Most of the focus at Kelso on Thursday will be aimed at Champion Hurdle hopeful Peddlers Cross, who warms up for the Festival in the Morebattle Hurdle and it is very much hoped that he comes through this prep unscathed.
Earlier on the card the exciting Priceless Art (1:40) makes his debut over timber in the opening Kelso Members’ Novices’ Hurdle and, though the soft ground may not be ideal, the six-year-old is fancied to get off the mark at the first time of asking.
Alan Swinbank holds his four-time bumper winner in the highest regard and connections will be hopeful he can fend off a couple of useful sorts in the shape of Jukebox Melody and Music Of The Moor, both of whom have winning form in testing ground.
The opener at Ffos Las is also an interesting novices’ hurdle and, though Teaforthree has the best form in the book and always has an official rating of 138, Rebecca Curtis’s charge may struggle to concede 6lbs to Invictus (2:00) over this trip.
Alan King has his string in tip-top order and the former points winner is basically a winner without a penalty, following his mishap at Leicester last month.
Bought for £162,000 last April, the son of Flemensfirth still holds entries in the Neptune Investment and the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and, if either is to become a realistic target next month, he needs to be getting off the mark here.
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 18/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase