The pick of the prices in the Eider Chase....

Last Updated: 23.02.2018

23rd February 2018

The pick of the prices in the Eider Chase….

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….

  • Two-against-the field at Kempton….

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….

Get the contrarian take on tomorrow’s Betdaq....

  • The pick of the prices….

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.

Get the latest odds here >>

  • In case you missed it….

A few tidbits to keep you occupied between races at the weekend….

  • Hot money – bookies are hot on money-laundering rules when punters want to withdraw money from betting accounts – requiring myriad ID documents and personal data. But they’re not always so diligent when punters are putting money into betting accounts. I wonder why. William Hill have just been fined £6.2 million for breaches of anti-money laundering regulations that led to a £1.2 million profit. Full story....
  • Rip-off merchants – many on-course bookies are banding together to form a ‘cartel’, agreeing to bet to big margins ahead of racing and effectively producing an organised market of poor-value betting prices for punters. Andy Smith, who takes bets on-course as Festival Racing, says the practice is becoming more widespread. Get the lowdown....
  • A welcome amendment – Festival handicaps (already difficult betting puzzles) were made more difficult still because runners and riders weren’t declared until 24-hours before racing. That made form study a nightmare for punters and played into the hands of the bookies. This year it gets easier with 48-hour final declarations. More details....
  • Wind report – early numbers suggest declaration of wind ops will prove useful. Since the rules were introduced (up to end of racing last Friday) 84 affected horses produced 12 wins at 14% and 17 places. Backing them all led to a 22-point loss. But that’s not the point. No punter expects wind-op declarations to be a magic betting angle. But we do want access to as much relevant information as possible....
  • Gold Cup day tickets – fancy attending Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival? ATR have two tickets up for grabs in a competition. You’ve got until Sunday night to answer a simple question. Get your name in the hat here. Good luck!

That’s all from me this week. Enjoy your weekend.

Nick Pullen

Against the Crowd Extra