Relax weighted to continue Williams run in Saturday’s Eider Chase
Newcastle’s Eider Chase looks like being a gruelling test this weekend with the ground currently riding heavy. Sixteen horses have been declared with David Pipe’s Junior heading the weights on 11st 12lb.
His presence is good news for those lower down the weights including Relax, trained by the in-form Venetia Williams. The trainer has enjoyed tremendous success over the past couple of weekends and saddled the 1-2 in last week’s Haydock Grand National Trial.
Relax was part of a four-timer for the yard when scoring at Sandown the previous weekend and she has booked 5lb claimer Callum Whillans for the ride. That means Relax can race off just a 2lbs higher mark than when beating Ardkilly Witness on similar ground last time.
Relax is one of four horses vying for favouritism. Malcolm Jefferson’s Sun Cloud has improved out of all recognition in his past two races but is up 12lbs for his win at Catterick.
He stayed on relentlessly that day to slam Merlin’s Wish by 11 lengths and looks sure to run well here. Jefferson has no concerns over the ground for the progressive son of Cloudings.
Smoking Aces represents Jonjo O’Neill and has sneaked in here with a light weight. He travelled well for a long way at Ffos Las last time before a couple of minor mistakes took the stuffing out of him.
It was still a fair effort to finish third to Emperor’s Choice and the winner did the form no harm with a good second at Haydock last week. Our Island has been the best backed horse in the ante-post market and connections will be delighted to see him get in on 10 stone.
His form is by no means encouraging but Tim Vaughan has trained him for this race and a big run can be anticipated. Royale Knight finished third behind Shotgun Paddy at Warwick last time and is another with claims in a wide open race.