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Preview: Saturday’s Eider Chase at Newcastle

Hi all,

It’s Wednesday so it time to begin my look ahead to the weekend’s big race action. Today I’m previewing Saturday’s Eider Chase at Newcastle.

Wednesday marks the start of my anticipation for the weekend's big races. One of the highlights is Saturday's Coral Trophy fixture at Kempton, offering one of the final opportunities for Cheltenham hopefuls to secure their spots for the festival.

Saturday’s feature race is the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at 3:37, which boasts £150,000 in guaranteed prize money. Kempton's undercard features three Grade 2 contests: the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at 1:50, the Pendil Novices' Chase at 2:27, and the Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at 3:00.

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Meanwhile, Newcastle hosts the Eider Chase Day, headlined by the marathon Betting.Bet Eider Handicap Chase at 2:08, covering a gruelling 4m 1½ f distance. This race often serves as a pointer indicator for races like the Grand National, Scottish Grand National, and Midlands Grand National.  Sixteen were left in this year’s Eider Chase so hopefully we’ll get a double figure field for Saturday’s race. 

Additionally, the Group 3 BetUK Winter Derby Stakes, typically held at Lingfield, will take place at Southwell this year. Among the nine entries for the race are last year's winner Lord North, his stablemate Lion's Pride, and Charlie Appleby's trained Military Order.

Despite expectations of colder weather later in the week, the forecast suggests no frost-related issues.

The ITV Racing coverage spans four races from Kempton, two from Southwell, and the Eider Chase, making for a varied seven-race program.

On Course Profits free Horse Racing magazine
Eider Chase Preview
Trends:

As ever I begin a big race preview by looking at the trends which contain – 13 winners from 197 runners, 47 placed.

Odds 20/1 & bigger – 0 winners from 55 runners, 8 placed.

19lb+ Lighter Than Top Weight – 1 winner from 68 runners -59, 16 placed.

Maximum Distance Won:  3m 1f to 3m 4 ½ f – 13 winners from 133 runners, 34 placed.

Chase Wins: 1 to 4 – 13 winners from 156 runners, 42 placed.

Other trends that maybe worthy of interest

Age: 9-year-olds – 7 winners from 54 runners +25, 15 placed.

Highest Class Run: Grade 2 – 7 winners from 61 runners +11.75, 19 placed.

I wouldn’t be too concerned if your selection failed to complete last time. Those horses that failed to complete last time are 4 winners from 32 runners +16.5, 5 placed.

Twelve of the last 13 winners of the race had the following four traits.

I suspect on this occasion that any qualifiers will be worth keeping onside for this year’s race.

Contenders:

Anglers Crag has won his three starts since joining the Brian Ellison yard from David Pipe. He’s 11lb higher than when beating Captain Quintat Musselburgh last time. The runner-up went in on Sunday, so the form looks solid enough. He’s going the right way and could improve for a step up in trip but 7/2 looks short enough to me.

Git Maker looked progressive when winning at Lingfield on his seasonal return. He found 3m and quick ground against him when a 17 ½ length 6th of 10 to Victtorino in Silver Cup at Ascot last time. He’s more effective in the mud and is 5-6 going left-handed. Clear claims if staying the distance.

Major Dundee won the Midlands Grand National last season and Your Own Story improved for the step up to 3m 7f when winning at Wetherby last March. Both are thorough stayers but fail the above maximum distance won trend. The also applies to one of my fancies Flower Of Scotland. The mare looked laboured on her seasonal return when pulling up at Carlisle. However, she’s been given a 111 day break, and the yard is in much better form now.

Fenland Tiger has won his last two at Doncaster and latterly here (2m 7 ½ f) 25 days ago. Up 6lb in a better race. However, he’s going the right way and is capable of more improvement over fences. He stays 3m 2f but if the top weight runs, he’ll be 20lb lighter.

Top weight The Galloping Bear was an excellent 2 ½ length 2nd of 13 in last year’s race. He hasn’t been close to that level of form on three subsequent starts including when a well beaten 8th of 14 in Warwick’s Classic Chase last time. Each way claims if bouncing back.  

Wednesday Preview

Punchestown’s Grade 3 Bet Victor Quevega Mares Hurdle (2.45) is Wednesday’s feature race. There are also jumps cards at Ludlow, Doncaster this afternoon and an evening all-weather card at Kempton.

Short priced favourite Gala Marceau is the one to beat in the Quevega Mares Hurdle. The 5-year-old has each way claims in next months Mares’ Hurdle and can take this on the way.

Kempton

Kempton provides the most valuable race of the day the in the European Road To The Kentucky Derby” Conditions Stakes (7:00). It’s one of seven races in the European Road to the Kentucky Derby series. The top five finishers receive points a 20-10-6-4-2 scale toward a berth in the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4.

Notable Speech looked a useful 3-year-old when making a winning racecourse debut over C&D 25 days ago. He’s open to plenty of improvement and has a favourites chance but 8/15 is too short for me. Arctic Thunder is another capable of better. He got off the mark here over 7f last month, looking in need of a mile that day. Looks a big danger to the favourite for a yard among the winners.

Doncaster

The Doncaster card isn’t the best in terms of quality but there’s a few competitive lower grade handicaps.

3:05 – Stringtoyourbow looked an improver for the step up to 3m when winning an Ayr handicap hurdle in April. Slightly laboured on chase debut at Kempton (2m 5f) back in November. Has been given a break and looks on a fair mark over fences so one to consider back at 3m.

4:15 – Harry’s Hope looked poor on her first two starts over fences but there was a bit more to like about his 12 ½ length 4th of 9 at Exeter 21 days ago. She shaped the last day like the step up to 2m 3 ½ f would suit on handicap debut.

Wednesday Selection:

In truth no strong selections today but Stringtoyourbow and Harry’s Hope have their chances at Doncaster. Arctic Thunder is of some interest at Kempton, but Notable Speech will be a tough nut to crack.

Doncaster

3:05 – Stringtoyourbow.

Good luck with your Wednesday bets.

John

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