Mews flies

McCain’s new re­cruit can Mount a se­ri­ous chal­lenge in fea­ture chase at Kelso

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Sport - JOE PUNTERTHE MAN WITH THE IN­SIDE TRACK

Mount Mews ( 2.05) has a bril­liant Kelso record and is taken to ex­tend his se­quence in the Bor­ders.

Don­ald McCain sad­dles the tal­ented eight-year- old for the first time since owner Trevor Hem­mings moved the horse from the Ruth Jef­fer­son yard.

Mount Mews is back to five pounds below his last win­ning mark.

Pro­vided McCain has him hard-fit for the hand­i­cap chase, he must go close.

Mount News is three wins from three starts at Kelso and two from three on to­day’s un­sea­son­ably good ground.

The ob­vi­ous con­cern is that he’s been off the track for 305 days since run­ning a solid race in the Coral Cup at last year’s Chel­tenham Fes­ti­val.

But Mount Mews man­aged to win after a 214-day break in 2016 and should have the right rat­ing to win this.

McCain has a much less ob­vi­ous yet fas­ci­nat­ing con­tender in the shape of

ROSE’S IN THE RAIN (2.40). Again, it’s a first start for the yard hav­ing achieved lit­tle re­cently un­der the care of Enda Bol­ger in Ire­land.

Rose’s In The Rain’s form is noth­ing to write home about but will be fit enough hav­ing run in two point-to-points in the lead up to Christ­mas and could be thrown in off a mark of 91.

Lu­carno Dancer is in crack­ing form at the mo­ment and could be a wor­thy each-way al­ter­na­tive.

TRIXTER (12.30) looks to have a strong chance in the opener with trainer Tim Vaughan hav­ing a sen­sa­tional record when tak­ing the trip to the Bor­ders town.

Vaughan is five wins from nine run­ners in hur­dle races here and his raider can get the bet­ter of Stoney River. En­core Champs beat LORD YEATS (1.00) off level weights at Wetherby and the third has won again since.

The pair of them should have the race be­tween them here again and the Jedd O’Ke­effe yard is in bet­ter form than the War­ren Greatrex team.

LOUGH DERG JEWEL (3.10) is on a ca­reer-high mark but that’s for a rea­son and rates an­other solid con­tender for the McCain team.

The win at Don­caster in the mid­dle of last month over Sir Man­gan came in a three- horse race but it was de­cent enough and the rest of the chal­lengers usu­ally find ways to lose, so he’s the one.

The Grade Two Moscow Flyer Novice Hur­dle is the high­light at Punchestown and, al­though it has at­tracted just six run­ners, it looks a tricky puz­zle.

Wil­lie Mullins has won the race seven times and sends both Har­rie and Build me up but­ter cup who have both landed their maid­ens.

Both are crack­ing horses and, even though the bet­ting and rid­ing ar­range­ments sug­gest Har­rie is the first choice, Build me up but­ter cup may be the bet­ter of the pair. How­ever, Gor­don El­liott (below) has a cou­ple of con­tenders and a fi­nal chance is taken on FELIX DESJY (2.50). He hasn’t quite lived up to his bumper prom­ise yet over hur­dles but has still shown a good level of form. Im­pres­sive on his hur­dling bow at Gal­way, he failed to make an im­pres­sion in graded com­pany be­hind Ara­mon and Easy Game at Na­van but hinted at a re­turn to form last time in de­feat to Sal­saretta at Lim­er­ick. The El­liott-trained VI­SION D’HONNEUR (3.20) was sent of f favourite for a hot maiden hur­dle at Leop­ard­stown on St Stephen’s Day and fin­ished fourth but the ex­pected im­prove­ment should make him a tough nut to crack in the big-field maiden hur­dle over the min­i­mum trip. It’s the Fi­bre­sand at South­well and the strong­est bet on the card looks like AZARI (1.55). The seven-year- old has won twice over course and dis­tance since switch­ing to this sur­face and the six-pound rise in the weights may not be an an­chor.

MEW BEAUTY McCain’s geld­ing can main­tain un­beaten run in the Bor­ders

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