Racing: Earth Summit ready to hit peak form

The former National Hunt jockey Steve Smith Eccles (right) gives a runner-by runner analysis of today's Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock.
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The Independent Online
Banjo: Useful chaser who holds a leading chance.

Earth Summit: Won the Welsh National at Chepstow and is sure to run a big race here. The only question mark is the trip, which is five furlongs shorter. But if the ground is heavy his stamina will stand him in good stead.

Eudipe: Ran a good race to finish third behind Suny Bay in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup. An improving six-year-old who has a good chance of reaching the frame.

General Wolfe: His jumping lets him down in really competitive events like this one so the General is not one to rely on.

Go Ballistic: Had a good season last year but has shown very little form since to suggest he can figure here.

Harwell Lad: Last season's Whitbread Gold Cup winner has a mind of his own, refusing to jump on his reappearance and then downing tools on his latest outing. One to avoid!

Indian Tracker: Better suited to this trip after fading to finish fifth behind Earth Summit in the Welsh National. I can't see him reversing the form but he could run well.

Nahthen Lad: A good horse on his day who will appreciate the soft ground. Not a definite runner, he may be rerouted to Ascot on Friday. If he does go to Haydock, he should strip fitter for his recent run.

Simply Dashing: In fine form this season, winning at Wetherby and then taking the First National Bank Chase at Ascot. He was below par in the Tripleprint Gold Cup, however, and may not handle the soft conditions over three energy-sapping miles.

Strath Royal: A grand old horse who has already won four times this term. He was beaten at Wetherby last week when he ran out of steam on unsuitably sticky ground. If it is heavy at Haydock the conditions will not suit him.

Conclusion: I expect EARTH SUMMIT to gun down his rivals in the closing stages. Martin Pipe's pair, Eudipe and Indian Tracker, have bags of stamina and won't be far away but Earth Summit should get the upper hand on the run-in, particularly if the ground is soft.

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