[Dancing Dreamer]’I thought he must be lying’ – Clutterbuck shocked to earn coveted Trueshan ride

  Apprentice jockey Rhys Clutterbuck was stunned when he was booked to ride William Hill Northumberland Plate favourite Trueshan, but is now counting down the hours until the biggest mount of his career in the £150,000 handicap.

  The Alan King-trained runner missed the Ascot Gold Cup due to the ground last week and will instead race off top weight against 19 rivals in Newcastle’s fabled handicap.

  Clutterbuck, 20, has never ridden for King but he is delighted to have picked up the ride on the 118-rated five-year-old, who was a blistering winner of the Group 2 Long Distance Cup on Champions Day last season.

  Watch: Trueshan shines on British Champions Day

  The apprentice’s 5lb claim reduces Trueshan’s weight to 9st 13lb and he is a 9-2 favourite with the sponsors.

  ”I couldn’t believe it when the boss [Gary Moore] told me, I thought he must be lying or something,” Clutterbuck said on Thursday. “Mr Moore called me into the office on Tuesday and said we’re trying to get you the ride on Trueshan in the Northumberland Plate. I’m not sure how it happened, it just appeared.

  ”The pressure is always going to be there, he’s favourite, it’s on ITV and everyone at home is wanting him to win. The limelight will be on me, especially given I’m a 5lb claimer.

  ”It’s a big opportunity and it’s probably the best ride I’ve had so far. I’m at Yarmouth on Friday and once that’s out the way I’ll begin to think about Saturday.”

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  Rhys Clutterbuck: “It’s a big opportunity and it’s probably the best ride I’ve had so far”

  John Walton (Getty Images)”

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  Rhys Clutterbuck: “It’s a big opportunity and it’s probably the best ride I’ve had so far”

  John Walton (Getty Images)

  He added: “I’m just so thankful for the opportunity. It’s my first ride for Alan, and I’m hopeful I can make it happen for him.”

  Second favourite Opera Gift was the biggest absentee among Thursday’s declarations. The Andrew Balding-trained runner was a general 8-1 chance having been a taking winner of Salisbury’s City Bowl on his seasonal comeback.

  Other leading contenders Longsider and Dancing King were declared but failed to get in, with the 92-rated Just Hubert sneaking in at the bottom.

  Northumberland Plate racecard and betting

  King, who won the race with Who Dares Wins in 2019, will also be represented by Rainbow Dreamer, with Jim Crowley booked to ride. The eight-year-old is six from 11 on the all-weather.

  Mark Johnston is set to have five runners in the handicap with Mildenberger, Watersmeet, Themaxwecan, Lucky Deal and Hochfeld all representing last week’s Gold Cup-winning trainer.

  Australis was beaten a length and a half in second in this race last season and Roger Varian has confirmed David Egan will take the ride in his quest to go one better.

  Charlie Fellowes has kept Jamie Spencer on board the unexposed Dubious Affair, with the pair beaten only a head in the Copper Horse Stakes at Royal Ascot last week. Grandmaster Flash is the only Irish-trained runner in the line-up for Joseph O’Brien.

  Thirteen sprinters are set to go to post for the Group 3 William Hill Chipchase Stakes (2.20) including Khuzaam, Brando, Tabdeed and the exciting Clive Cox-trained three-year-old Diligent Harry.

  Northumberland Plate

  William Hill: 4 Trueshan, 15-2 Australis, Dubious Affair, 11 Hochfeld, Grandmaster Flash, Mildenberger, 12 Rainbow Dreamer, Reshoun, 14 Alright Sunshine, Rajinsky, 16 bar.

  1 Trueshan Rhys Clutterbuck 5lb

  2 Mildenberger Franny Norton

  3 Rainbow Dancer Jim Crowley

  4 Watersmeet Joe Fanning

  5 Themaxwecan Silvestre de Sousa

  6 Reshoun Andrea Atzeni

  7 Dubious Affair Jamie Spencer

  8 Lucky Deal Andrew Breslin 5lb

  9 Sir Chauvelin Paul Mulrennan

  10 Island Brave Ray Dawson 3lb

  11 Alright Sunshine Billy Garritty 3lb

  12 Hochfeld Ben Curtis

  13 Grandmaster Flash Dylan Browne McMonagle 3lb

  14 Australis David Egan

  15 Stargazer Paul Hanagan

  16 Nicholas T Ben Robinson

  17 Rajinsky Tom Eaves

  18 Galata Bridge Luke Morris

  19 Mancini David Probert

  20 Just Hubert Graham Lee

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  ’It’s a crying shame’ – Longsider connections forced to rethink Newcastle plan

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  Mahmood Al Zarooni to return to training following eight-year ban

  US raider adds international appeal to July Cup after fine Royal Ascot third

  

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  FIRST PUBLISHED 11:42AM, JUN 24 2021