Nine runners over tomorrow with seven at Kelso and two nice bumper types at Cheltenham.
Starting at Kelso we have three novice hurdlers: point winner Hey Listen who should appreciate the better ground, and debutantes Star Of Milan and Vino's Choice. Star Of Milan is out of Innovate who we trained for Peter Dale, and Star is his last homebred. A very tall unfurnished type he will need much further in time and fences, but having had plenty of education at home he will benefit from all that he learns tomorrow. Vino's Choice is a sharp type who has pleased us at home and while he looks to be in the stronger division he should be competitive on his first hurdle start.
We are all looking forward to Big River's chase debut. He was an improver last season in handicap hurdles and we feel that chasing will be his game. He often improves for racing so tomorrow's aim is a clear round and promise for the future. He will be sporting the Two Black Labs' new colours which were designed by Debs Thomson and won the BHA competition for owners silks design.
Debs has her own horse running in the two mile handicap hurdle; Alizee De Janeiro won this race two years ago and while she has gone up in the handicap since then she has come back from her summer break in good heart.
We then have two in the two mile six furlong handicap hurdle; Bescot Springs is trying better ground and a change in headgear to see if his enthusiasm can be resparked, while Ceegem is gathering experience before going novice chasing. He ran well on his seasonal debut at Perth and if he ever matures mentally he has plenty of scope to be a nice handicapper.
Meanwhile, at Cheltenham, we have two runners in the bumper. Mighty Thunder won at Perth in May and the form of that race looks solid. He is still just four but has plenty of ability and we will decide after this run if he stays in bumpers or goes novice hurdling. The Road Home took a couple of runs to win his Irish point to point but he has really come on in the past month and he brings experience to the race.