The excitement is really starting to build as Cheltenham approaches.

Historically, these next two weekends are slightly quieter as yards are readying for Cheltenham, but there are good cards at both Kelso and Newbury.


I’m looking forward to seeing My Drogo again in the 13:30 at Kelso. I think he could have run well in a race like the Supreme if he’d gone there, but his connections have opted to miss Cheltenham this year and that may pay dividends for this big horse.

He was a good winner at Ascot last time. In third that day was Soaring Glory, who won a good handicap hurdle at Newbury two weeks ago, so the form has stacked up. He’s got to concede weight all around, but he’s a good horse and could be top class.

Cloth Cap was a really good winner of the Ladbroke and has since been on plenty of people's lips when looking for the ideal Grand National winner. I think if he’s in the same form as he was last time out, then he’ll take plenty of beating in the Premier Chase at Kelso 14:40.

Hitman  won’t be a big price, but he’s very smart and I think he’ll be getting his season back on track following his fall last time out. He was cantering along in the Scilly Isles last time when coming down, but he looked like he was going to be a real player. It looks as though he’ll he heading to Aintree if he wins the 15:40 at Newbury under Bryony Frost.  

Ross saddles An Fraoch Mor  in the 14:48 at Navan. It’s his first run back for a while, but we’ve always thought he could win a race of this nature. He pulled up on his last start and has since had a niggle at home, which has kept him off the track.

But he’s been in good form at home of late and we’re looking forward to getting him going as he’s ready to rock and roll! Whatever he does, he’ll improve for it.

4 To Win

13:50 Newbury – Grand Sancy

He was disappointing last time out, but something was clearly amiss, as he’s been off since.

Paul Nicholls is superb at getting horses ready for their target, and it looks as though he’s been campaigned for this race that Paul has won in five of the last nine renewals.

14:05 Kelso – Flash Collonges

Harry Cobden is chasing Brian Hughes for the jockey’s championship so he's going to be throwing the kitchen sink at every ride he has. This horse is improving and is now two from four this season. There could be a mileage in his mark, yet.

15:05 Newbury – Gastara

She was a good third at Sandown Park last time, finishing behind Sopran Thor. She will improve for that run and might like this better ground. She’s at the right end of the handicap and has a very good rider on her back.

15:15 Kelso – The Shunter

Emmet Mullins doesn’t send them to England for fresh air. He was a good winner at Cheltenham in November and was a good third in Ireland last time out. He could just be too good for his rivals.

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