3.35 3m2f Class 2 Handicap Hurdle – Worthy Farm 10/3
Trainer Paul Nicholls doesn’t send many Kelso way, but when he does there to take note, over the last 5 years he has sent 21 runners up north with 8 coming back with the win, a big 38% strike rate, only 6 chances have been over hurdles and 3 have come back victorious, 50% strike rate. He sends 2 up North today, his only hurdler Worthy Farm looks his best chance after his last display in a class 3 at Ascot, he raced widest of the whole field giving away lots of ground, he travelled and jumped well and looked to have the race wrapped up when hitting the front 2 out with the jockey on the bridle motionless while the field was al hard at work, he jumped the last pulling away from the field and looked to have tons in hand, his winning margin was cut down when he idled in front but still, but still well in command and not worried. He goes up 7lb for that victory which on that evidence looks fair even if only winning by just over half a length. Paul Nicholls calls upon Lorcan Williams who takes off a handy 5lbs of the 7lb rise, the ground looks ideal and with Aye Right and Rivabodiva in the field, he’ll have the perfect pace scenario.
3.50 2m4f Class 2 Handicap Chase – Valdez 9/4
Very lightly raced chaser, won a novice Grade 2 just over 5 years ago before running a big 5th in the Grade 1 Arkle at the festival, only 7 races to his name since with a mixed bag of results, his latest display was pleasing to the eye in a good Grade 3 handicap over today’s C&D and showed that his old form isn’t too distant, he finished 3rd just 2 lengths from the 2nd Gala Ball, he was unfortunately hampered by a rider less horse 2 out and lost several lengths in the process, he recovered and finished well and although certain not to beat the winner, I’m certain he had the better of Gala Ball, GB goes up 3lb while Valdez gets a 1lb hike which is enough alone to reverse the form and with the problems Valdez encountered, in theory he’s a few lengths better than GB, Valdez also gets the services of Wayne Hutchinson who knows the horse better Tom Cannon and is a better overall jockey.
4.20 6f Class 6 Handicap – Sundiata 11/4
A very well bred Prince Abdullah filly out of a Empire Making mare whose sired many great non turf horses which includes 6 time Grade 1 dirt superstar Royal Delta, Sundiata sire Showcasing has sired many class horses which includes double Grade 1 winner Quiet Reflection, Grade 1 winning Advertise who is very exciting to follow this season and Tasleet who are all fantastic 6f specialists, so Sundiata running in a first time handicap off a mark just 63 is extremely low compared to her breeding lines and looks ready to take advantage. Her last run was pleasing also, she was slow away and had to be ridden early to make up ground, she raced too freely but hit the front well in the straight and looked like she was going to win well, but her early excursions was costly thou and was caught close home by a much more experienced 64 rated Second Collection, Sundiata should of learned a lot from that race and looks ready to expose her mark.