THE looming shadow of the Cheltenham Festival can often dilute the quality of racing in the two weekends before the great meeting. But not today. There are competitive cards at both Newbury and Doncaster. But there is only ONE place to be and that is at the beautiful Scottish borders racecourse of Kelso. Excellent prize money has secured a quality card and THE best race of the day.
Two horses capable of lighting up Cheltenham clash in the listed Premier Chase over 2m 7f. BOLD SIR BRIAN and HARRY TOPPER are two of the most progressive young chasers in the land. Bold Sir Brian took a crashing fall when beaten at Cheltenham last time and there were a few moments when racing fans feared the worst. But thankfully he got up and I expect that Lucinda Russell will be treating today as a way of rebuilding his confidence.
In any case, he will have to go some to topple Harry Topper. Kim Bailey’s young star needs soft ground, which is why he has been sent north. Who wins? I don’t care. It’s a race to sit back and enjoy. Incidentally, if anybody hasn’t read Kim’s excellent blog then you must check it out here
The other highlight is the appearance of the gorgeous EDUARD who contests the Grade Two Premier Kelso Hurdle. He has a stiff task but should see off Only Orsenfoolsies and Brick Red before going on to greater things. Aintree probably awaits him after today.
Sticking at Kelso, one unexposed type to keep an eye on is RHYMERS STONE in the opener. Lucinda Russell rates this fellow and he is a good bit better than he has shown in his two hurdle races. If the penny drops, he could show improved form today and run into a place at a decent price.
At Newbury ZAYFIRE ARAMIS has been working well and should go well for the Kayf Aramis Racing Club (of which this blogger is a member) in the bumper.
MIDNIGHT SAIL won well last week and could follow up in the Greatwood Gold Cup Handicap Chase while Alan King also has each-way chances with IRON CHANCELLOR (2.05) and TURN OVER SIVOLA (3.15). King’s bumper horse SIMPLY A LEGEND is well regarded and his owners Liz and Peter Prowting are on a hot streak with three winners in the past 10 days including a 40/1 winner yesterday.
Finally, old favourite DEN OF INIQUITY has two ways of running but could go well if it’s a going day in the 4.25.
Best of luck!