Whilst none of our six runners managed to get their head in front on Saturday, we certainly peppered the target with three seconds, a third and a fourth. Indeed, the only horse to finish outside of the frame was Your Place who was pulled up after suffering early interference.
Of the three to finish runner-up, we were thrilled with the stable debut of Return Fire at Kelso, where he was beaten by a former Cheltenham Festival winner, whilst at the same track, Caboy ran a blinder to chase home a well-treated winner of the feature handicap chase. Our other second-place finisher, Idem, is one to really get excited about, his fine effort coming on racecourse debut in the junior bumper at Aintree. Travelling best of all, he just was caught late on by a horse who had the benefit of previous experience and rates a lovely long-term prospect.
Our two runners in the novice handicap chase at Kelso acquitted themselves with credit, Methodtothemadness claiming third on her first attempt at 3m and Behindthelines shaping in really pleasing fashion to take fourth on his return from a lengthy absence.
Moving onto this afternoon, we have two runners over jumps at Carlisle and Engles Rock looking to follow up her recent win on the all-weather at Newcastle. This represents a slight step up in class for Engles Rock, but she remains on a good mark and we are delighted to once again call on the services of Paul Mulrennan after he gave her such a brilliant ride to win last time out.
At Carlisle, Well Above Par makes his reappearance in the 2m4f handicap chase. Winner of the valuable Northern Lights Middle Distance Series Final over course and distance in the spring, he would probably prefer the ground to be riding even softer, but this looks a suitable race to get his season up and running.
Stylish Moment goes in the following 3m handicap hurdle, aiming to go one place better than when runner-up on his debut for the yard at Kelso. This is a more competitive race, but he would look to have another each-way chance from the same mark with Patrick again claiming 10lb off his back.
Lucinda Russell Racing