Cooler this morning, a breezy old night, the odd shower about and off to Kelso today where we have two runners on ground that will be hard work, heavy with soft places, again a wee shower would help after a drying couple of days.
Four time course winner Landecker runs in the 3.35, Kit rides and 7 run, he seems in great form and this is his course but, and it’s a big but, historically he has not shown his best form on this ground and I would be pleasantly surprised if he does today, everything else about the race is perfect for him though which is why he is taking his chance. On the other hand the ground will be perfect for Wicklow Lad in the 4.05, his best form is all on heavy and he ran well at Alnwick last time, he should have come on again for that run and although 13 now he has a decent chance of being placed but no chance of beating the odds on favourite.
I have always commended Kelso’s boldness in putting on good races for decent money and successfully upgrading the quality of their sport and would consider them a role model for what racing in the North should be aspiring to but today it has all back-fired on them a bit with small fields and very short-priced favourites. This can happen anywhere but it is disappointing for them nevertheless, especially when they attracted such good entries and it looked like being an excellent card. In framing races to attract the better Southern horses they obviously exclude the vast majority trained in the North and that’s fine when it attracts really good horses but when they themselves end up shying away from each other or deciding its too far to travel a month away from Cheltenham or the ground is wrong it ends up creating easy money for slightly second tier horses leaving many of us scratching our heads as to whether this really is the best deployment of funds.