2.45pm Kelso Tips & Betting Preview 29/12/2016

Eleven take their place in today’s feature race at Kelso with £7,148 on offer to the winner. Read on for our expert’s thoughts and betting tips.

IN SUMMARY: Calivigny wasn’t that far behind reopposing stablemate Marlee Massie and he just shades the vote this time around with that one looking slightly vulnerable for the win from a career high mark today. He can benefit from the likely strong pace on offer today and should run well but JUST GEORGIE is likely to make it a strong test if he leads again and he can belatedly get off the mark dropped down in trip today. He has been a model of consistency so far for this yard and deserves to get his head in front today with the ground unlikely to pose any problems.

1 Cooper’s Friend – Previously with Charlie Longsdon for whom he showed steady progress and fortuitous when winning at Sedgefield (Good) over 2m3f two starts ago in this grade when left clear at the last fence, eventually dotting up to win by fifteen lengths in the end. Proved that was no fluke when only narrowly beaten by a short head at Uttoxeter (Good) when upped in trip to 2m4f behind a horse that won next time out.  Bought for £11,000 since and one to note in the market on his first start for this yard.

2 Calivigny – Won over hurdles twice at Ayr last year on varying ground and improved on his second start over fences this term to finish 1¼ lengths behind reopposing stablemate Marlee Massie over 2m5f at the same track twenty four days ago. Should get closer to that one now from an unchanged mark and will benefit from the likely strong pace today. Claims.

3 Bright Prospect – Won on his third start over fences when hacking up by seventeen lengths at Perth (Good) in August over 2m4f and followed that with a couple of decent efforts in this grade since. Looked well held off a mark of 119 when only fourth of 7 at Musselburgh last time and only 1lb lower today Should find a few of these too good again on this occasion.

4 Angus Milan – Dual winner of handicap hurdles at Down Royal in deep ground over 2m last Winter achieving a mark of 116 in the process and has been well beaten by the likes of Min and Anibale Fly in three starts over fences at Navan this term. Should do better now dropped into handicaps and one to watch in the betting coming over for this race.

5 Marlee Massie – Progressive over hurdles last term winning four handicaps on the bounce up to 2m6f reaching a rating of 110 in the process. Took to fences in good style twenty four days ago at Ayr (Soft) over this trip, beating stablemate Calivigny by 1¼ lengths. Up 4lb now and it should be closer between that pair this time around. Entitled to go well again but may prove vulnerable from this career high mark and may have to settle for minor money today.

6 Ascot De Bruyere – Previously trained in France and got off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking when a ready winner by 4½ lengths at Musselburgh (Soft) in February. Has started life over fences in good nick but was well beaten by Marlee Massie and Calivigny when fourth of six at Ayr (Soft) over a similar trip and all three tries over this far have resulted in defeat. Looks held again for win purposes.

7 Just Georgie – Still a maiden after 10 runs under rules but has run admirably in defeat and has been consistent never finishing out of the top four. Brought down early on at Newcastle (Soft) two starts ago and well beaten over 2m6f on his last start at Hexham (Heavy), making all and finishing third of 10. Unexposed at this level and still didn’t look match fit on his second completed start this term last time out. Big run expected down in trip and looks versatile ground-wise and with that run behind him he could be dangerous to rule out if positive tactics are employed again in this. Big player.

8 Too Many Chiefs – Only seven starts over hurdles for this yard and got off the mark at the third attempt when a ready seven length winner at Hexham (Heavy) in March. Looks to have gone backwards since then and looks up against on his chase debut.

9 Castletown – Fair form when trained in France but still a maiden after twelve runs and has finished last on both of his chase starts so far for this yard. Easy to rule out for this.

10 Oak Vintage – Won in good style by six lengths when getting off the mark over hurdles in March at the fourth attempt at Sedgefield (Heavy) but hasn’t show much kept to this grade in his last three runs and looks up against it for his chase debut.

11 Here’s To Harry – Well beaten in all of his six starts under Rules and looks a forlorn hope on his chase debut today.

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