Rose Dobbin, the Northumberland based trainer has pencilled in Proud Gamble and Treliver Manor for the Premier Traffic Management Handicap Steeple Chase. Greenlaw’s Sandy Thomson will fancy another big run from Oscar Lateen who has won and been second twice from just three starts this term.
The Totescoop6 Premier Kelso Hurdle Race has a total prize fund of £37,500 and is often used as a stepping stone for the main four-year-old hurdle at Aintree. The highest rated entry is Harry Fry-trained Charmix who has won impressively at Newbury and Wetherby this season. Le Prezien, trained by champion jumps trainer Paul Nicholls, was just touched off in a Grade 2 hurdle at Haydock in January. Nick Alexander rates his Cheltenham Festival entry Lake View Lad highly after his two romps at Wetherby and Ayr.
The expected highlight of the day will be the appearance of Many Clouds, last year’s Crabbie’s Grand National winner who is owned by well-known entrepreneur Trevor Hemmings, trained by Oliver Sherwood and ridden by Leighton Aspell. He is using this as an Aintree stepping stone as he bids to become the first back-to-back National winner since the mighty Red Rum in 1973-74. This race has been marked out for his Aintree prep for some time following in the steps of Mr Hemmings’ previous National winner Ballabriggs and he has already booked his helicopter trip from the Isle of Man to Kelso to watch horse.
In the opening Novice Hurdle Iain Jardine’s Shrewd has won a couple of nice handicaps at Musselburgh and it is interesting as he slips back into novice company. James Ewart could be the trainer to watch as he is triple-handed with Ascot De Bruyere, Leading Score and Lycidas.
Head groundsman, Brian Meikle, expects perfect conditions for the race meeting on Saturday. Gates open at 12.05pm and the first race off at 2.05pm.