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Wicklow Brave tipped for Fighting Fifth glory

Newcastle Racecourse is preparing to stage one of its flagship events this weekend - the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

Last year's winner, Irving, is back to defend his title but Wicklow Brave, ridden by Champion Hurdle 2015 winner Ruby Walsh, is the current race favourite with bookmakers.


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.


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