The Arc may be hogging the spotlight this Sunday but there are still bets to be had in Britain, at Kelso in particular...
"This trip of two and a quarter miles is likely to be much more up Vittachi’s street and, with fitness assured, this could be the day it all comes together..."
The third race at the Scottish track is an intermediate hurdle over two and three-quarter miles (off time 15:35), and as is often the case in the race a number of fairly promising sorts are entered up. The one we like is Midnight Tuesday, who was pretty progressive during the spring and early summer. He'd joined David Pipe from Nigel Twiston-Davies before the start of last season before belatedly taking off with wins in March and May, with some other improved efforts in between. The fact he's being taken from Devon to the Scottish Borders suggests this will be more than a gentle re-introduction for Midnight Tuesday and he can make his return a winning one.
Another who enjoyed a good first season for a new yard in 2011/12 was Bocciani, and he returns for the first jumps outing of his second campaign with Brian Ellison in the handicap chase over just shy of three miles at 16:05. He signed off last season with a second-placed finish to the improving Doeslessthanme at the Scottish National meeting in April and was given a recent spin on the Flat to sharpen him up ahead of this reappearance over fences. Bocciani can be idle in his races, but mixing up headgear has tended to keep him sweet of late and, assuming today's hood and blinkers have the desired effect, he is fancied to return to winning ways.
We don't have to wait long for our last selection, just half an hour in fact, but the suspicion is that this will be the culmination of a much longer-term plan for connections of Vittachi. Better known as a modest Flat handicapper (he's been as good as ever this year, if somewhat patchy), Vittachi has raced over hurdles just four times so far, showing much more aptitude for it when third on his handicap debut at Sedgefield back in December. He was heavily backed that day, but it seemed that lack of stamina found him out in testing conditions over 21 furlongs. This trip of two and a quarter miles is likely to be much more up Vittachi's street and, with fitness assured, this could be the day it all comes together.