Kelso Saturday Preview - 04/03/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 13:15
Harry Skelton


J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 7
Weight: 11-11
OR: 136
Days: 32

The first race of the afternoon at Kelso is the Novices' Limited Handicap Chase over 2m 5 1/2f and Sholokjack for Dan Skelton should make it 2/2.

A winner on his first two hurdles starts last term he then went to Kelso at this meeting last year and finished a tame sixth when stepped up in class into the Grade Two Premier Novices' Hurdle.

Sent chasing this season and put up as a handicapper to follow by Harry Skelton, he unfortunately at the second fence at Uttoxeter at chase debut.

Dropped 4lb for that run he was last seen off a mark of 125 at Lingfield on good to soft ground and jumped beautifully to land a Handicap Chase by 12 lengths.

Upped 11lbs for that win he does look to have more in the tank and if improving once more for just his third start over fences, he should go close again in a race lacking depth.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 13:50
Donagh Meyler


J: Donagh Meyler
T: Emmet Mullins
Age: 4
Weight: 11-3
OR: 142
Days: 68

One of the feature races at Kelso across the afternoon is the Morebattle Hurdle and with a full field of 16 heading to post we have dutched the race.

The first is the Emmet Mullins Irish raider McTigue who although rated the second highest horse in the field runs off 11st 3lb getting his age for weight allowance being a four year old.

A very smart flat performer reaching a peak rating of 98, he was sent hurdling this term and won well on his first two starts at Sedgefield and Auteuil, with his latter run seeing him land a good Grade Two event beating the highly talented St Donats.

He has struggled in his two runs since, firstly finishing sixth in the Grade One Grande Course de Haies des 3yo, with St Donats reversing the form to win and then last time out ran no race at all at Christmas when well behind Lossiemouth and Gala Marceau in a Grade Two at Leopardstown.

Not seen for over two months and sent into handicap company off a nice weight he can resume his progress and although four years of age he has a lot of experience and that could be the difference.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 13:50
Adam Wedge

Deere Mark

J: Adam Wedge
T: Sam Thomas
Age: 6
Weight: 10-10
OR: 125
Days: 49

At a bigger price of 8/1 is the Sam Thomas trained Deere Mark with the six year old looking to give his trainer another big Saturday win.

Sent hurdling this term having won on his final bumper start last term he went to Cheltenham in October and finished a good second behind Fennor Cross who went on to frank the form at the same track next time out in Group Two company.

Deere Mark ran in that race but finished last of eight in a run that was too bad to be true and a line can be drawn through that.

He has since bounced back to big effect winning his last two events, getting off the mark at Hereford in December when landing a Novices' Hurdle and then last time out at Kempton on handicap debut he went on to score nicely again off 119.

He races off 6lb higher on Saturday chasing the hat-trick and having been an intended runner in the Betfair Hurdle but pulled out late, this has been the plan since and off a nice weight can hit the frame.

There is a lot more to come from this horse.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 14:25
Richard Patrick

Nemean Lion

J: Richard Patrick
T: Kerry Lee
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 131
Days: 56

Another superb event from Kelso is the Grade Two Premier Novices' Hurdle over 2m2f and stepping back in class Nemean Lion for Kerry Lee looks sure to go well.

A very consistent performer on all three of his starts over hurdles this term, making his debut at Hereford in November on good to soft ground, he went on to bolt up by close to 10 lengths.

Sent into a better race next time out at Haydock under a penalty he ran a cracker to finish second to the likeable Hullnback for Fergal O'Brien who has since won again.

Stepped up into the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle last time out in tough conditions he showed his versatility to battle all the way to line to finish a close third behind the very talented Tahmuras.

Although another a difficult event the better conditions will help him and this is easier and based solely on form he is the one to be on.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 15:00
Mr Ben Sutton

Santos Blue

J: Mr Ben Sutton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 6
Weight: 10-11
OR: 120
Days: 29

A horse we think has a big chance at Kelso on Saturday is the Dan Skelton trained Blue Santos who looks set to land a hat-trick of wins.

Getting his act together two starts ago having been running poorly in Maiden and Novice company, he made his handicap debut at Wetherby on Boxing Day and won nicely over 2m 3 1/2f with 7lb claimer Ben Sutton on board.

Upped 7lb for that win to a mark of 108, again Ben Sutton in the saddle he won much easier at Chepstow at the start of February, beating a nice mare in No No Tonic who has since gone on to finish a neck second in a better race.

Upped another 12lb for that success he now races off 120 but he is improving at a rate of knots and should still have more to offer in this company.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 15:35
Harry Skelton

Le Milos

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
Age: 8
Weight: 11-6
OR: 152
Days: 98

The Penultimate event of the afternoon at Kelso is the Listed Premier Chase that sees some horses looking to set themselves up for some big runs across the Spring festivals.

Le Milos for Dan Skelton is looking to have his final run before a crack at the Grand National and this has been a race used in the past before heading there by some smart horses.

A very consistent handicap chaser last term winning two of his four events whilst placing in another but on his two runs this season he has taken his form to a different level.

Making his first start of the season at Bangor in a three mile Handicap Chase, he went on to win well from smart stayer Lord Du Mesnil.

Primed for a big run off only 4lb higher last time out in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury over 3m2f, he jumped brilliantly under a great ride by Harry Skelton to take the event from Remastered.

There were some smart horses in behind him that day with Remastered since coming out and winning and up 6lb to a mark of 152 he still looks like there is more to come.

Kelso - March 04 2023
Kelso 16:45
Bruce Lynn

Travail D'Orfevre

J: Bruce Lynn
T: N W Alexander
Age: 7
Weight: 11-8
OR: 104
Days: 31

The final event of the afternoon in Scotland is the Handicap Chase over 2m1f and Travail D'Orfevre for trainer Nick Alexander looks the play here.

Having been slightly hit and miss this season he gave his best run of the season last time out at Ayr when a good second in a Handicap Chase over 2m 1/2f.

That run came off a mark of 105 and he has been dropped 1lb for that run and if in the same form he should go close again.

Good To Soft ground is what he thrives off.