Ante-post favourite Golden Rules ruled out of Northumberland Plate

Connections of ante-post favourite and last year's runner-up Golden Rules have on Friday ruled their stable star out of the Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate in two weeks' time.

The seven-year-old was sent off a heavily backed 9-2 joint-favourite for Newcastle's premier Flat race last year but repeatedly encountered trouble in running under three-time champion jockey Oisin Murphy before storming home for a narrow second.

The Gareth Cheshire-owned gelding was one of the top contenders for the Ebor but missed his engagement after "a hiccup" in the build-up to the race and Tom Faulkner, assistant to his mother Deborah, wants to make sure Golden Rules, who is as short as 8-1 in places for the Plate, is as ready as possible before his next assignment.

"We had a hiccup with him before the Ebor and he had a bit of time off and he's just not where we want him to be going into a Northumberland Plate in two weeks' time," he said.

"You can't be going there 80 per cent, you have to be going there 101 per cent, you know? Don't get me wrong, he's been doing plenty of work and he's fine, but given he's ante-post favourite I thought it best to make everyone aware as soon as possible – I don't want people losing their dough."

Faulkner stressed that Golden Rules was not injured and that targets such as the Ebor and the Cesarewitch are still firmly on the agenda later in the year.

While Golden Rules will no longer take his place, Faulkner is hopeful stablemate Golden Flame, who is set to make his stable debut on his first start in 612 days, has "a live each-way chance" if making the line-up.