Scotswell produced a gutsy front-running performance under Tommy Dowson in the long distance chase at Kelso yesterday.
Trained a few miles from the track by Harriet Graham at Jedburgh, he slammed hat-trick-seeking Whats Up Woody by three and a quarter lengths in the 3m 2f Bedmax Handicap Chase.
Graham said: “Tommy has given him a really super ride.
“It’s fantastic that Kelso has put open good prize money for these low-grade horses and it’s something that should be pushed. He had issues last year and we’ll have a look at the veterans chase at Cartmel next month. He may be small but he has a lovely cruising speed.”
Sam Coltherd rode his first winner since turning professional when guiding Ash Park to victory for his trainer father Stuart in the Principal & Prosper Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle.
The Selkirk 17-year-old, on just his third ride since leaving the unpaid ranks, had been second on his first two mounts at Sedgefield on Tuesday.
Coltherd snr said: “I thought this horse was well in with Sam taking 8lb off.”
Central focus on the card at Chester today will be on US Army Ranger, a major player for the Investec Derby at Epsom and one of six declared for the MBNA Chester Vase.
Ballydoyle’s inmate was the plunge horse of the close season after his Epsom odds contracted with sudden alacrity.
The Galileo colt admittedly won really well on his debut at the Curragh, and it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the one-off demands of Chester, but it would probably be folly to steam into US Army Ranger until we have seen more of him. However, Aidan O’Brien has won six of the last nine renewals of the Vase, most notably with Epsom hero Ruler Of The World in 2013, so it is clearly a race of some substance for the wise men of Coolmore.
Perhaps the best bet at the meeting is in the opening race, the Gateley Plc Original Legal Thinking Handicap, with What About Carlo a strong fancy. The five-year-old gelding has probably never quite fulfilled the promise of his salad days but he is still a very useful operator at the right level.
Winner of two big pots late last summer, Eve Johnson Houghton must have been well chuffed by What About Carlo’s return to the fray when he stayed on strongly for third in an Epsom handicap.
Versatile in terms of ground and just 4lb higher than when he won so well at Newbury last September, the gelded son of Creachadoir should be available at a very nice price.
2:10 What About Carlo (nap)
2:40 Cannock Chase
3:10 US Army Ranger
3:45 Storm Rising
4:20 Four Dragons
4:55 Justice Angel
5:25 Solo Hunter
6:10 Legal Exit
6:40 Jovial Joey
7:40 Snowed In
8:40 Sophie Olivia
2:50 Maizy Missile
3:55 Bilbrook Blaze
5:05 What A Scorcher
1:30 Indy Five
2:00 Kit Casey
2:30 Sacre Malta
3:00 Clubs Are Trumps
3:30 Breezy Kin
4:05 Mr Moss
4:40 Meribel Millie
5:15 G For Ginger
6:20 Rainy City
6:50 Azure Fly
8:20 Gifted Island