Friday, February 24, 2023

The 2023 Eider Chase at Newcastle

Sooner or later it was bound to happen. 

The doc took one look at my bloods and, in no uncertain terms, duly announced it was time for the statins.

I picked up the prescribed medication and, before starting to pop the pills, thought it judicious to read the accompanying documentation which referenced in some detail a number of possible side effects: nausea; wind; indigestion; constipation; diarrhoea; sexual difficulties; headaches; vomiting; belching; backache; insomnia; fatigue.

Now, I was just about to pick up the phone to point out to the doc that the listed side effects constituted a fairly accurate summation of the past 40 odd years when, all of a sudden, I was distracted by a report that Lucinda Russell was 'absolutely delighted' with the weight of 10-05 allocated to Corach Rambler in this year's National... 

I'd imagine Christian Williams would have been nearly as pleased as Lucinda when Cap Du Nord was raised five after winning the LK Bennett Swinley Handicap Chase by a comfortable seven lengths at Ascot last Saturday. 

Tomorrow his charge tries to repeat last year's victory in the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at Kempton, with Cian Quirke - claiming five - in the plate.

It was twelve months ago this very weekend Christian Williams sent out Win My Wings to win the Eider Chase at Newcastle and barely twenty minutes later Cap Du Nord and Kitty's Light to finish first and second respectively in the Kempton feature.

And five weeks on Win My Wings beat Kitty's Light seven lengths in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr.

The Williams yard may have had a quiet time of things so far this term but up at Newcastle Kitty's Light - Jack Tudor up - tries to emulate Win My Wings in this year's Eider (3.25) and the bookmakers seem to think there's one horse in the race. 

It's easy enough to see why - after finishing third behind Hewitt in the bet365 Chase at Sandown last April off a mark of 145, Kitty's Light goes off 132 tomorrow. 

A modest third behind Ansaam at Kempton last month hinted at a revival; this seven-year-old has a few miles on the clock for one so young and at the prices makes little appeal for betting purposes - the last seven-year-old to come home in front was Portrait King in 2012.

The favourite faces fourteen rivals (thirteen now Young Bull is a non-runner) with the going at Newcastle currently described as good to soft. Just nine days ago a brouhaha broke out at the track after the going was abruptly changed to good, good to firm in places.

Sam's Adventure won the 2021 renewal off 139 and races off 125 tomorrow.

Brian Ellison's charge comes into this on the back of a win in a Catterick Veterans' Handicap Chase last month but finished behind No Cruise Yet at Haydock in November and behind Bushypark in the North Yorkshire Grand National.

Bushypark was back to his best on heavy ground at Catterick that day. In December 2021 he beat Doyen Breed off a mark of 132; drying ground is a concern.

With just five chase starts to his name, The Galloping Bear hasn't had much racing. 

This time last year he beat Bristol De Mai in the Grand National Trial at Haydock but was subsequently disqualified when a banned substance was detected in the sample provided. His chance is respected.

Bavington Bob has the assistance of Brian Hughes in the plate but Ann Hamilton's charge has jumped out to his right on occasions and doesn't looked guaranteed to stay; connections fit blinkers for the first time.

To my mind top weight Eva's Oskar looked to have a hard enough race at Sandown three weeks ago, fading out of contention from two out. The last horse to carry top weight to victory was Comply Or Die in 2008.

All three of Houston Texas' wins to date have come at Carlisle. He was outpaced three out here last time but rallied well before finishing fourth behind French Paradoxe.  

No Cruise Yet also likes Carlisle but his tendency to jump right on a left-handed track isn't ideal. 

That said, Sam England's inmate won over an extended three and a half miles ay Haydock in November and finished second in the North Wales National Handicap Chase at Bangor 15 days ago. He races from two pounds out of the handicap.

In Rem was well backed for the London National at Sandown in December but he hit the third and came to grief at the eighth; the jumping remains a work in progress.

Shanty Alley is better judged on his second at Newbury behind Grumpy Charley. Last time he never really recovered from a blunder at the first in the Sky Bet Handicap Chase at Doncaster won by Cooper's Cross.

Amateur has won the past two renewals of the West Wales National at Ffos Las and that may well be the target again. His most recent effort - sixth in a Hereford handicap chase behind Only The Bold at odds of 125/1 - merits respect. Paul Kealy highlights his chance in the Weekender along with that of Rath An Iuir. 

Rose Dobbin's charge finished sixth behind Win My Wings in last year's race but didn't appear to quite stay the trip, weakening from three out. Cheekpieces are fitted for the first time.

Both One More Fleurie and Mighty Thunder have shown little since the spring of 2021. 

The former was pulled up in last year's Scottish National while the latter won the 2021 Scottish National off 144 but has failed to complete in five of his eight starts since. He races off 132 tomorrow, Patrick Wadge claims seven and the yard is in good form but a leap of faith is required.

Young Bull has just been declared a non-runner.

Here's a list 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)

2022 winner: Win My Wings (132); top-rated Domaine De L'Isle (144)

A strong pace looks likely with Shanty Alley, Bushypark, One More Fleurie and No Cruise Yet among those who like to race prominently.  

A very competitive renewal. With showers forecast before the off, a chance is taken with Bushypark in the hope the ground doesn't dry out completely.

Bushypark is the each-way suggestion, at the time of writing 11/1 with both Paddy Power and William Hill who are paying five places. 

Now, what the hell have I done with those tablets?


TW said...

15:25 NEWC 14 Runners
1. KITTY'S LIGHT(GB) [RTG: 155] [WC: 30.13%] [TL: A]
2. NO CRUISE YET(GB) [RTG: 146] [WC: 16.49%] [TL: A]
3. EVA'S OSKAR(IRE) [RTG: 149] [WC: 12.2%] [TL: A]
4. AMATEUR(IRE) [RTG: 150] [WC: 11.25%] [TL: A]
5. SAM'S ADVENTURE(GB) [RTG: 148] [WC: 9.5%] [TL: A]
6. MIGHTY THUNDER(GB) [RTG: 147] [WC: 7%] [TL: A]
7. THE GALLOPING BEAR(GB) [RTG: 151] [WC: 5.53%] [TL: R]
8. BUSHYPARK(IRE) [RTG: 148] [WC: 1.44%] [TL: A]
9. BAVINGTON BOB(IRE) [RTG: 150] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: A]
10. RATH AN IUIR(IRE) [RTG: 149] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: A]
11. IN REM(FR) [RTG: 149] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: A]
12. SHANTY ALLEY(GB) [RTG: 148] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: A]
13. HOUSTON TEXAS(IRE) [RTG: 148] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: A]
14. ONE MORE FLEURIE(IRE) [RTG: 147] [WC: 1.08%] [TL: R]

It's hard to get away from Kitty's Light given his current mark but at the odds I agree that he makes no appeal.

My dart has landed in No Cruise Yet, he might be worst off on system ratings, but has the look of a horse still improving over the bigger obstacles and a trip and might be able to give the favourite a run for his money.

I hope I'm wrong but your 'drying ground' concern for Bushypark is shared with the system.

Good luck.


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW.

Despite the tendency to jump right, No Cruise Yet was considered. Think he's in there with every chance.

Good luck!

GeeDee said...

Cracking effort from No Cruise Yet, TW!

GeeDee said...

Although the official going was described as good to soft, selection Bushypark was declared a non-runner with 'unsuitable ground' cited as the reason.

Sent off the 7/4 favourite, Kitty's Light looked in some significant trouble a mile from home, Eva's Oscar (20/1) and No Cruise Yet (11/2) both jumping well at the head of affairs.

With the favourite responding to Jack Tudor's urgings, Galloping Bear (10/1) went to the front approaching the last but an untidy jump didn't help his cause; Kitty's Light stayed on up the run-in to reel him in and score by two and a half lengths with No Cruise Yet third, Eva's Oskar fourth and Rath An Iuir (14/1) fifth.