Eider Handicap Chase – The Key Contenders
Five Runners To Look Our For At Newcastle
The Eider takes centre stage on Newcastle’s seven-race card this weekend with a host of challengers looking to land the Class 2 prize. Our expert editor has highlighted the names to watch out for in this gruelling marathon contest.
Favourite – ECLAIR SURF
Emma Lavelle will be hoping for more Saturday success with ECLAIR SURF this weekend, as the eight-year-old will look to produce another scintillating staying performance after impressively landing the Classic Chase at Warwick last month by 13l.
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That foot-perfect performance at Warwick highlighted him as a potential Grand National type and whilst he’s not sure to make Aintree’s showpiece event, the eight-year-old does remain completely unexposed over marathon trips and should have plenty more to offer in this particular discipline.
Connections will be confident of another bold display from Eclair Surf after that recent taking victory, however, Emma Lavelle’s charge faces a tougher challenge this weekend, having been raised 10lb by the handicapper after that recent success and lines up on Saturday almost off top weight.
Market Leaders – HISTORY OF FASHION & DANILO D’AIRY
Irish raider HISTORY OF FASHION will be fancied by many off a mark of 130 after recording a first win over the larger obstacles over 3miles at Down Royal last time out.
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Pat Fahy’s charge had started this campaign lining up over 2miles against subsequent Arkle principle Blue Lord at Fairyhouse back in December but the former point-to-pointer looked much more at home tackling a staying trip when last seen, keeping on strongly from the second last to run out a taking winner by 8l.
The eight-year-old could still be ahead of the handicapper after that performance but there is still a slight question mark if he will relish the marathon trip on Saturday afternoon.
Unbeaten chaser DANILO D’AIRY will look to make it a fourth success over fences after puling up over hurdles last time out at Lingfield’s Winter Million meeting.
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Trained by Cheshire handler Robert Bevis, the nine-year-old has looked a natural over the larger obstacles, jumping big and boldly to record back to back wins at Warwick last season before dominating on seasonal return at Ffos Las to run out a wide-margin winner over an extended 3m1f.
The ease of that latest chasing win has seen the handicapper raise him a whopping 15lb as a result and although he could still be potentially well treated, Saturday’s assignment is his toughest test to date and that could perhaps find him out.
Each-Way Selections – COURT MASTER & RATH AN IUIR
Trainer Michael Scudamore landed this contest back in 2017 with Mysteree for owner Lynne Maclennan and those colours will be carried in this year’s renewal by COURT MASTER who was last seen winning a handicap over 3miles at Newcastle at the start of the month.
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The nine-year-old was very sharp over his obstacles last time out and whilst he only beat just two rivals home on that occasion, he has only been raised 2lb in the weights for that effortless victory.
Although Michael Scudamore’s charge will have to prove his stamina over the marathon trip for the first time, there is reason to be optimistic about his chances as he is related to Grand National winner Amberleigh House and could relish a proper test of stamina.
Despite lining up on just three occasions over fences, there is a strong suspicion that connections have had Saturday’s contest in mind for some time for RATH AN IUIR, who has always displayed his staying credentials in his races and is the type that should relish the testing marathon trip.
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The nine-year-old made the ideal start over fences when beating some useful rivals at Carlisle by 1l over 2m4f and whilst he did well to hold on in the closing stages, there was certainly no doubt about the outcome on his second chase start back at that venue, as he won going away by 10l upped in trip to 3miles.
Returning from a 399-day absence at Ayr in January, Rose Dobbins’ charge shaped badly in need of the run when trailing home in fifth and although he lost his unbeaten record over the larger obstacles, that return to action will have him spot-on for Saturday’s contest and he looks well handicapped off a mark of 131.