'He's a massive chance' - Brian Ellison fishing for more Geordie glory in Eider Chase with surprising recruit Anglers Crag

Anglers Crag: well fancied for the Eider Chase at Newcastle on Saturday
Anglers Crag: completed a hat-trick for Brian Ellison when winning at MusselburghCredit: John Grossick (

Brian Ellison is eyeing another big prize at his native Newcastle after he gave surprise hit Anglers Crag the go-ahead for Saturday's £80,000 Betting.Bet Eider Chase on Wednesday.

His lifetime ambition is to land the Northumberland Plate at Gosforth Park, a Flat race which was run on the day he was born in the city in 1952, but he took the track's most important chase with Sam's Adventure three years ago.

Sam's Adventure leads from Crossley Tender en route to winning the Eider
Sam's Adventure won the Eider in 2021Credit: John Grossick (

The trainer hopes he has "a massive chance" of landing a second Eider on Saturday with ante-post favourite Anglers Crag, who is unbeaten in three runs since joining him.

"He worked well yesterday and he's fine this morning so at the moment everything has been all okay," Ellison said. "We're happy with him."

Anglers Crag is a best-priced 7-2 for the 4m1½f contest, having followed narrow wins at Carlisle and Market Rasen with an 11-length triumph under Henry Brooke at Musselburgh this month.

The nine-year-old had won one hurdle race from seven runs for David Pipe and his new trainer added: "He's surprised us as his form wasn't very good but he's settled down and he's done well for us.

Brian Ellison: "Why go from 14 to 12 when there's plenty of room there? It doesn't seem logical"
Brian Ellison: "He's surprised us"Credit: Edward Whitaker (

"He's got better each time and his performance at Musselburgh was a definite improvement again, winning well on a sharp track that probably wouldn't suit him. And the form is working out well as the second has won back there since.

"This wasn't on the agenda until after Musselburgh, but if you're going to go for a big one you might as well do it now, while he's rated 126, so we'll have a go."

Anglers Crag will be racing over nearly a mile further than he has previously tackled before. Ellison said: "It's going to test him because the ground's going to be heavy. If he doesn't stay he doesn't but if he does he's got a massive chance.

"It would be great to win again. It's only the Plate I haven't won at Newcastle, I've won most of the other big ones — this, the Beeswing, the Gosforth Park Cup and the November Handicap when it was run there."

The going was reported as heavy, soft in places at Newcastle on Wednesday but racing is expected to beat the wet weather.

Clerk of the course Eloise Quayle said on Wednesday: "We should be fine for Saturday. Friday is looking dry all day and Saturday should be dry until a potential shower at 1pm.

"We've got a nice strip of fresh ground on the inside that hasn't been raced in since the meeting in November and it's looking pretty healthy. We're happy at this stage that Saturday should be fine."

Betting.Bet Eider Handicap Chase (2.08 Newcastle, Saturday)

Bet 365: 7-2 Anglers Crag, 11-2 Git Maker, 15-2 Fenland Tiger, 9 Christopher Wood, Tommie Beau, 10 Gold Clermont, Your Own Story, 12 The Galloping Bear, 16 bar

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David CarrReporter

Published on 21 February 2024inBritain

Last updated 17:30, 21 February 2024