Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newland Nursing Win Hope; Overstrand Can Score at Sandown

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newland Nursing Win Hope; Overstrand Can Score at Sandown

Article excerpt

IT seems the galloping doctor Richard Newland has nursed Overstrand back to something like his best, offering hope that the veteran can land a Sandown prize for a third time at the Esher track today.

As a four-year-old, when trained by Mary Reveley, Overstrand was partnered by Ruby Walsh to an effortless victory over Our Vic and Monkerhostin in this same event. Three years later he returned in the care of Dr Newland and romped home off a mark of 126.

Not only that, he went on to capture a valuable Ascot handicap off 141 that same season and was runner-up in the Totesport Trophy which saw his rating shoot up to 148 and he was firmly in the grip of the handicapper. His form deteriorated and one wondered if his enthusiasm would ever be rekindled. After all, age catches up with everyone and, although his stable was largely out of form last season, it was safe to assume that we had seen the best of him.

Whether Newland has found a cure for him or that he just took advantage of a declining mark, he looked revitalised when bouncing back at Market Rasen last month. The handicapper reacted with a 11lb rise which puts him a pound above his last winning mark in this event but still a stone below his career-best success at Ascot.

Newland's jumpers could not be in better form which is encouraging when weighing up one of his contenders for a race like the Best Odds Guaranteed At Handicap Hurdle. Overstrand also relishes the mud and, despite his advancing years, the 10-year-old can show his younger rivals the way home.

Despite a slight concern about his jumping, Big Zeb can strike for Ireland in the Keith Prowse Hospitality Tingle Creek Chase. There is no doubting his class after giving Master Minded a fright in a Grade One event at Punchestown in April which makes him the best horse in this race.

There was nothing wrong with his fencing at Navan last month on his return from a summer break when toying with Made In Taipan where he had a lot more in hand than the official margin of half a length. …

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