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Caroline Bailey is hoping the ground dries up so Crosspark can try to win the Vertem Eider Handicap Chase for the second time at Newcastle.

The 11-year-old, who competed in this marathon competition in 2019, is leading the weights for Saturday’s marathon after 16 horses held their own at the confirmation stage.

The plane heads northeast as long as the conditions aren’t too trying. Monday’s terrain was described as soft, heavy in places, but the forecast is for dry weather from the middle of the week.

Bailey doesn’t want Crosspark hauling 11 12lb pounds over inappropriate terrain.

“He’s in good shape and ready to go if the ground isn’t too heavy,” said the Northampton coach.

“With maximum weight, that would be too much.

“The forecast for the day after tomorrow is better, so we have to be hopeful.

“He’s not a very big horse and he wouldn’t want to carry that weight on heavy ground – but if it dries to go soft, good to soft, we will definitely consider it.

“It was good at slack when he won it two years ago, but he was wearing a lot less and rated 15 pounds lighter than he is now.”

Among the potential opponents is Sam’s Adventure, formed by Brian Ellison, winner of the Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock.

Lucinda Russell can be two to Big River and Haul Us In, while Tom George has both Springfield Fox and Boyhood in the math.

Others in the mix include The Dutchman, Cyclop, Classic Ben and Little Red Lion by David Pipe, winner of three of his last four starts.




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