Sunday, 9 December 2018


West Of The Edge will have the stamina to go around again

13:05 Kelso

A big field has assembled for this marathon Scottish Borders National and West Of The Edge for Dr Richard Newland looks the one they will all have to beat for me.

He is bred out of the top class jumps sire Westerner. Like his sire, he is a fantastic jumper and stays all day long. He showed that pedigree by finishing second in the Eider over this trip last season before returning to action with a fair fourth to get him ready for this over hurdles at Ffos Las last month. He stayed on well at the end of that Ffos Las race in heavy going which suggests that he will have no problem over today's going and he will relish the trip.

There are a couple of challengers that could cause the selection some problems and fill the place positions, Looking Well is a bit inconsistent but on his day can be really good. A repeat of his run in the Edinburgh National from just 1lb higher than today's mark would see him there or thereabouts. he also has the assistance of first time cheekpieces.

The other one of interest is the the thirteen-year-old Harry The Viking he enjoys his racing here, winning this in 2016 and it would be great to see the old boy grab a place.

Sam Thomas's charge will Sparkle at Huntingdon

13:55 Huntingdon

Prior to moving to the Sam Thomas yard, Sparkleandshine was gaining experience on the point-to-point circuit, where he ran three times but failed to get his head in front.

But under Sam Thomas's training regime the five-year-old gelding has had two starts producing a course and distance win and a fourth in a Listed contest at Ascot. That Ascot form is as good as anything in this line up and I don't see any reason why the unexposed type wouldn't improve on that performance and that has to give him a good chance today at a very attractive 7/1 7/18.00 on the Sportsbook.

The possible threats are, Shiroccan Roll who on his day can be good but he really needs to sort his jumping out now that he is competing in handicap company, that said his form in novices is smart and if he jumps better could certainly be a problem. Mister Universum is an interesting runner just 1lb above his last winning mark at Warwick in May, so it would be no surprise to see him make the frame at a double figure price (10/1 at the time of writing), especially in first time cheekpieces.

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