Big River had his task made easier after the odds on favourite unseated, but we were impressed by his slick jumping when winning the novice chase at Kelso this afternoon. A decent hurdler he has taken his first step towards becoming the high rated novice chaser that I hope that he can be, and there were happy scenes in the winners enclosure. Big River is owned by the Two Black Labs, and they are pictured on the winners podium with their racing manager Debs Thomson.
We had lots of promise for the future with three big priced third placed horses. Alizee De Janeiro looks back to her best and while she was a little unlucky to be hampered on the run in she ran a gutsy race. Ceegem is getting the hang of things and will make a super chaser one day, while Bescot Springs may have dodged retirement again with a game third place on the better ground. We were also pleased with Hey Listen who ran a better race to be sixth, and Vino's Choice who was a bit gassy in the lead and faded after the last, but hurdled well. Star Of Milan found things happening a bit fast, but could improve with time.
At Cheltenham our two horses ran with great credit; The Road Home was fifth having been prominent while Mighty Thunder made eyecatching progress once he had found his balance at the bottom of the hill and stayed on strongly to be sixth. Both will be decent over hurdles for their owners.
Tomorrow we are at Aintree with Vertigo in the conditional jockeys hurdle. This game and tough young hurdler is stepping up to three miles and if he can operate on the good ground he should be very competitive.