Daryl Jacob looking to Bristol De Mai to bounce back in Premier prize

Fri 9 Mar 2018

Jockey Daryl Jacob is keeping his fingers crossed Bristol De Mai can get his season back on track in the Premier Chase at Kelso on Sunday.

Officials at the Borders track moved swiftly to reschedule the high-profile fixture after the original meeting was abandoned last Saturday due to snow, and Bristol De Mai is very much the headline act.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey produced one of the most jaw-dropping performances of the entire season when coming home 57 lengths clear of Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.

He disappointed in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but his third place in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January was a step in the right direction and he will be a warm order to see off just two rivals in this three-mile Listed contest.

Jacob said: "He seems in good form and I believe there's some rain forecast up there, so hopefully conditions will be in his favour.

"He's had two hard races since he won the Betfair Chase. He didn't run badly at Cheltenham, but it will be nice to get his head in front and give him a confidence-booster.

"I'm looking forward to riding him."

Trainer Sandy Thomson is thrilled to have the opportunity to run Seeyouatmidnight at his local track as he warms up for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree.

The 10-year-old has been sidelined by injury since finishing second over hurdles at this venue 12 months ago, but Thomson reports his stable star in rude health.

He said: "I'm delighted with him. He's been away a couple of times this week as although we're able to canter them at home, we aren't able to work them after all the snow we've had.

"He seems very well, but it goes without saying he'll improve a lot from the run.

"It will be great to get him out. I'm not too bothered Bristol De Mai is there. Obviously he's lost his form for whatever reason, but our main priority is to get the run in and hopefully all goes well."

The Sue Smith-trained I Just Know completes the line-up.

Grade Two honours are up for grabs in the totescoop6 Premier Kelso Novices' Hurdle.

Better Getalong was no match for Cyrus Darius in the Morebattle Hurdle over the course and distance last month, but appears to have less on his plate back in novice company.

Trainer Nicky Richards said: "He seems in good order and he's been third and second in two Grade Twos.

"I just felt the ground was a bit tacky and dead for him last time and he couldn't get out of it.

"They're forecast a bit of rain and hopefully that will make it sloppy, heavy ground, which I think would suit him much better.

"He's a nice horse and hopefully he'll run a nice race."

Beeno won for the fourth time this season when bolting up in a Sedgefield handicap hurdle less than three weeks ago, but trainer Ken Slack is more hopeful than confident about his chances this weekend.

He said: "The ground won't suit him, but it's a £30,000 race and there are only six runners. You don't get the chance to run for that sort of money in the north very often.

"I thought it was a bit of a false race he won at Sedgefield last time. He probably only had to run to about 125 and now he's rated 135. I think we're at the limit on that mark.

"I don't think he'll win, but if he can finish in the first three and pick up some good prize-money we'll be delighted."

The Seamus Mullins-trained Arthington, Sue Smith's pair of Midnight Shadow and Treshnish and Whiskey In The Jar from Olly Murphy's yard make up the six-strong field, with course officials having called a 10am precautionary inspection on Saturday due to rain.

Clerk of the course Anthea Morshead tweeted: "A dry, frosty start and a dry, sunny day forecast. Going heavy. Precautionary inspection Saturday 10am due to a front of rain passing through region on Saturday."

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