Friday, February 25, 2022

Eider Chase 2022

Following changes made in 2020, the Eider Chase, now run over a distance of four miles one furlong and 56 yards, is, by my reckoning, the third longest race in the calendar behind the Aintree Grand National and the Midlands Grand National run at Uttoxeter. 

Unfortunately the race fell foul of the weather in 2020; last year Sam's Adventure became the first winner over the extended distance, beating Crossley Tender threequarters of a length with Salty Boy a further 10 lengths adrift in third.

The going is currently described as good to soft; they're due off at 3.15.

Of 17 declared for tomorrow's renewal, I've arbitrarily concentrated on seven in the field that have shown some kind of form over a distance beyond three and a half miles, although I have to admit the drying ground might negate the validity of that premise to a certain degree; Checkitout only just fails to meet this threshold.

The seven referenced are: Eclair Surf; Lake View Lad; Potters Corner; Achille; Innisfree Lad; Gwencily Berbas; and Cash To Ash.

Three of those seven - Lake View Lad, Potters Corner and Achille - are aged 12; the last 12 year old to oblige was the Jenny Pitman trained Willsford in 1995.

Eclair Surf proved something of a revelation in the Classic Chase at Warwick last time out, making all to win by 13 lengths (Achille seventh). 

The horse hadn't been too fluent at the fences up to that point but he jumped really well at Warwick and has been raised 10 pounds for his trouble. Earlier today he was replaced at the head of the market by Irish raider History Of Fashion who looks to have been given every chance by the British handicapper.

Lake View Lad's seventh behind Mighty Thunder in the Scottish Grand National last April off a mark of 155 reads well; Nick Alexander's charge hasn't been in quite the same form this term and races off 142.

I'm prepared to forgive Potters Corner his most recent effort when he was pulled up in the Welsh National at Chepstow - only five finished that day (Achille fourth); Captain Drake, pulled up in the same race, won the Devon National at Exeter earlier this afternoon. 

On his penultimate start Potters Corner was beaten a nose by Diesel D'Allier in the Glenfarclas Crystal Cup Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham; a reproduction of that form would give Christian Williams' charge a chance and jockey Ellis Collier can claim seven. 

The yard is currently operating at a 27% win strike rate; the market suggests stablemate Win My Wings has a better chance on her first try beyond three and a quarter miles..

It's difficult to see the Venetia Williams trained grey Achille reversing Warwick form with Eclair Surf.

On his penultimate run Gwencily Berbas looked impressive winning at Exeter but David Pipe's charge appeared to be taken out of his comfort zone by Valadom and deep ground next time at Sandown and his jumping suffered as a result. 

Back in December Cash To Ash and Innisfree Lad finished second and third respectively behind Big River in the Scottish Borders National at Kelso; the pair look closely matched again. That day Cash To Ash may have finished slightly closer to the winner but for a mistake at the last.

Cash To Ash has since finished second behind Sidi Ismael in the Lincolnshire National and then second again behind Big River at Kelso while Innisfree Lad has won at Plumpton but was well beaten at Newbury and on a return visit to Plumpton. 

I marginally prefer Cash To Ash but stable form is a concern and his profile doesn't match that of recent winners:

2009 winner: Merigo (125); top-rated: Harmony Brig (136)

2010 No race

2011 winner: Companero (132); top-rated: Comply Or Die (144)

2012 winner: Portrait King (131); top-rated: Mister Marker (135)

2013 No race

2014 winner: Wyck Hill (133); top-rated: Junior (145)

2015 winner: Milborough (134); top-rated: Shotgun Paddy (147)

2016 winner: Rocking Blues (126); top-rated: Shotgun Paddy (144)

2017 winner: Mysteree (127); top-rated: Straidnahanna (139)

2018 winner: Baywing (140); top-rated: Chase The Spud (149)

2019 winner: Crosspark (135); top-rated: Daklondike (148)

2020 No race

2021 winner: Sam's Adventure (139); top-rated Crosspark (150)

(Seven of the ten winners listed carried a weight between 10-13 and 11-01.)

Cash To Ash may prove well-named but he stays and has been in consistent form this term. 

With William Hill, Paddy Power and Sky Bet paying six places Cash To Ash is the each-way suggestion, a 16/1 chance at the time of writing.

Postscript: Strong Economy has been declared a non-runner this evening leaving a field of 16.


Anonymous said...

Vertem Eider Handicap Chase

The ground continues to dry out and this morning the going is reported as Good to Soft, Good in places.


I think I'll sit it out but Lake View Lad [18/1] & Brave Eagle [25/1] may out run their odds.

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

There was plenty of money for the Christian Williams trained winner Win My Wings (11/2f).

Racing in midfield, the mare went on from three out and came home one and threequarters lengths ahead of Eclair Surf (15/2) with Innisfree Lad (25/1) third and Court Master (11/1) fourth.

Selection Cash To Ash (14/1) raced prominently in third in the early stages but struggled to hold his pitch as the race unfolded; on occasions his jumping looked decidedly sketchy.

His chance had gone as they turned into the home straight for the final time but he stayed on dourly, eventually coming in seventh behind Gwencily Berbas (28/1) fifth and Rath An Iuir (9/1) sixth.