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Large crowds expected for Northumberland Plate

Thousands of people will be heading to Gosforth, Newastle, as the highlight of the North East racing calendar, the Northumberland Plate, starts today.

Northumberland Plate in 2014. Credit:

The Northumberland Plate Festival takes place today, Friday and Saturday and is expected to draw more than 30,000 people to Newcastle Racecourse.

The three day festival culminates with the biggest day of all on the Saturday afternoon when the John Smith's Northumberland Plate is run.

Historically known as the "Pitmen's Derby", this race first ran in 1833 and is as popular today as it was back then.


Wylie hoping for Cheltenham Festival success

A North East businessman is hoping for success at this year's Cheltenham Festival.

Graham Wylie, who owns Close House in Northumberland, has several horses running at the festival including last year's Gold Cup runner-up, On His Own.

On His Own finished second behind Lord Windermere in last year's race. He and another of Wylie's horses, Boston Bob, are entered in tomorrow's Gold Cup.

'Wide open race' expected in Eider Chase at Newcastle

Tomorrow's Eider Chase at Newcastle could be a 'wide open race', according to the Clerk of the Course.

The Eider Chase is a 4m 1f race which is dubbed as a warm-up event for the Grand National at Aintree. Comply or Die won the event in 2008 before going on to win the National that same year.

James Armstrong, Clerk of the Course at Newcastle, says it's a strong field for the race.

Newcastle expect 'strong card' for Fighting Fifth

Newcastle Racecourse is expecting a 'strong card' for this weekend's Fighting Fifth.

The event, a Grade I National Hunt Hurdle Race, is one of the venue's showpiece meetings and the highlight of the jumps season at Newcastle. Many past winners have also gone on to taste success in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham the following year.

James Armstrong, the clerk of the course, is expecting a competitive line-up for Saturday's race. He said:

We'll wait and see what the declarations are on Thursday morning but hopefully we're looking for a strong card.

– James Armstrong, Course Clerk at Newcastle Racecourse

When asked which horse he believes will win the race, Armstrong added:

Irving - if he stays on his feet and doesn't make the same mistakes as he did at Wincanton - would have to be a strong favourite and probable winner.

– James Armstrong, Course Clerk at Newcastle Racecourse

The Fighting Fifth takes place at 2:05pm on Saturday 29 November and the going is currently soft.


Madness play at Newcastle Racecourse

Madness playing in Gosforth on Friday evening Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The band Madness help get a weekend of horse racing underway in Newcastle on Friday evening.

Fans sand along to classics such as Our House at Newcastle Racecourse

The Northumberland Plate takes place on Saturday.

Madness play to hundreds in Gosforth Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Full Report: Winning jockey returns home

The Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania returned to a parade around the streets of his home town of Galashiels last night.

The 23-year-old has had a week of ups and downs after a fall just one day after his big win, but he is now out of hospital and resting.

Jenny Longden was there on a night to remember - you can watch her full report below.

Grand National jockey welcomed home

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania has returned home to a hero's welcome - just hours after being discharged from hospital in Newcastle.

The 23-year-old triumphed in the world-famous race on Saturday but was airlifted to hospital the following day after falling from another horse at Hexham.

The jockey was in Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary for two nights but was released and travelled to his home town of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders for a homecoming parade.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to congratulate him as he toured the town centre on the back of a 4x4 truck before speaking on a stage in front of the Auld Mill pub.

Mania said the last few days had been "crazy" and that he was overwhelmed by the turnout in his home town.

"It means everything, I mean all these people are here to see me and it's a bit overwhelming really, I can't thank them enough.

"The National is the biggest race in the world and it's mad really that I won, but to see all the people here is heartwarming."

– Ryan Mania
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