Tag Archive for: Ben Robinson

Nicholas T swoops late for Northumberland Plate prize

Nicholas T sprang a 33-1 surprise when getting up close home to land the William Hill Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

Jim Goldie’s nine-year-old, wearing a hood for the first time, was produced on the far side of the all-weather course to lead inside the final furlong and deny long-time leader Hochfeld, giving jockey Ben Robinson his biggest success in the saddle in the process.

Hochfeld had been prominent throughout the extended two-mile test with Australis, Rajinsky, Reshoun and the 5-2 favourite Trueshan among those up with the pace.

There was all to play for when the 20 runners turned for home in the prestigious staying handicap.

Hochfeld (28-1) was proving hard to pass but Nicholas T, carrying a 5lb penalty for a victory at York two weeks ago, wore down Mark Johnston’s charge to take the £81,000 first prize by half a length.

Rajinsky (16-1), who crossed the line in fourth place, was promoted to third following a stewards’ inquiry with Island Brave (16-1) demoted to fourth.

Robinson said: “I’m lost for words. My only doubt was staying the two miles as he can be a keen-travelling horse. I switched him off out the back and he got a lovely run up. He put it to bed really well.

“It’s unbeatable. It’s a race that Brian Ellison, my boss, has wanted to win all his career and for me to win it, for someone else, is really good.

“Jim is a very, very good trainer and he always manages to get one or two decent animals. This horse has never put a foot wrong.”

Goldie admitted victory in the historic contest had long been an ambition of his.

He said: “It’s one of those races that was kind of on my bucket list.

“It’s a great race and a traditional race. Sir Chauvelin has been placed in the race before, but it’s a hard race to win.

“Nicholas T won over a mile and a half here (in November) by almost five lengths. Phil Dennis (jockey) said he couldn’t believe he picked up like that as stayers don’t. You saw that again today – from last to first.

Ben Robinson after winning the Northumberland Plate on Nicholas T
Ben Robinson after winning the Northumberland Plate on Nicholas T (Tim Goode/PA)

“He had to go to York for a ladies race, which got him the penalty to get into this.”

Asked where the victory ranked in his career highlights, he said: “On the day it’s always very good.

“To be honest, when I won the Grand Sefton over the Grand National fences (with Lampion Du Bost in 2007), that was huge, and then I went and did it the next year with Endless Power.

“To win this race is great.”