McLintock hoping Dubawi Fifty can make dream come true
Newcastle-born trainer Brian Ellison’s desire to win the Northumberland Plate has been a recurring theme of the build-up to the race over the years.
Now it’s the turn of Karen McLintock, who trains just 18 miles from Gosforth Park, to be the focus this year with her leading candidate Dubawi Fifty, the general 8-1 second favourite.
Dubawi Fifty, who could one day be competing at the Cheltenham Festival, learned his trade on Newcastle’s all-weather track and ran a blinder at Royal Ascot last Tuesday when a length runner-up to Lagostovegas in the Ascot Stakes and is now firmly on course for the Stobart Rail & Civils-sponsored showpiece.
“Dubawi Fifty has a really good chance on Saturday,” McLintock said. “He has come out of his race at Ascot absolutely fine, and has a steadily progressive profile.
“Nearly all of his early races were on the all-weather at Newcastle. He acts really well on the surface – we’ve also taken him there for racecourse gallops – so that’s a big plus.”
Dubawi Fifty, who prevented Willie Mullins-trained runners from filling the first four places at Royal Ascot, produced a career-best that day under Silvestre de Sousa, who McLintock hopes will be in the saddle once again.
“We went down to Ascot really excited because we felt he had a major chance,” she said. “He gave a good account of himself, and didn’t really have a hard race. Silvestre said they only raced for five furlongs, and he didn’t take too much out of himself in front.
“We didn’t get home until the early hours of the morning after a seven-hour journey, but Dubawi Fifty ate up and is fine. Hopefully Silvestre can ride him again. We’re not totally sure yet as he may have to go over for the Irish Derby.”
Dubawi Fifty, a bargain buy at the Ascot Sales for £5,500 in July 2016, has the make and shape of a hurdler and connections may be tempted to explore that avenue at some point.
“People say a hurdler always wins or goes close in the Ascot Stakes, and I have to admit it’s always been in the back of our mind to try him at some stage,” McLintock said. “He looks like a jumps horse, so maybe one day we’ll be taking him to Cheltenham.”
She added: “Saturday is the priority for now. I’m a local person and it would be a dream come true to win the Northumberland Plate. I’d dearly love to put that on my CV.”
The Roger Charlton-trained Withhold, warm ante-post favourite for the 2m½f race, attracted further support on Tuesday, and was cut to 100-30 (from 4) by Paddy Power.
The weather forecast is for a dry build-up to the Plate, with temperatures beginning to cool off towards the end of the week and a high of 18C predicted for the big day.
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