Trained by Michael Bell, the gelding romped to a four-and-a-half length victory in the 12-furlong handicap four years ago.
Newmarket-based Bell said: “He’s very, very well in as he has gone up 10lb for a recent Group 3 win in France. If the French handicapper is correct he has an outstanding chance off his old mark.
“The softer the ground the better, so I hope they get more rain. He’s at home when it’s virtually unraceable and we know from his previous win there are no problems with the track.”
Rae Guest is another HQ trainer represented and sends Ed De Gas on the long journey to Scotland. “He’s very well and likes the ground,” Guest said. “He was fresh and keen on his comeback at Newbury in a Group 3 but he’s come on for the run. His form last year is looking quite good.”
At Perth yesterday, the feature race was won by John Wade’s County Durham raider Bow Badger. Jockey Brian Hughes said: “He likes this ground and he likes to dominate. He’s quite a good horse on his day.”
Hawick handler Donald Whillans struck in the Expro Handicap Chase with Hawaii Klass, ridden by his son Callum, and said: “He’s a half brother to Sam Patch and Harry Flashman and the whole family seem to do well at this time of year.”
Borders amateur Callum Bewley is making a name for himself and he was seen to good effect in the two-mile handicap chase on Scotch Warrior trained in Ayrshire by Mike Smith.
Meanwhile, Tony McCoy made a perfect return after injury as Church Field defied a penalty in the Lycetts Insurance Brokers Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Ludlow last night. Four weeks after suffering broken ribs in a fall from Quantitativeeasing at Cheltenham, McCoy looked relaxed as he headed for his first ride of the new jumps season.
McCoy settled his mount just off the pace set by Duneen Dream before taking closer order down the far side. Going on three out, he was joined by the strong-travelling Eightfold and briefly looked like having a fight on his hands. McCoy and Church Field eventually gained the upper had and came home with five lengths in hand as the 1-2 favourite.