A steeplechase with 26 Fences over 4m 1½f on soft ground certainly warrants the title of a Grand National trial. The Eider Chase is a stamina sapping tour de force of endurance that is an annual favourite in the Northern racing calendar.
This year’s renewal is headed by the 2019 victor Crosspark, who runs off a rating of 150, which is higher than any of the winners in the last 20 years. Furthermore, he has to carry a mammoth 11st 12lb around this marathon trip. That being said, he’s the only one of this year’s participants that has proven course and distance form so couldn’t be discounted all too readily.
The David Pipe trained Little Red Lion has been in fine form lately. He runs with a reasonably low weight and currently holds a 100% record with his current headgear on. He’s entered into the Midlands National, so this could potentially be used as a prep race so it’d be tough for punters to go in big on Pipe’s charge.
Crossley Tender has run over 3m 2f and went clear when winning both times, which suggests that he would relish this step up in trip. He’s also on a career high mark and Tom O’Brien has won on two of the three times he’s ridden him. The only negative is that he hasn’t won off a handicap mark this high before and it seems the handicapper may have him in his grasps.
Meanwhile at the other end of the handicap Strong Economy produced an incredible performance when flying out of the clouds (trading as big as 800/1 in running) to win at Ayr last time out in very testing conditions. Trained by Ian Duncan, who saddled the winner of this race six years ago with Milborough. With Conor O’Farrell on board the horses come from behind style may just suit him towards the end of the race. Moreover, he wears cheekpieces for the first time which may inspire his further improvement.
STRONG ECONOMY (E/W)
written by Kieran McHugh