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Northumberland Plate joy for Ellison with Onesmoothoperator

Northumberland Plate joy for Ellison with Onesmoothoperator
Northumberland Plate joy for Ellison with Onesmoothoperator

Onesmoothoperator lived up to his name when cruising through to claim an emotional victory in the Jenningsbet Northumberland Plate Handicap for Newcastle-born trainer Brian Ellison.

The handler was born on Pitmen’s Derby day back in 1952 and celebrated his 72nd birthday yesterday.

He has never made any secret of his desire to land this prestigious north-east prize and the success of Onesmoothoperator sparked jubilant scenes in the winner’s enclosure at Gosforth Park.

Given a confident ride by Connor Beasley, the 12-1 winner eased through to the front at the furlong pole on the nearside rail and comfortably beat 40-1 outsider Evaluation by two and a half lengths.

Ellison said: “I’ve been wanting to win it for a long time and we knew we had him right. In the last two days, we were a bit worried about the surface being on the soft side, but the lads came in today and said it was riding a lot quicker.

“I told Connor not to worry about the pace, as I knew Tashkhan was going to be up there and made sure there was a good pace. They went a helluva gallop and when this horse is on-song, he’s some animal.

“Turning in I said ‘this has hacked up!’ Connor said he could have won on the bridle, but he’s a good horse when he’s right.

“I don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I thought we’d won it with Seamour one year (2016), when he went clear and got caught, and we’ve come here trying to win it before and been disappointed.

“It’s always in the back of your mind that you’re going to get disappointed and it hasn’t sunk in that we’ve won it, but it’s fantastic.

Northumberland Plate Day – Newcastle Racecourse – Saturday June 29th
Connor Beasley winning aboard Onesmoothoperator (Steve Welsh/PA).

“Connor used to come to mine to ride when he was a baby, as his mum and dad worked for me. We go back a long way.

“I’m from here and have got a lot of connections here and a lot of family and friends. It’s great for the north and great for Newcastle – it’s a great race to be in.

“It’s got to be (the best day of my training career). Everyone says ‘you’ve got to win the Plate’ and it’s nice to get the monkey off your back.”

Winning owner Patrick Boyle, also a proud Geordie, said: “It’s a big thrill, it’s the biggest race in the north east and I’m from just round the corner.

“He travelled brilliant and we knew the horse was in great form. He has to come off a strong pace and he did. Fair play to Brian and the team, they’re the guys that do it all.

“I think we’ll have a celebration tonight. Brian is a great friend and he’s got family here. It means a lot for him and I’m delighted.”

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