This could be dominated by CHUVELO, who was useful in bumpers and made a perfectly satisfactory start over hurdles at Bangor, and Rocheston, who is much more of an unknown quantity after just one run in France over two years ago. It’s hard to be confident, but preference is for the Donald McCain-trained runner.
Three or four of these have claims, but with the form of his hurdling debut already working out well UNIVERSAL FOLLY (nap) looks the one to be on. Dubai Days has been a model of consistency to date and could be the biggest danger.
Slight preference is for seasonal debutant DEFINITE WISDOM, who goes well fresh and already has a chase success on his CV. Second choice is Darius Des Sources, who should take to chasing and looks open to further progress in handicaps. Class-dropper Illuminated Beauty and potential improver Chanting Hill are interesting, while Road Warrior has possibilities if backing up his Sedgefield effort. A few others also enter the reckoning in an open race.
Truckers Lodge was very impressive in the Midlands National in March and isn’t dismissed lightly, but he has been seen to best effect when getting a severe test of stamina and reportedly has the Grand National as his aim. Age doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to improvement from Nicky Richards-trained chasers and, despite being 3lb out of the handicap, the selection is the 11yo CHIDSWELL who ran well on his last two starts last winter, goes well fresh and likes it here. Last month’s Perth winner Amalfi Doug ran well in this race last year and is second choice, with Some Chaos another who could have a race-fitness edge. Second-season chaser The Hollow Ginge is another who could run well.
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A wide-open contest. A chance is taken that SHAWS BRIDGE improves on his handicap debut after a break, but there are all sorts of other possible winners, most notably Karamoko, who may be suited by returning to 2m. Good recent form is offered by Xpo Universel and Rob Royal, while Balranald is still unexposed.
Lucinda Russell won this race last season with Vengeur De Guye, and in last month’s Perth scorer MINT GOLD she has another solid contender; he looks the one to beat. Beautiful Ben finished behind the selection at Perth but will be dangerous here if getting an easy lead, while Twotwothree could build on his Bangor reappearance and go close.
One of the few with solid chase form to his name is COUNT JURADO, and a repeat of his close fourth at Bangor last time should see him go close. Cedar Hill could be unexposed and looks a danger, while Wise Coco has been in good form over hurdles and should be thereabouts if taking to fences.
Petite Ganache hasn’t had any excuses in three runs back off today’s mark and needs to find more. Handy Hollow is one to consider for his in-form yard, but ELLE EST GRANDE returns to hurdles on a handy mark under a jockey able to claim the full 10lb and she’s preferred.
The Racing Post’s tips for Kelso on Saturday
All odds correct at time of publication and they’re always spot on with out betting widgets
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