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'Wide open race' expected in Eider Chase at Newcastle

Tomorrow's Eider Chase at Newcastle could be a 'wide open race', according to the Clerk of the Course.

The Eider Chase is a 4m 1f race which is dubbed as a warm-up event for the Grand National at Aintree. Comply or Die won the event in 2008 before going on to win the National that same year.

James Armstrong, Clerk of the Course at Newcastle, says it's a strong field for the race.

Newcastle Racecourse bans picnics for 2015 fixtures

Newcastle Racecourse has banned picnics for health and safety reasons for all its 2015 fixtures bar one following a number of problems at events last year.

The major racecourse, which attracts more than 20,000 people to meetings, will instead provide racegoers with a picnic site outside the racecourse but within the wider estate.

The venue's management team said stopping people from spreading out rugs and eating in chairs would ease movement around the racecourse and increase visitors' enjoyment.

This is not a decision that has been made lightly and we hope that this change will allow us to continue to provide an enjoyable experience for all of our guests.

– Executive director David Williamson

The Blaydon Races in August is the only exception to ban against picnics or picnic furniture into Newcastle Racecourse.

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Newcastle expect 'strong card' for Fighting Fifth

Newcastle Racecourse is expecting a 'strong card' for this weekend's Fighting Fifth.

The event, a Grade I National Hunt Hurdle Race, is one of the venue's showpiece meetings and the highlight of the jumps season at Newcastle. Many past winners have also gone on to taste success in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham the following year.

James Armstrong, the clerk of the course, is expecting a competitive line-up for Saturday's race. He said:

We'll wait and see what the declarations are on Thursday morning but hopefully we're looking for a strong card.

– James Armstrong, Course Clerk at Newcastle Racecourse

When asked which horse he believes will win the race, Armstrong added:

Irving - if he stays on his feet and doesn't make the same mistakes as he did at Wincanton - would have to be a strong favourite and probable winner.

– James Armstrong, Course Clerk at Newcastle Racecourse

The Fighting Fifth takes place at 2:05pm on Saturday 29 November and the going is currently soft.

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Madness play at Newcastle Racecourse

Madness playing in Gosforth on Friday evening Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The band Madness help get a weekend of horse racing underway in Newcastle on Friday evening.

Fans sand along to classics such as Our House at Newcastle Racecourse

The Northumberland Plate takes place on Saturday.

Madness play to hundreds in Gosforth Credit: ITV Tyne Tees