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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Captain on parade at NewcastleHeadlines
Captain Americo

Connections of Captain Americo have targeted the Betfred Eider Chase at Newcastle ever since he finished second in the Borders National at Kelso in December.

Third in last year's Eider, his trainer James Ewart is hoping for another solid performance.

"He's in good form and we're very happy with him. This race has been the plan since he ran in the Borders National," said the Langholm handler.

"He doesn't run well back to back quickly. He needs large gaps between his races and this seemed a sensible opportunity."

Tom George took Desperate Dex out of the race at the final declaration stage but will be represented by Monsieur Cadou. The eight-year-old has not run since winning at Haydock in November, but that does not worry the Slad trainer.

"We were really pleased with his last run at Haydock and we've sat tight with him since then. This race has been the plan for a while," said George.

"The way he was staying on at Haydock suggests the trip will suit him well and he does seem to have found improvement since tackling extreme distances. He's 7lb out of the handicap, but the jockey takes off 7lb. The ground shouldn't be a problem for him and we're looking forward to it."

Mortimers Cross defeated Captain Americo when winning the Borders National and his owner/trainer John Needham has his fingers crossed the 12-year-old can put behind him a disappointing run at Ffos Las on Boxing Day.

The Ludlow handler said: "We're hoping he runs well. He seems fine and he's not been out since Boxing Day, when he was disappointing. It may have been the ground, or perhaps that run came too soon after Kelso.

"We are keeping our fingers crossed and Andrew Thornton, who rode him at Fontwell, said we should run him in the Eider. We are doing that and Andrew is on him, so we are hoping for the best."

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