KIM bAILEY is hopeful the lightly-raced Knockanrawley can prevail in today’s Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle.
A four-mile marathon likely to be even more demanding because of heavy ground, in-form David Bass’s mount did finish fourth to Milborough two years ago.
He has only run twice since, most recently at Warwick in the Classic Chase behind the Lucinda Russell-ridden and Derek Fox-trained One For Arthur who is now a leading Grand National contender.
After a quiet spell, Bailey’s yard have been back among the winners in recent weeks.
“I was absolutely delighted with him at Warwick after so long off,” said the trainer.
“He ran well in this race two years ago and hopefully he’s retained all of his ability.
“If he has most things are in his favour for him to run well.”
High Eldwick’s Sue Smith is due to saddle course winner Smooth Stepper and and also top weight Straidnahanna who won Catterick’s North Yorkshire National on his last outing. Her concern, particularly for Straidnahanna, is whether conditions become too arduous with more rain forecast.
North Yorkshire horseman Henry Brooke has his first ride in Ireland when Middleham trainer Micky Hammond saddles his stable star, Just Cameron, in tomorrow’s valuable two mile handicap chase at Naas.
Veteran French jockey Thierry Jarnet, best known for riding the brilliant mare Treve to dual success in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, has announced his retirement from the saddle.