Another busy Saturday with new recruit Return Fire leading off five runners at Kelso and Idem making his debut in the Junior Bumper down at Aintree, this following on from a fine second for West End Lady at Hexham yesterday. A little unfortunate to just be touched off by an unbeaten Irish point winner, she shouldn’t be long in gaining compensation, perhaps back against her own sex next time.
Today’s action gets under way at Kelso with Return Fire making his first start for the yard in the 2m6f novice hurdle. Third on his final run in Ireland, a similar level of form should be enough to see him in the mix, although he does face a couple of highly-rated chasers who are returning to the smaller obstacles.
With Lucky Flight now a non-runner, our next contender is Caboy, who contests the feature 2m5½f handicap chase. He seems in good form but would prefer the ground a little slower than is forecast and is likely to come on for the run having been off the course since the spring. He has also been declared for Carlisle on Monday, just in case the ground is a little too quick for him.
We harbour similar ground concerns for Behindthelines, who is due to make his long-awaited comeback in the novice handicap chase. He is a talented individual, but hasn’t been the easiest to train and won’t be risked unless conditions are right. Methodtothemadness will take her chance in the same race, and in contrast, she’ll appreciate the drying ground as she steps up to 3m for the first time under Rules. A consistent performer of late, we hope the longer trip will eke out further improvement.
Our final runner at Kelso is Your Place in the 2m5f handicap hurdle. We expect the longer trip to be in her favour, but she lacks a recent outing and this does look a competitive race for her return.
Idem will be our sole runner at Aintree when he takes on eight rivals in the Junior Bumper. He’d be more stoutly bred than the majority of the opposition, but soft ground will make this quite a test for these inexperienced youngsters and he is a horse that shows a nice bit of ability at home.
Lucinda Russell Racing