Cookie heads weights for Plate

Clever Cookie beats Second Step at York's Dante meeting in May 2016

Clever Cookie is likely to attempt to defy top weight in the Stobart Rail Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Saturday.

Peter Niven's stable stalwart is top of the pile after Qewy was taken out at the five-day confirmation stage by his trainer Charlie Appleby.

The nine-year-old Clever Cookie was a disappointing ninth of 10 runners behind Dal Harraild in a two-mile Listed race at York after he uncharacteristically led from the start until about three furlongs from home.

That under-par effort came eight days after he was fourth over the course and distance in the Group Two Yorkshire Cup, which he had won 12 months earlier.

"He's fine. I don't have many other options so he might run," said Niven.

"He could well run. You kind of expect him to be carrying top weight.

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"A lot of them ran at Ascot so they won't be running."

Second in the weights is James Fanshawe's Higher Power, who was second to Ascot Gold Cup winner Big Orange in the Henry II Stakes at Sandown on his latest start.

Seamour is on course to try to make it third-time lucky in the two-mile feature handicap on the all-weather.

Brian Ellison's smart stayer is among 59 horses left in the race and one of the lucky ones guaranteed a place in the maximum 20-strong line-up.

Seamour has gone off favourite for the last two years, having finished runner-up last year and sixth in 2015.

Seamour, who was third behind Dal Harraild at York, is currently second favourite behind the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Flymetothestars.

Angel Gabrial, the winner in 2014, is among four entries from the Richard Fahey stable, but will need to make the cut if he is to try to win it a second time.

The sole Irish-trained contender is Willie Mullins' dual-purpose performer Ivan Grozny, owned by Andrea and Graham Wylie.

His last run came in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in April when he was sixth behind stable companion Wicklow Brave.

reopens Trainer Saeed bin Suroor could saddle Good Run and Natural Scenery, with Josephine Gordon pencilled in to ride the latter in the Godolphin blue.

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