Friday, February 22, 2013

Each-way chances in the Racing Plus Chase and the Eider

Good ground for tomorrow's top class card at Kempton where the feature Racing Plus Chase (3.50) has thirteen entered. Wyck Hill, now in the ownership of J P McManus, has made the headlines this week and looks set to go off favourite, with a trip over Aintree's National fences beckoning if all goes well here. A decent display from Wyck Hill will do Venetia Williams' Katenko (entered in the Gold Cup and the National) no harm at all, although punters reading Wednesday's Hereford Times would be confused as to exactly which race Williams was reported to be 'excited about'...

Last year's winner Nacarat needs good ground to be seen at his best, a comment that also applies to top weight What A Friend, part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson. The former has been tipped up each-way in several places while the latter is quirky but has run well fresh in the past, although I was surprised to see this is his first attempt racing right-handed. It should be noted that a big weight has proved no barrier to success. Eight of the past ten winners have carried 11-0 or more to victory; three of those eight were burdened with 11-12.

I haven't spent a long time on this race. Nacarat (10/1 Stan James) is the each-way suggestion for the more cautious while I'm going to chance What A Friend each-way (25/1 Stan James) - Harry Dereham claims a useful-looking five pounds.

There are small fields on the remainder of the card - the outcomes will prove informative but beforehand they look decidedly trappy - so instead I've decided to take an each-way interest in Tim Vaughan's Our Island in the Eider Chase at Newcastle (2.55). This one ran well for a long way in the Welsh National at Chepstow; having said that, I said something similar about Triggerman this time last week but he was pulled up behind Well Refreshed in the Peter Marsh at Haydock. The Welsh National form didn't stand up to the closest scrutiny at Haydock (Viking Blond fifth, Teaforthree most disappointing in tenth, Master Overseer pulled up) but at least winner Monbeg Dude made a place in third.

Master Overseer has top weight tomorrow but appears to have two ways of running - he won a Veterans' Chase at Wincanton three weeks ago and pilot Tom Bellamy can claim seven. Only seven of the 14 race off their correct handicap mark with Our Island set to carry 10-4; he raced from two pounds out of the handicap at Chepstow and since then was withdrawn on the day from an intended engagement in the West Wales National at Ffos Las.

Cool Operator is respected and his defeat of Rigadin De Beauchene (has gone on to win the Classic Chase at Warwick and finish second in the Peter Marsh) reads well but that was over two and a half miles. Likely favourite Chac Du Cadran won easily from the front last time but has been raised 11 pounds for his trouble

On his penultimate start the selection finished third in the Axminster Carpets Devon Marathon Handicap Chase over four miles. Our Island is Tim Vaughan's sole runner at Newcastle tomorrow - I'm guessing the handler isn't sending his charge all the way to Newcastle from his south Wales base if he doesn't think the gelding is in with a squeak.

1 comment:

GeeDee said...

With What A Friend (25/1) and Nacarat (10/1) finishing eighth and twelfth respectively, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that the Eider meeting at Newcastle was abandoned after snow fell on the coverings.

Nacarat did his chance no good whatsoever with two particularly bad errors at the seventh and fourteenth fences; trainer Tom George announced the grey's retirement after the race.

Beforehand the talk was that the race was between Wyck Hill and Rolling Aces but 12/1 chance Opening Batsman was the winner, beating Rolling Aces (4/1) two lengths while Wyck Hill (3/1f) struggled to stay with them on this quicker ground, beating only Nacarat home.