Forest to give them Ell
KELSO have been rewarded for staging a
£30,000 race today by attracting the talented chaser Forest Bihan.
Trained by Brian Ellison (below), his stable star came within a head of winning a Grade One novice chase on Grand National day when he was chinned on the line by San Benedetto.
But he will take all the beating in the NSPCC School Service Handicap Chase at
4.20. The strapping six-year-old really came into his own over fences last season and is a horse to follow this season.
He may eventually appreciate two-and-a-half miles but the stiff track at Kelso should play to his strengths. However, he faces stern opposition from Malcolm Jefferson’s useful Double W’s, Nicky Richards’ Simply Ned and Wisty, who is on a four timer.
Beyond The Clouds (2.40) also has a bright future and should win today.
Trained by Kevin Ryan, normally associated with the Flat, he will be ridden by Brian Hughes, who already has 34 winners as he tries to better last season’s tally of 144. gallops and it was no surprise when she made a winning debut at Doncaster. Burke then targeted Doncaster’s Group Two May Hill Stakes over a mile.
Laurens used her stamina and long stride to get up on the line to give McDonald his biggest success.
The rider, who is now settled in the beautiful Wensleydale market town of Leyburn with wife Abby and children Amelia and Lavinia, added: “We knew Laurens was good from early on and Karl has done a brilliant job nurturing her.
“We wanted to make sure she was ready to run as she is such a massive two-year-old. She has already won a Group Two but next year will be her year.
“Karl picked out the Doncaster race to be fair to him as me and the boss man – owner John Dance – were happy to stick to 7f. On her run at Donny she looks like a 1m 2f horse. She got caught for toe and was only in full flow in the last 100 yards.
“Winning a Group One would be the icing on the cake but to do it for these connections would make it extra special. John and his wife Jess have not been in the game that long but they have put so much into it. He has been to the sales for the past three or four years and put his hand in his pocket and has not been afraid to spend money, so he deserves it.
“They are also good friends of me and my wife so I think that makes it a bit more special.
“For me and Karl it’s amazing. We are in the game for Group One horses. The plan was to give her two runs this year but it’s not every day you get a chance to go for a Group One so we would be silly not to try as she is in such great form.”
NATIONAL TREASURE: PJ and Hot Weld after the 2007 Scottish National