By Gordon Brown
ARISTO DU PLESSIS steps up in trip as he bids to get his career back on track in the feature race at Kelso on Tuesday.
James Ewart’s nine-year-old, partnered for just the second time by 7lb conditional jockey Billy Garritty, faces six rivals in the £20,000 Belhaven Brewery Handicap Hurdle over 2m 4f.
Langholm-based Ewart said of his one-time Champion Hurdle entry: “We feel he is worth another try at going this far as horses can lose a bit of speed as they get older. He was tried in a couple of races at just short of this distance a few years ago but we’ll see how he gets on this time.
“He’s also had a go at chasing but it doesn’t seem to be for him. He’s very well handicapped on the pick of his form considering he’s a horse that has had so many problems including a kissing spine.”
One rival of interest is Mahlervous, a disappointing favourite at Aintree in early December and trained at Upper Lambourn by Warren Greatrex who paid his first visit to Kelso recently.
The Berkshire raider, appearing for the first time following wind surgery, carries the colours of The Marvellous Partnership, a syndicate that includes East Lothian owner Ray Green.
Course specialist Landecker attempts for his sixth win in the Racing To Work Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier For The Staying Hurdle Series Final).
Trained by in-form Nick Alexander, the eleven-year-old is making his 20th visit to the Borders venue and he hasn’t been successful anywhere else.
For more information contact Gordon Brown on 07850 258063 for Scottish Racing.