Sunday at Kelso

The first of five runners at Kelso this afternoon is Rowdy Rustler who drops back to 2m to contest the opening maiden hurdle. Fifth on his debut for the yard at Ayr, one place behind stable companion Readysteadybeau who won at Haydock on Wednesday, we think he’ll cope sufficiently with the drop in distance and being the first race on the card he’ll appreciate racing on the best of the ground.

One horse for whom the overnight rain is a positive is Behindthelines who goes in the 3m novice handicap chase. He proved he retains plenty of his ability when fourth on his return from a lengthy absence last month and can be given a solid each-way chance with improvement anticipated. He runs in the colours of London Scots For Doddie, a syndicate set up to raise funds for Doddie Weir’s My Name’5 foundation so any prize money will certainly be going to a worthy cause.

Big River has a wonderful record at Kelso which he will look to add further lustre to in the Borders National. Already a six-time course winner, he will be bidding to right the wrong from this race two years ago when he was brought down at the 14th when still travelling well. We were delighted with his second on his recent reappearance and are expecting a big run.

West End Lady has begun her season on a good note, winning at Hexham in October and then finishing runner-up there a month later. She is back against her own sex this afternoon, and whilst the unbeaten The Player Queen could prove tough to beat, she is fancied to be on the premises and is another of ours who can be given an each-way chance.

It will be great to get Blooriedotcom back on track in the closing handicap for conditional jockeys as he had been progressing well prior to getting struck into at Perth on his sole start last season. This will be a big ask on his return from a 437-day layoff, but the handicapper has given him a chance and Patrick takes a further 10lb off his back.

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Lucinda Russell Racing

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