Unleash Best in Newcastle's Northumberland

Winner of his last three races over hurdles, the Philip Hobbs-trained Unleash got a dream ride from Jamie Spencer to win Saturday's £175,000 John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

Spencer, who was found guilty of excessive whipping with runner-up Country Reel in the Chipchase Stakes (Eng-III) a race earlier at Newcastle, avoided any problems with Unleash in a 20-horse field, getting the Cheveley Park Stud's homebred gelding into third position at the outset from his inside starting post.

Nearing the final quarter-mile and, the 10-1 Unleash took the lead from Rahwaan, and stayed on well to hold off Sentinel (12-1) by half a length. Zibelene (16-1) came on from the rear, a length further behind.

In the Kronenbourg 1664 Chipchase Stakes, Orientor, ridden by Kieren Fallon for trainer Jim Goldie, defeated Country Reel and Spencer by a short head.

Spencer was suspended for July 7 by stewards after his furious handling of the Godolphin-owned Country Reel.

Both top finishers raced together in mid-pack of the six-furlong heat before engaging in the final furlong after the winner had opened up a one-length advantage and just held on. Late-closing Danger Over was third in the field of 12, just a neck farther back, while favored Nayyir finished sixth.

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