent outing in the Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom back in April on his seasonal debut and then pushed on to improve with a 3/4 length score at Goodwood on May 21. He still looks to be finding his feet but clearly should enjoy the stretch out to 2m as he has run on well in each of his 1m4f efforts.

There is plenty of action and excitement set to unfold at Newcastle this Saturday and the ante post market should prove interesting in the next few days.  

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