Turf Talk: Gosden team gearing up for a big weekend with Eldritch at Newcastle

Trainer John Gosden. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
Trainer John Gosden. PIC: Julian Herbert/PA Wire
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John Gosden’s team is gearing up for a big weekend with Cracksman leading the charge on Champions Day and Eldritch can give the yard a nice little boost with victory at Newcastle.

Clearly the Bowburn Hotel Handicap is some way beneath Saturday’s lofty contests, but it nevertheless represents a good opportunity for Eldritch to get back on the winning track.

He had four subsequent winners behind him when winning on his racecourse bow at Haydock last October and he seemed destined for better things when winning Doncaster handicap on his return this year.

Eldritch failed to sparkle at Goodwood on his next start in May and was then off the track until earlier this month, being gelded in the interim.

His return at Kempton earlier this month was decent enough and he was putting in all his best work at the finish of the 11 furlongs to claim fourth.

A step up in trip here makes sense and he could be one to follow through the winter.

Corked made a fine belated return to action at Chelmsford last month and can kick on again in the Ramside Hall Hotel Fillies’ Handicap. The four-year-old has yet to actually get her head in front in six starts to date, but there is plenty of hope she can make it seventh time lucky.

She struggled to make her mark at maiden level but switched to handicap company at Yarmouth last July, she ran a race full of promise to finish third off a rating of 75. However, she was then off the track until last month, when lining up off a 3lb lower mark and just being edged out towards the finish.

Corked should be a bit sharper for that outing and even with a subsequent 2lb rise, she still looks to have a race in her.

Spinnaka was a winner at Chepstow last time out for Luca Cumani and can follow up in the Love Fairs Antique Fair 22 October Handicap at Brighton.

She has been a thoroughly consistent performer, finishing no worse than fifth in nine starts so far, and can be relied upon to put up another bold show.

Ridgeway Flyer can make a dream start for new handler Paul Nicholls in the Marston’s 61 Deep Chase at Uttoxeter.

Trained by Harry Fry last year, the six-year-old looked very useful in winning two novice hurdles, particularly when overcoming a less than ideal scenario on his final start of the campaign.

Ridgeway Flyer subsequently moved to Nicholls over the summer and a move to Ditcheat can hardly be counted as a negative.

Dan Skelton thinks the world of Cause Toujours and he can get his life over timber off to the perfect start in the British Stallion Studs EBF “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle.

Having bolted up in a bumper at Warwick, Skelton initially said he would bypass the Cheltenham Festival with a long-term view in mind, however, like so many, he was drawn into it.

Sent off the 9-2 favourite he could only finish ninth of 22 to Fayonagh but it will be disappointing if he fails to win here.

Dubai Angel should be monitored as he kicks off over fences in the Racing UK On The Go Chase at Carlisle.

Winner of two of his four hurdles starts last term, he finished second on the other two occasions and trainer Malcolm Jefferson has always ranked him highly.

It is a big day of action over in Ireland and Road To Respect can pick up where he left off last year in the Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown.

An impressive handicap winner at the Cheltenham Festival in March, Road To Respect then graduated to the highest level when winning the Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase at Easter.

He edged out JLT Chase winner Yorkhill that day so the form is pretty much solid gold and while Noel Meade will likely not have him at full force for this reappearance, Road To Respect was rapidly improving at the end of last year and can continue on that upward curve.


BRIGHTON: 2.00 Mr Gent, 2.30 Wilson, 3.05 World Record, 3.35 Rolling Dice, 4.05 About Glory, 4.40 Spinnaka (next best), 5.10 Gaia Princess, 5.40 Case Key.

CARLISLE: 2.10 Golden Town, 2.45 Ravenhill Road, 3.15 Tickenwolf, 3.45 Colt Lightning, 4.20 Midnite Grace, 4.50 Dubai Angel, 5.25 Jet Set.

NEWCASTLE: 5.15 Navajo Star, 5.45 ELDRITCH (NAP), 6.15 Amadeus, 6.45 Call Dawn, 7.15 Mabo, 7.45 Corked, 8.15 American Hustle, 8.45 Chicago School.

UTTOXETER: 2.20 Falcon Sun, 2.55 Cause Toujours, 3.25 Secret Door, 3.55 Ridgeway Flyer (treble), 4.30 Irish Octave, 5.00 Rebel Beat.