Newcastle's card on Saturday features the iconic Eider Chase and Keith Melrose from the Racing Post picks out his best bets on the card.
Young Bull @ 25/1
1pt each-way (four places)
Heroique De Maulde has wasted no time in improving for James Ewart, who took his half-brother Empire De Maulde on a similar trajectory.
His latest win came at Doncaster 16 days ago, when Brian Hughes controlled the race, put the emphasis on speed, and steered Heroique De Maulde to a game success.
For that reason, there are few concerns about him dropping in distance now as he needed to show ample speed to win last time. In addition, Newcastle is a stiffer track than Doncaster.
Not many of his rivals turn up in a great deal of form and Heroique De Maulde can keep on the progressive path here.
Kitty's Light is a dominant favourite for the Eider and it is easy to see why, given how well handicapped he is and his record of going close in similar long-distance handicap chases. He has been well found in the betting and it is unlikely the odds of 5/2 severely underestimate his chance.
While I will probably have Kitty's Light running for me, I will ensure the best result in the race will be Young Bull.
Ever since he finished third to Demachine at Uttoxeter in October 2020, I have been waiting for this horse to run over a marathon trip. This will be his first run beyond 3m and it looks like he has been laid out for the Eider.
Young Bull shaped pretty well over an inadequate 2m5f on his reappearance in December and is now 10lb lower in the weights than when he was cutting it with promising novices a few years ago.
Cheekpieces go on and it is also encouraging that trainer Harry Whittington has been showing signs of a revival lately. An each-way bet makes sense given bet365 are offering an extra place over and above the standard three.
This time last year, Chinwag was an improving horse and he ended last season by running in a handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. That was too tough for him, but he has had excuses back in his normal sort of company the last twice and has now dropped below his last winning mark.
Chinwag is closer to a revival than you might think. He traded short on his reappearance at Lingfield, before seeming to get tired.
He similarly did better than most who had been held up at Haydock on his last run (the race Young Bull was third in, incidentally) and just weakened as his efforts to get involved told.
There is a slight concern that Chinwag's form is all on soft or heavy ground. If connections are that concerned about conditions, it is expected that they will take him out.
If he runs, it is a vote of confidence and that would be more than enough for me, as I generally downplay ground concerns more than your average horseman would. An in-form Chinwag would absolutely not deserve to be a double-figure price.