A field of eight go to post for the fourth race of the evening at Kelso on Wednesday. See our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: Nicolas Chauvin and Oliver’s Gold were only split by one length at Cartmel on their latest start and they’ll be closely matched again, however ready preference is for MARTILOO. Pauline Robson’s seven-year-old mare won her latest start at Perth in ready fashion, beating a horse who arrived on a four-timer. She jumped well and had plenty in the tank at the line, so a ten pound rise is very unlikely to stop her gaining a second chasing victory under Brian Hughes.
1 OLIVER’S GOLD – Four wins from 16 chasing starts for Mark Walford and he’s been in good form of present, finishing third behind a runaway winner at Cartmel on his latest start. He was a length behind Nicolas Chauvin that day, but he ran a strange race and jumping errors blighted him. There is unlikely to be much between him and that rival again and he holds strong each way claims as a result, as long as he jumps with more zest this time around.
2 VENGEUR DE GUYE – Mainly consistent over fences this year for Lucinda Russell, finishing second on three of his four runs this year. His second two starts ago over course and distance was a very respectable effort, but he failed to back that up when only third and well held at Cartmel back in May, 20 lengths behind Oliver’s Gold. He’s now been given a 114 day break and will need to be at his best to be reversing terms with that rival. Others seem far more likely on this occasion.
3 NICOLAS CHAUVIN – Hasn’t won since May 2016 at Huntingdon and, although he’s posted some good efforts since, he’s failed to really threaten the judge. He was second on his latest start at Cartmel, but he was beaten 17 lengths on that occasion. The winner was impressive though and he was left a long way out the back, staying on past Oliver’s Gold on the run-in. There is unlikely to be much between them again and, with conditions fine, he’s a solid each way contender.
4 FANTASY KING – Has a poor-strike rate over all for James Moffatt and his latest victory came way back in July 2016, only seen at Cartmel and Haydock since 2016. He was tailed off at Cartmel on his latest start when behind Oliver’s Gold and Nicolas Chauvin, struggling from a long way out and fading tamely. He’s now three pounds lower but he’s posted no efforts of note for a very long time and others are readily preferred.
5 MARTILOO – Seven-year-old mare for Pauline Robson who gained a well deserved victory on her latest start at Perth, winning by eight lengths and she had plenty in hand that day. She was on the bridle when taking over the running and a ten pound rise should be something that she can easily brush off under Brian Hughes. Conditions are fine and she looks very tough to beat as she still remains unexposed over fences.
6 INDIAN VOYAGE – Course and distance winner for the in-form Maurice Barnes yard who has been soundly beaten on his last two starts for the stable. He was last seen at Market Rasen finishing a tailed off last of five, with his handicap mark falling a further three pounds. He’s now 17 pounds below his last winning mark, but that victory came back in November 2015 and he’s clearly not as good as he once was. Others are readily preferred on this occasion.
7 SUDSKI STAR – Another course and distance winner who is returning to fences after a stint over hurdles this year, winning two of his last three starts over timber. He does, however, need to bounce back from a lacklustre effort at Kelso in May and his previous runs over fences have been less than impressive. He’s on a very good mark if looking at his hurdling feats, but others are far less risky and he needs to be at his very best after a break.
8 MUWALLA – Very consistent ten-year-old veteran for Lisa Harrison who has hit the frame on most of his starts this season. He was last seen finishing third at Sedgefield in August, only beaten by three lengths and a repeat of that effort would see him in with a place shout under three pound claimer Callum Bewley with conditions to suit. That said, he’s vulnerable for win purposes off this mark.