A big thank you to Alan Dudman who stepped in yesterday and was unlucky with a second at Wolverhampton last night. Today, Alan Thompson returns and has selections at Uttoxeter and Kelso...
"He won a better race than this at Southwell on Tuesday and gets in here on the same rating."
Polished Rock looks hard to beat today
Johnny Farrelly's charge Polished Rock is in a good from at present, he returned from a 273 day break to win on his seasonal debut at Southwell in August off a mark of 94. He received a 5lb lift in the weights for that win but still finished a creditable second at Stratford before returning off the same mark to win a better race than this at Southwell on Tuesday and gets in here on the same rating. He looks a to have an excellent chance in this field and connections have added cheekpieces to help him focus, if they bring any improvement at all and he can get this extra trip then it is hard to see what can beat him today.
Psychocandy may only have a single top four finish in her last five starts and was beaten and alarming 58 lengths at Newton abbot in July when tried over half-a-mile further. However, despite not getting home that day he has some decent form off similar marks at this trip including a second here and he may well be the one that Polished Rock will have to get the better of.
Chookie Royal can continue to improve over timber
Scotland-based trainer Keith Dalgleish knows exactly what is required to win at Kelso, he won division two of this race last year and boasts a 35% strike rate at the course over the last 12 months, today he runs the in-form Chookie Royale. He was a very decent performer on the flat, winning 15 of his 66 flat starts, including in listed company and reached a flat rating of 113. He has been progressively getting better over hurdles and was a winner last time out, while he has been upped in the handicap this mark isn't beyond him by any means.
It is a competitive heat though and Strong Team looks to be a worthy favourite, he has been running consistently throughout the summer, and made it two wins from six outings this year when winning a Hexham handicap last month. However, he gets a A 6lb rise for that win which gives him more to do today and Chookie Royale has already beaten him when they met at Sedgefield in August. At the prices I would rather take a chance with the Dalgleish runner
2018 Overall (prior to this week): +89.38 pts
This week so far...
Staked: 2 pts
Returned: 4 pts
2017 P&L +53.30pts
2016 P&L +15.23pts