Saturday 21 February 2015

Newcastle - Down in Eider town

Quite a decent card faced railway shunters on Eider Chase day and hopes were high we would be off to a winning start with Wakanda sent off an absurd 1/3 for the opening novice chase.

I'm not sure anything should be that price in a three miler for beginners whatever the formbook might say, particularly with the Smith stable clearly not firing just now and dark one lurking in Revocation.

Let bygones be bygones they said, so in we rode with Peter Buchanan's charge, a fine strong seven-year-old who looked really fit and well. You'll know the result by now and for this observer it's a case of deja vu all over abloodygain.

Craig Nichol and his partner Voyage A New York didn't get their wires crossed though and the horse, with whom I've had a lot to do with this term, relished his first attempt at the trip to down the jolly old favourite. It was rather galling to watch.

Voyage A New York: 3m trip unlocked the talent
I was probably still in a state of mild disbelief and such amateurish mumblings probably led me to miss the next winner in Dark Dune, another I've become quite fond of this term.

I mused after he struggled home in the mud at Sedgefield a while back that he would go better on a sounder surface and after another couple of decent runs popped up here at very rewarding odds.

I'd read his consistency to mean the handicapper had him where he wanted him but good old JR bounced him out in front for a change and there's none better riding at the moment at judging the fractions on an easy lead. The result was never in doubt.

It was another race that looked there for the taking with the Smith youngster Smooth Stepper just a shell of a horse and another of theirs to run up rather lean. By contrast Desoto County looked decidedly porky after another 10 week absence and he'll prove better than this at some point.

The Eider came next and it was pot luck if you found the winner although to be fair he was one of half a dozen that stood out beforehand, behind Portrait King who looked trained to the minute. Beforeall, Sharney Sike and Alpha Victor also took the eye but again Tutchec did not look in any sort of form at all.

The novice was tricky with Derrintogher Bliss looking a pretty short price, but he looked well as did Uisge Beatha -  a nice horse for next season - and Donna's Diamond.

Powerstown Dreams was turned out quickly and like quite a few from the Ellison yard didn't look right in his coat, but he ran a mighty race and after pulling for his head and getting there too soon he may be worth marking up.

I generally take a dim view of mares races from a punting perspective and didn't get involved in the next even though Delta Forty looked very short on what she has achieved thus far. She looked up for it, but the winner Faerie Reel is a nicely made sort while runner-up Debdebdeb is nice compact horse who was fit for her debut but looked a tad dodgy in the finish.

Oscar Rock: Damn nice horse
I wanted to get heavily involved in the handicap chase and it was a shame Rouge Et Blanc was scratched as I didn't fancy it and it took plenty out the market. It was a great shame as Oscar Rock looked the nuts despite hailing from a bang out of form yard, but had become an unbackable price.

It was hard to look elsewhere but second best was undoubtedly And The Man, really well in his coat but not exactly perked up by the blinds beforehand. Tahiti Pearl looked in very good nick but yet again ran no sort of race, while Definite Dream looked in no state of fitness after an absence and was the lay of the race. That said he nearly scraped into a place which would have been a sickener.

The bumper saw quite a useful bunch assemble at the head of the market and the heavily supported newcomer Brain Power hosed up. The second is a very nice prospect - Big River - who looked pretty fit and forward, while Oscar Blue is quite nice but on the backward side.

Double W's didn't look fully wound up after 75 days off while Corsair Prince and Duncomplaining are two big chasers who will come on greatly for the experience.

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