24 Feb 2018

Betfred Eider Handicap Chase (Class 2)

Mud-lovers everywhere eye up the Eider chase to provide a suitable playground for their talents. It’s not soft or heavy there every year, but when it is the going stick usually registers 4 point something which equals a slog-fest, where just to finish counts as an achievement.

Purely taking the years where the official going was soft or heavy, gives us 9 renewals this century: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 & 2017. You would think these would throw up some some lumpy prices, but aside from a 16/1 in 2011 all the winners were reasonably well found: 10/1 or lower. It’s a very similar story with runners in the frame.

8 of those winners were officially rated from 123 to 138 – all the 8 most recent renewals. Of these, 7 had previously raced 4 to 13 times in steeplechases and over half of those had competed in no more than 4 to 7. The only exception was Nil Desperandum in 2007, who was a Grade 1 winner as a novice and exceptionally durable. For normal horses, they need to be much lower mileage to want to do this.

Running these filters in 2018 throws up: Vinnie Lewis, Back To The Thatch & Thebarrowman.

Thebarrowman is dark horse material and impossible to weigh up as he’s never raced beyond 25fl. He’s got regular partner Roger Loughran in the saddle so that doesn’t tell us much. Chances are he’s in over his head but watch out for signs of support on the run to post.

BACK TO THE THATCH would be an unusual winner as a 6yo and takes a massive step into the unknown in terms of trip. But he will love the conditions and looks a young staying chaser going places. VINNIE LEWIS has been well found, but remains on a workable price and ticks all the boxes.

2.45 Newcastle, Back to the Thatch 1pt EW 8/1, 4x1/4
2.45 Newcastle, Vinnie Lewis 2pt win 11/2

Herbie authors the Key Racing Gold thread on the ENIGMA Forum - check the performance at: WWW.KEYRACINGNEWS.COM/FORUM-RESULTS

Mud, wonderful mud

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