Author: Will Smith
Published: 14:37 22/02/2013
Tomorrow’s Betfred Eider Chase day at Newcastle is memorable not only to the North East racing folk – as the historic race takes centre stage at Gosforth Park – but also to myself. For three reasons does it hold special significance – firstly, this day last year marked the occasion of my stag party; secondly, a horse I own akin to a mane hair in, (Wayne Manor,) runs in the 2m novices hurdle on the card; and most pertinently for readers of this column, I believe I have unearthed the likely 2013 Eider winner.
Our Island for Welsh wizard Tim Vaughan is a horse who has his fair share of detractors. Seen as slow and lazy by many, that notion is quickly dispelled by his ability to lay up with the pacesetters last time out in the Welsh National. Not only that, he ran on gamely in the straight to finish a very creditable 18 length fifth. He was out of the handicap on that occasion, so can race off a 2lb lower mark of 125 tomorrow, in what is undoubtedly a lesser contested race.
Before that he was only beaten 6¾ lengths in the Devon Marathon over 4m at Exeter, just fading late behind two rejuvenated chasers in Arbor Supreme and Desperate Dex. The last named was entered and would have been interesting but Tom George prefers to run Monsieur Cadou. On a line through Desperate Dex, (who is a reliable yardstick,) Our Island has the beating of favourite Chac Du Cadran at the weights. There is the chance that Chris Bealby’s charge will improve again. There is also the very distinct possibility that he will find it all too much – as many will, while Our Island is notoriously adept at coping with such a slog.
In a race where there a number of front runners, who may just cut each other’s throats, this could be the day that Our Island finally finds things falling his way down the long, punishing Newcastle straight.
Trainer Tim Vaughan had him entered in a couple of novice chases also and stated that his stayer would run wherever he felt he had the best winning chance. With the presence of the handicapped-to-the-hilt Master Overseer and Tarquinius at the top of the weights, Our Island sits nicely near the bottom on 10st 4lbs and he must be backed each way at a general 10/1.
Recommendation: Our Island (each-way) – 10/1 (Betfred)