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2019 Vertem Eider Handicap Chase tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Newcastle marathon feature

Brian Healy 20 Feb 2019
Vicente could give trainer Paul Nicholls an Eider Chase win.

Brian Healy picks out two against the field to keep onside in Saturday's Eider Chase, the marathon feature race of Newcastle's weekend fixture.

The feature race of the card at Newcastle on Saturday is the marathon Vertem Eider Handicap Chase which goes to post at 2.40pm as the third race of the afternoon at Gosforth Park.

The four mile contest carries a first prize purse of £50,000 and a typically competitive renewal awaits punters where a maximum field of 18 runners will go to post for the stamina-sapping event which serves as a trial for the Aintree Grand National.

Defending champion Baywing (16/1, Bet365) could return in an attempt to win a second Eider, while 2017 winner Mysteree (33/1, William Hill) could also feature. Other notable names to have won this race include Portrait King, Merigo and Comply Or Die who was the last to win this prize and the Grand National in the same season.

Brian Healy takes a look ahead to Saturday’s feature race at Newcastle, and he picks out two runners against the field who ought to post big efforts if turning out for the marathon contest.


Paul Nicholls can do little wrong at present, registering his 3,000th career success as a trainer when Capitaine won earlier in the week, and the Ditcheat handler could win his first Eider Chase with VICENTE (10/1, Paddy Power) who is a proven stayer having won the 2016 Scottish Grand National before successfully defending that crown twelve months on.

Things haven’t gone his way since his last Ayr success, but the Dom Alco gelding stepped up for his return effort at Cheltenham in November behind Rock The Kasbah where he probably needed the run to finish ten lengths’ third behind Royal Vacation in the Portman Cup at Taunton last month and he ought to appreciate a return to this even stiffer test of stamina.

Lesser efforts in the wake of his second Scottish Grand National win might have largely been down to the soft ground; but he handles the forecast quicker conditions well and he remains on a handy mark heading into this assignment.

He is used to carrying big weights in these competitive contests, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him going well for his in-form trainer if taking his chance.

Vicente could give trainer Paul Nicholls another big weekend win if lining up in Saturday's Eider Chase.




Meanwhile, Tom Lacey’s KIMBERLITE CANDY (16/1, Unibet) could have a big prize in him, and the Flemensfirth gelding could post a big effort if taking his place in the line-up.

The seven-year old is no stranger to the winners’ enclosure, and having finished third to subsequent Ultima Handicap Chase winner Coo Star Sivola at Exeter twelve months ago, he went on to post back-to-back wins either side of a seven months’ absence with successes at Chepstow and Ayr in the mud.

Not seen to best effect in the Tommy Whittle Chase where he ran below his best, he quickly got back on track when finishing two lengths’ third behind Classic Ben at Sandown at the beginning of February where he hinted that he might benefit from a stiffer test given the way he ran on under pressure.

Quicker ground probably wouldn’t be ideal given that he has shown his best form on a more testing surface, and both of his latest wins came in heavy ground. But he did win on similar underfoot conditions over timber earlier in his career, and he has a course win over hurdles to his name as well as finishing fourth here over fences last January.

Still only a seven-year old, he remains with the potential to do better over the larger obstacles, and this more extreme test could suit him.

Kimberlite Candy (left) could improve for a much stiffer test of stamina.


2019 VERTEM EIDER HANDICAP CHASE TIPS - TWO AGAINST THE FIELD


VICENTE (10/1, Paddy Power), KIMBERLITE CANDY (16/1, Unibet)


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2019 Vertem Eider Handicap Chase tips - Two against the field for Saturday's Newcastle marathon feature

Brian Healy picks out two against the field to keep onside in Saturday's Eider Chase, the marathon feature race of Newcastle's weekend fixture.

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