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Robinson hunting more Plate glory

After last year's astonishing victory on Nicholas T, Ben Robinson believes he has a "great chance" of a historic back-to-back success in the JenningsBet Northumberland Plate on Saturday.

Twelve months ago he came from last three furlongs out to win going away on 33-1 shot Nicholas T. Winning trainer Jim Goldie hailed it as "one of the great rides in the Plate".

This time he rides Onesmoothoperator for his boss Brian Ellison, who was born in Newcastle on Plate day in 1952 and has had his heart set on winning the race for many years.

And Robinson, who aims to become the first jockey this century to win the race in successive years, said: "I think he's got a great chance. I'm really looking forward to it. I won the race last year for Jim Goldie but it would be nice to win it for the boss as the race means so much to him.

"Brian bought him for the Northumberland Plate and he's gone up 17lb in the handicap. He stays two miles well, so fingers crossed for Saturday."

Onesmoothoperator went close in two runs over the Plate course and distance in the spring and Robinson added: "He got beaten a nose at Newcastle by Nate The Great, who franked the form when he was second in a Group 3 at Sandown, and he ran another good race on All-Weather Finals day there.

"Last time at York he was running off level weights against horses rated in the 100s when we were 95, and it was his first run on the grass – he'd appreciate soft ground and it was good to firm there.

"Brian's amateur, Matt Brown, rides him pretty much every day at home and he looks in great form."

Reflecting on Nicholas T's last-to-first win, Robinson said: "Last year was unbelievable, you couldn't write it. I rode him with plenty of confidence – that's how Jim likes his horses ridden – I was sitting last and somehow won.

"That definitely gave my career a boost. It puts you out there, it's on ITV and everyone's watching."

Robinson, hoping to become the first jockey to ride a repeat Plate winner since Kevin Darley in 2000, added: "I don't think I'll be riding Onesmoothoperator the same. We're going to change it up with him and sit maybe fourth or fifth with something to aim at in the straight. You don't want to get there too early, but he also travels really well."

Nicholas T was one of 36 winners in 2021 for a jockey who has won just six races this season.

But Robinson, 24, said: "The winners are hard to get, but I get plenty of rides and I can't really complain.

"Onesmoothoperator has every chance, he's got the form in the book, and winning back-to-back Plates would mean a lot – not many jockeys do that."

Onesmoothoperator is a best-priced 10-1 for the Plate in which Paddy Power reported support on Wednesday for top-weight Trueshan (7-1 from 8-1) and Spirit Mixer (11-1 from 14-1).

Spokesman Paul Binfield said: "It won’t be easy for Trueshan carrying that much weight in a competitive handicap like this, and he wasn't able to do it last year; but he was a revelation after that winning four on the bounce, including two Group 1s, and punters appear to be taking the view that he is overpriced."

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