Higher Power defends Northumberland Plate crown

Last year’s hero Higher Power, ante-post favourite Withhold and Royal Ascot winner Lagostovegas are among a maximum field of 20 in Saturday’s Stobart Rail & Civils Northumberland Plate.

James Fanshawe’s Higher Power is only 1lb higher in the weights than 12 months ago but must give weight to all his rivals. Fanshawe also runs Lord George.

Withhold was an impressive winner of the Cesarewitch last season but has not been seen since. The Roger Charlton-trained gelding reappears with 12lb more to carry.

Lagostovegas won the Ascot Stakes last week for Willie Mullins but as the Plate is an early closing race, she gets in with just a 6lb penalty.

Sir Chauvelin was second in the Duke of Edinburgh at Ascot and steps back up in trip, while Ed Dunlop’s Amazing Red is another with a penalty following an impressive win at Newmarket.

Time To Study, Nakeeta, Prince Of Arran and Watersmeet are among those at the top of the weights.

Last year’s runner-up Natural Scenery, Peter Niven’s 10-year-old Clever Cookie and the last in, Seamus Durack’s Cayirli, are others declared.

Karen McLintock’s Dubawi Fifty, runner-up to Lagostovegas at Ascot, is a notable absentee.