Wow! What a magnificent result at Aintree on Saturday, precisely what is needed to set jump racing in Scotland alight ahead of the excellent fixtures coming up at Kelso, Ayr and Perth. Well done to all at team Arlary along with owners Debs and Belinda and Derek for a masterful ride, all richly deserved and a timely reminder that dreams in jump racing can come true.
Fine drying spring weather and I am delighted that Kelso have been proactive with their watering putting on 14mm to ensure ground on the easy side of good there tomorrow where we have 5 declared runners. Unfortunately Lucy won’t be riding any of them as she took a heavy fall at Newcastle yesterday and needs a few days off ; we have some able deputies booked starting with Kit on Landecker in the first race at 2.10. The going, trip and track are ideal for him and he seems in particularly good form, I suppose my concern would be that he may prefer a smaller field, 12 run.
Then in the 2.40 Dutch Canyon reverts to fences, he’s put in a few decent efforts over hurdles this winter and whilst he is yet to show anything over fences he jumps them well and should appreciate the track, trip and ground, he’s slightly out of the weights but Grant claims 3lb and his hurdle mark is higher. We run Dance of Fire in the 3.40, 12 run and we would hope that he can continue to build on his improved effort at Musselburgh last time, the trick then appeared to be to kid him into the race so we will try the same.
Clan Chief runs in the 4.10, we’ve been waiting for this better ground for him and he was runner up in this contest a year ago off a 10lb higher mark so I hope he will go well, Grant rides claiming 3lb to counter him also being slightly out of the handicap, 8 run. Finally we run Benny’s Secret in the 5.10, Blair Campbell rides and 13 run, we’ve struggled to keep this horse right this winter but he took a big step in the right direction at Ayr last time and should appreciate the drying conditions at his winning course and distance from this time last year. Kit also rides Sounds of Italy in the Buccleuch Cup at 4.40,there should be a great buzz at Kelso with the Grand National winner being due to parade in front of what will be hugely appreciative crowd so make it there if you can! A considerably better performance today from Allthekingshorses to finish 4th at the Morpeth point-to-point, he’s had a few issues and not been easy to train so should be able to build on this, our other two runners, Bertie Milan and Rossini’s Dancer stayed on the lorry as I felt the ground was too quick for them.