I can’t remember the last time I went to Kelso, one of the most beautiful race tracks in the UK, but looking back at my punting notes it is the track where I have the biggest percentage of winners punting-wise over the past 10 years. Oh and yes before you say I am a bit of a geek keeping records, its a serious business this betting ‘lark’.
My one wager this Sunday at the Borders track will be on DUC DE GRISSAY in the two and three quarter mile handicap chase at 2.00.
His three runs this term in novices hurdles have shown plenty of promise especially his last run here when he looked set to open his career account with a clear lead at the last before getting the obstacles all wrong and taking a really soft fall.
But those runs were merely educational and I have been waiting to support him on his chasing debut and off an opening handicap mark of 120 he looks potentially well weighted and should leave his timber form well behind in what is a pretty ordinary contest.
Doncaster has suffered from appalling weather conditions this year, but the ground is likely to be the quickest we have seen it for some time there this afternoon and that should play into the hands of LA BAGUE AU ROI who side stepped the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park on Boxing Day to race here in the 1.35.
In season at Wetherby, she left that form well behind in the Peterborough Chase at Huntingdon, jumping with all her old exuberance before finding just the one pace down the lane. This stiffer track will play much more to her strengths and back against her own sex she can put her rivals to the sword down the far side of the Town Moor course.
When I looked at the entries on Saturday I thought that Catamaran de Seuil was the one to be on in the big staying handicap chase of the day at 2.45, but he probably needs the ground to dry out even more to show his best form and I have passed him over in favour of SLANELOUGH.
The son of Westerner has gradually been finding his feet this season and there was a load to like about his placed effort behind Lord Du Mesnil at Newcastle last time out when the youngster was merely outpaced from off a stop-start gallop on stamina sapping ground.
With a couple of entries that like to be at the sharp end throughout entered here we should get a nice end to end gallop and that will bring his solid jumping and thorough stamina into play. The cream on the cake is that the handicapper has dropped him further in the weights to a mark of 128 and he looks a hugely solid each-way play in what looks a very open affair.
My final wager for my Sunday Lucky 15 runs on the Fibresand at Southwell where I have hardly ventured this season.
There are several potentially well weighted runners set to line-up through the card, but by far the most interesting is CHINESE ALPHABET in the closing mile and a half handicap at 3.35.
This three-year-old really caught my eye last time out on his debut at the track when coming home in great style to finish a never nearer third of 12 to Grandscape. That step forward can probably in large be attributed to the first time application of blinkers and if they have the same effect here then he could readily improver past his elders with top weight and course and distance winner Cold Harbour probably his biggest danger.
- Kelso 14:00 – Duc De Grissay
- Doncaster 13:35 – La Bague Au Roi
- Doncaster 14:45 – Slanelough
- Southwell 15:35 – Chinese Alphabet