Eider test perfect for O'Brien's Petite Power

Newcastle marathon ‘right up his street’.

  • Friday 21 February
  • News
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Fergal O’Brien believes the extreme stamina test of the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase at Newcastle will suit Petite Power perfectly.

O’Brien’s stayer put in eyecatching late progress to take third place behind leading Grand National fancy Kimberlite Candy in the Classic Chase at Warwick last month.

Saturday’s marathon handicap is over half a mile further, which should see the 11-year-old in an even better light – as long as the meeting passes precautionary inspection at 8am, with further rain forecast.

“We’re hopeful he’ll run a nice race,” said the Cotswolds trainer.

“He was staying on well at Warwick and was doing his best at the finish. Let’s hope he does the same on Saturday.

“He wants every yard of the trip. I think the ground and the trip will be right up his street.”

Olly Murphy has his fingers crossed Calipso Collonges will settle early to give himself every chance of staying the extreme distance.

“If he switches off and stays the trip he’s a good each-way chance,” said the Warwickshire trainer.

“He’s a horse that can catch hold of the bridle. He’ll need to relax if he’s going to see the trip out.

“He’s in great form.”

Evan Williams is hoping Prime Venture will get his day of glory after a series of fine efforts – including fourth in the Welsh National – despite having to carry a welter burden.

“He does run well in so many races, but it would be nice for him to get his head in front,” said Williams.

“He hasn’t won for a good while.

“He ran well in the Welsh National and was running well at Haydock when he fell. We ran him again quickly (when second at Exeter three days later), just to give him a confident booster.

“He’s a difficult horse to school at home, and he ran well considering it was a quick turnaround. We freshened him up, and it’s fingers crossed.

“He’s got plenty of weight, though. It will be hard work with that weight on his back. We’re claiming 7lb – and we need every pound.”

This race has been a very long-term plan for Sandy Thomson’s Donna’s Delight.

“When he first came to us three years ago, this was always the plan. So far, it’s all worked out,” Thomson said.

“His wind op seems to have helped him. He’s got a nice racing weight and he seems well.

“This is how it was going to be this year, but for him it’s perfect. Six or eight miles – he’d probably stay. Hopefully he’ll run a nice race.”

Nicky Richards believes Glittering Love ticks a lot of boxes as he steps up more than a mile in distance.

“He won’t mind the ground at all, and we think he’ll enjoy the trip,” said the Greystoke handler.

“Unfortunately he tipped up the first time this season at Newcastle, where he was going nice and sweet.

“Then the other day, the last time there, he ran quite a nice race. It was his first proper run of the season and has probably put him straight.

“If he gets in a good rhythm, hopefully he’ll run a nice race.”

Eider test perfect for O'Brien's Petite Power
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