THOMMO is backing Stargazer to sparkle at Newcastle and also turns his attention to Kelso today with five selections.
STARGAZER goes well at Newcastle and is poised to add to his recent course and distance victory over Godolphin’s Festival Of Ages.
Robert Winston rode him for the first time that day, making smooth headway from the rear to strike the front over a furlong out. Phil Kirby has booked him again and a 3lb rise for that success is fine.
Alexander saddles Manetti with sound prospects in the opening amateur riders’ handicap hurdle following a fifth to southern raider Johnbb in maiden company at Ayr.
Julia Brooke is fast making a name for herself and MIDNIGHT WALK is worth watching in the betting market on her return to action following a 248-day absence. The mare has winning form in the past and acts well on good ground. Ex-Irish It’s All A Lark makes her debut for Donald McCain.
Landecker attempts to repeat last year’s success in the staying hurdle and the Alexander yard will be hopeful of a big run as Landecker is 6lb lower today, with his rider taking off another 5lb.
However, another Borders horse, ARTHURS SECRET, could be the answer if running up to his form at Ayr when a highly-respectable fourth to solid yardstick Aye Right.
ALIZEE DE JANEIRO is an automatic choice in the handicap chase after scoring here in November and December. One of today’s three rivals, Monsieur Co, was more than 30 lengths adrift when Lucinda Russell’s mare scored in November.
With the Alexander stable continuing in good order, ELVIS MAIL may be capable of defying a penalty. He absolutely hacked up here 24 days ago and is probably a safer bet than Erik The Red, a useful handicapper on the Flat now making his hurdles debut for Kevin Ryan. Ruth Jefferson’s Northern Soul battled on bravely to win at Wetherby and is another contender.
MAHLERVOUS will be hard to beat in the 2m 4f handicap hurdle if benefiting from a recent wind operation. Warren Greatrex’s gelding posted a fine effort at Cheltenham’s big November fixture, chasing home talented Speedo Boy.
Connections decided on a wind procedure following his subsequent sixth at Aintree and Mahlervous should have the legs of Sky Khan. Ted Veale had some useful form in Ireland but the 12-year-old has joined Nick Alexander rather late in life.