It was a bright, dry but rather wintery day here at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday 24 February for the Betfred Eider Chase Raceday with a well wrapped up crowd of over 3,000 attending.
Friends and family enjoyed an eventful day with 7 races as well as the Six Nations coverage within our welcoming bars. The star of the day was Baywing winning the Eider Handicap Chase by 4 lengths for trainer Nicky Richards and jockey Ryan Day on board. Owners Hall Fire Protection LTD welcomed their glorious winner back into the parade ring where a huge reception for him awaited.
It was a very tight battle between Baywing and West Of The Edge within the last 2 furlongs, with the two neck and neck until the final furlong where Baywing found yet another gear, showing real guts to pull away from a well-respected opposition.
It has been 10 years since the racecourse has seen a horse show such a strong finish in the Eider since Grand National winner Comply Or Die won in 2008, although unclear where the next race for Baying will be, surely Mr Richards will be thinking of the Grand National for the 9-year-old who showed even in heavy ground he is up to the task.
Another interesting winner on Saturday was Philip Kirby's mare Lady Buttons winning the Betfred Super League Novices' Chase for owner Mrs. Jayne Sivills, with Adam Nicol giving a fantastic ride to win the race by 4 and a half lengths.
With Cheltenham around the corner, the 8-year-old is entered for the OLBG Mares' Hurdle at 66/1 with Betfred but we may have just realised Mr Kirby has a seriously powerful chaser amongst his team.