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Eider Chase preview

Getting this close to Cheltenham, we start to see the stars put into cotton wool and held back until the Festival. But a few weeks later, the attention moves to Aintree and this field is certainly more suited to the Grand National than the Champion Chase. This will be one very long slog in the heavy ground, regular contributor Jon da Silva, @creamontop returns with his unique style of analysis....

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Newcastle's Eider Chase
4 miles 1F
Going Heavy


I worked in Newcastle for 14 weeks which in British Airways language was 14 Business Returns and 560 tier points. That is one week from becoming a Silver Card holder with 600 tier points. Put simply I almost had enough tier points to get a smile when I checked in. Not to mention to hear those words middle aged men dream of from attractive uniformed 20 somethings "would you like an upgrade, Sir".

Sadly Tier points are like 80s stallion prospects and disappear just as their youthful promise blooms. All one is left with is loads of miles and 0 Tier points which brings us neatly on to the stayers with less class but lots of miles lining up in a four mile chase on deep ground.

Form 125P434, Horse Junior, Days Off 21, Age 11, Weight 11-12b, Trainer D Pipe, Jockey Mikey Ennis (7), OR 145, Odds 20/1
Junior romped away with a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival, winning by 24 lengths in the Kim Muir. Since then has been tried in big field long distance races and come up short. Did beat four lessers off 155 only 14 months ago here and that was on heavy ground. Decentish performance last time but long distance record does not suggest mark is low enough yet even with 7lbs off for the apprentice here. Not forlorn but odds seem fair enough.

2PP-P151 Relax (FR) 21 9 11-6 Miss V Williams Callum Whillans(5)139 7/1
Relax announced his plod-dom with a grim staying performance at Ffos Las one of those places where the ground becomes very holding. He then followed up at Sandown and whilst he has a mile further here he is Venetia's who had a 1,2 in last week's staying race. Chances. Up 14 pounds for those two wins.

3U0F311 Sun Cloud (IRE) 44 7 11-2 J M Jefferson B Hughes 135 6/1
Sun Cloud Up 22 pounds for two recent wins seemingly relishing the extra distance in an 11 length romp at Catterick 30 furlongs on the heavy. After only five chases can't rule out more progress either. Question does he have one more hike in him?

4103-99P Wyck Hill (IRE) 56 10 11-0 t1 D G Bridgwater T Scudamore 133 16/1
Main claim is JP McManus threw a ludicrous amount of money for you or I to acquire this horse, for J P the rounding error from a day's trading no doubt. Beat Katenko on the heavy prior to that one's two facile handicap wins on similar ground - suggestion would be the ground was uncommonly deep and maybe Katenko improved after. Now two pounds below that mark. Pulled up at Chepstow in the Welsh National and could be worth chancing down 7lbs for that given if he can run to 130+ it will be in this kind of contest. Can Scu ride a waiting race and pick them off when the slow down begins? Also consider trainers here and look at the resurrection of the trainer's best horse The Giant Bolster the other week. First time tongue tie and from personal experience that can work too.

5110-617 Chavoy (FR) 7 9 10-11 t Rebecca Menzies Tony Kelly(3) 130 25/1
A winner of two of 29 chases in France. However has only raced over hurdles in England and this seems an extreme point to start. Does have stamina based on a hurdles win but not having jumped an English fence (even if they are getting lower and easier each year) hard to fancy strongly. Races off 130 here having won a hurdle off 118 as well. Rebecca Menzies is either a crazy wisdom genius or this is an odd entry.

6124328 Seven Woods (IRE) 29 8 10-9 t T R George A P Cawley 128 12/1
Eighth of nine last time in a hurdle race and whilst he hints at stamina as his long suit not sure he's backable here against more proven types. i.e. clearly has a chance but class and ability to compete for a valuable prize look questions. Most valuable race contested was the hurdle he was well beaten in last time.

72-1F313 Financial Climate (IRE) 38 7 10-7 O Sherwood Thomas Garner(5) 126 12/1
7 year old stepping up in trip. Won at Newbury over 3 miles 2.5 on soft ground. Well beaten 3rd behind handicap snip Restless Harry next time. Another who it is hard to quantify. Sire Exit to Nowhere does not fill me with confidence staying this distance on this ground will be his bag - of course they would not be here if breeding were an exact science.

811-3114 Swatow Typhoon (IRE) 27 7 10-5 b1 D McCain Jnr Brian Harding 124 12/1
First time blinkered for McCain is a killer stat when stable pilot Maguire is in the saddle (H/T to Ben @ www.narrowing-the-field.co.uk). Thus one can conclude this is a stable whose use of head gear is not ignorant even allowing Harding is the driver here. However he is a novice who's never faced more than five runner fields over fences whose handicap mark even while winning has dropped! Now eight pounds below his hurdling mark. 3rd behind Mendip Express in the Ginger McCain Memorial only beaten 4.5L. Smells of plot?

911P-3P6 Safran De Cotte (FR) 42 8 10-3H D Daly Jake Greenall(3) 122 14/1
Down eight pounds from his novice wins and deservedly so. No match for Shotgun Paddy in sixth in first attempt at a big staying prize. No obvious reason to think this is more than maybe he's a dour stayer dice throw by the stable for me.

1064/2-623 Smoking Aces (IRE) 21 10 10-3 b Jonjo O'Neill Maurice Linehan(5) 122 8/1
Fans of Poker who hate bad beat stories ignore the next few sentences... I waited two years. He ran in a 2m4f race and finished a fence behind and was entered on Boxing Day 28 deep furlongs at Ffos Las 8/1 against trees... Sadly meeting abandoned and since then beaten twice. Far too one paced to handle Fontwell's twists and turns and out speeded in a slog by humour-less stayer Emporer's Choice Ffos Las last time - winner second in a more valuable race last week. The evidence of the last two races and with 16 runners here have to feel he will have to come from a long way back even if he overcomes his usual mistake laden fencing to finish. If he's not pulled up with a circuit to go might be worth £2 @ 70+ in running. Personally my strategy with this Cliffer is to wait for him to be fresher in a smaller field on a galloping track so at least two more years to wait!

1121-U4P3 Ballypatrick (IRE) 52 8 10-3 M R Channon G Sheehan(3) 122 16/1
Pulled up in his one attempt at four miles plus. Decent 3rd at Cheltenham last time behind then progressive Mendip Express and just behind "over mentioned horse" Alfie Spinner. Not forlorn but only one win in 14 starts under rules. Not for me.

12227913 Royale Knight 42 8 10-3 Dr R D P Newland Joshua Moore(3) 122 8/1
Third to Shotgun Paddy at Warwick which requires some sort of ability. Has won over four miles at Kelso (Good to Soft). One of those who might be selectable as a low weight in conditions which arguably disproportionately favour low weights but some very likely staying types above. Some quibble from me about how far he will get in this ground too which at single figures is a No.

138-P078P Tarquinius (FR) 30 11 10-1 pt G Elliott K Renwick 120 20/1
Actually 8th in last year's National. Been out of form but of course sometimes they bounce back. Just gives the impression whilst a stayer, over three miles of deep stuff any further is beyond him. Canny trainer mind.

14355-754 Our Island (IRE) 52 9 10-0 p Tim Vaughan D C Costello 117 7/1
Two pounds out of the handicap. 4th in the Mendip Express race behind Royale Knight. Beaten in other staying contests prior with some useful form without seemingly threatening to win. Down in the weights off a seemingly promising run last time but for me that's where the positives end.

15PP-2121 Presented (IRE) 30 7 10-0 p B Ellison 111 10/1
Presented is amazingly a son of Presenting. Been running well of late but out of the handicap and with little evidence a long slog is what he needs. Can we call that a not likely?

168-P4323 War On (IRE) 49 7 10-0 C Grant Diarmuid O'Regan (7)107 33/1
Maiden chaser 12 pounds out of the handicap who did get within 9 lengths of Swatow Typhoon once and I am only writing this much about him so if he were to somehow win it would not look so bad as if I merely wrote No Chance. Very little chance.

Conclusion

16 runners so it's 1/10 that there is a non runner possibly late so the EW types get denied at the last. Also with two drying days seemingly 1/5 cliche about drying sticky ground being worse than fresh deep ground.

I tend to under rate the lightly weighted progressives and will naturally do so again. If there is a plot horse here it might be Swatow Typhoon McCain's choice for a race named after his father and down 8 pounds with first time blinkers applied by a canny fella for whom that is not a mark of desperation - even if the 'stat' requires Maguire to be a winning one. Deserting Smoking Aces is like disowning a brother but must be done at least until he hits the appropriate odds in running.

Sun Cloud appears very progressive running a decent field (for Catterick) into the ground last time and I just prefer him to Relax of the recently hiked horses. Wyck Hill also appeals as arguably this is what he wants.

.1pt Box Exacta Wyck Hill Sun Cloud
1pt Wyck Hill 16s


EW if you have too but wait to see if 16 runners or bet it early and whine on Twitter when there is a non-runner about how this always happens when 16 are declared - remember the #disgrace.

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