There’s some high-class jumps fare at Kelso on Saturday with the Scottish Borders venue hosting the Grade 2 Premier Novices’ Hurdle and the ultra-competitive Morebattle Handicap Hurdle alongside some excellent chases.
Watch all the action – as well as every race from the UK and Ireland – via live streaming when logged into MansionBet. Our tipster previews the card at Kelso (12.25-4.25, eight races).
12.25 – Juvenile Hurdle (2m)
Keith Dalgleish has a fine record at this venue and saddles Le Magnifique and Feldspar, both held in last month’s Scottish Triumph Hurdle at Musselburgh. They are surely contenders eased in class and it appears as though Craig Nicol prefers the chances of the former. Magna Moralia and Caldwell are potential improvers but a chance is taken with newcomer BENITO for the Tom Lacey yard. He’s got plenty appeal on paper as a half-brother to multiple winners, including a Listed French hurdles scorer.
Selection: Benito –
12.55 – Handicap Chase (2m1f)
Not a field that you’d want to fall in love with. Plenty have questions against them – Lastin Memories, Graystown and Book Of Invasions amongst them. FOURTH OF JULY doesn’t have a lot of baggage with him as yet and he was second at Catterick on chase bow in December. Not as good in one start after, he’s undergone a wind op since and has Kelso specialist Ryan Mania on board here.
Selection: Fourth Of July –
1.30 – Premier Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2, 2m2f)
A really pleasing line-up for this Grade 2 and My Drogo is heading the betting having accounted for subsequent Betfair Hurdle scorer Soaring Glory at Ascot before Christmas. He represents an in-form team and has leading prospects but he’s short enough in the betting taking on some useful opposition.
Bareback Jack is unbeaten and a player but ANY NEWS is preferred. He won as he pleased at Bangor on hurdles bow in November before a close encounter with Make Me A Believer at Cheltenham in December (second) – form that has worked out well. He gets weight from the aforementioned pair and has more to come for a Neil Mulholland team in excellent form right now.
Selection: Any News @
2.05 – Handicap Hurdle (2m5f)
Paul Nicholls has an excellent 31 per-cent strike-rate with runners at this venue in the last five years and FLASH COLLONGES may be able to get the Ditcheat handler on the scoresheet today. He’s won 2-4 over hurdles and was commanding at Wincanton in January despite leaving the impression he’s still a work in progress. He’s up 6lb but remains a big player. Handicap debutant Mayo Star is one to monitor closely in the betting and can have a say in proceedings.
Selection: Flash Collonges @
2.40 – Premier Chase (Listed, 2m7½f)
This should be very competitive. Last year’s winner Definitly Red is out of form and faces a tough task to cling to his crown. Ladbrokes Trophy winner Cloth Cap has Aintree and the Grand National in his sights and will run well despite the trip being shorter than ideal but perhaps TWO FOR GOLD can confirm last month’s slender superiority over Aso. The latter is a Cheltenham Festival winner and was back on song there, and Venetia Williams’ charge is better off on these terms too, but the increased trip should suit Kim Bailey’s charge better and he can continue a productive campaign.
Selection: Two For Gold @
3.15 – Morebattle Hurdle (Handicap Hurdle, 2m)
This is probably the toughest race on the card to get a handle on. Greatwood Hurdle winner The Shunter will be popular for Irish trainer Emmet Mullins, while Faivoir and Hunters Call are in form and key players, with Aidan Coleman notably sweet on his mount. Solo remains one that should do better and has been dropped 3lb by the assessor, but he’s short enough in the betting on what he’s been doing recently.
TOMMY’S OSCAR lost his unbeaten hurdles record at Musselburgh last month when second to the unbeaten Bareback Jack (runs in the 1.30pm here). That was another good effort and he can likely have a say at a decent price despite the tough nature of this race.
Selection: Tommy’s Oscar @
3.50 – Cyril Alexander Memorial Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (2m1f)
Eritage is back in novice company and should rebound from his Ludlow disappointment last time, while Cedar Hill loves it around here and needs considering; but ECLAIR D’AINAY is a chaser on the improve and he scored quite readily over C&D last month for Dan and Harry Skelton. A 7lb rise might not prevent further success for him now.
Selection: Elcair D’ainay –
4.25 – Standard Open NH Flat Race (2m)
Limited form to rely on here so the betting will be a crucial aid. SALVINO won a point-to-point bumper in October on soft ground before joining Sandy Thomson and looks to have fine prospects on this rules bow for a trainer that does so well at this track. He’s given the vote, though fellow rules newcomers Sayadam and Donaire make very solid appeal on paper too and come from yards that typically do well in this sphere.
Selection: Salvino –