23rd February 2018
We head to Newcastle for this weekend’s target race – the Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle (2.45). It promises to be a proper slugfest….
The C2 race has attracted one runner short of the maximum field. 17 horses go to post and they will battle it out over the extended 4-mile trip and 25 fences on ground described this afternoon as heavy….
The Eider isn’t always the most edifying spectacle – with exhausted horses finishing on wobbling legs.
It’s a real stamina sapper of a race. Of the 191 horses to run over the last 12 renewals, 68 were pulled-up. That’s a stat that speaks for itself….
We’ll get to my selections for tomorrow’s race in a moment….
First a quick word on the additional value bets I’ll be placing tomorrow….
The market likes unexposed and improving horses….
The market has backed one into favouritism for tomorrow’s feature race at Kempton – the Betdaq Handicap Chase….
At the prices, I can’t concur with the consensus opinion – and I’ll be taking it on with two that have plenty to offer at more attractive prices….
You can get immediate access to these extra bets on the website when you take a FREE 14-day test drive of my Against the Crowd service….
The Ben Case-trained THEMANFROM MINELLA looks generously priced to me at the general 16s….
He’s a little more experienced than you’d generally like for this race – which does tend to go to a horse that’s raced about a dozen times or fewer….
But stats are just stats. They are there to be broken. And everything must be viewed in context with the actual horse – and there’s a bit to like about Case’s 9yo….
The removal of cheekpieces and the application of blinkers appears have turned the key on this horse this season….
He’s produced three solid efforts on the bounce in the new headgear – combined with the usual tongue-tie – and the last two runs produced comfortable wins that have seen the horse rise a good stone up the ratings….
But the horse is still only on a mark of 128. The manner of those wins – albeit in lower class affairs – suggests there is margin to work and more improvement to come. And this step up in trip tomorrow could be the variable to squeeze that extra progression out….
Connections have long been of the view that the horse can stay further now that he has matured physically. He jumps well, and he will appreciate the heavy ground at Newcastle. It’s exactly what he needs to produce his best.
His regular rider takes off a useful 7lbs and I believe the horse from an unheralded yard can outrun his price. He is better now than the form he showed earlier in his chase career – and the market might just be overlooking him….
In tomorrow’s Eider Chase (Newcastle, 2.45)….
THEMANFROM MINELLA @ 16s (Generally)
Standard place terms are 1/4 1-2-3-4. I’ll be going in each-way at the price.
A few tidbits to keep you occupied between races at the weekend….
That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.