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Kelso – Saturday 26th March

Saturday 26th March 14:45

WhichBookie racing analyst Andrew Blair White provides a preview and betting tips for races at Kelso on Saturday 26th March.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Empire Steel 7/47/4 Win
2.45 Kelso
Place BetPlace Bet
Eloi du Puy 12/112/1 Each Way
4.21 Kelso
Place BetPlace Bet

Date of Tips: 26/03/2022

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (11:13 26/03/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

This is a very tricky part of the year for punting with the changing of codes being in full swing, alongside changing of ground and trying to find which are the best opportunities to have a play. A much as I will be looking forward to dissecting some of the big flat action later on in the summer, I don’t feel enthused about the return to the flat as of yet and the cards at Doncaster and the Curragh today look like a headwreck rather than a plausible betting chance. As a result, I will be watching closely with my notebook in hand but without steering in that direction. 

That leaves us with Kelso, a more forgiving friend – and where my two selections for the day are coming from. 

Starting with the 2.45 race, which is the feature race on the card, this Scottish Borders Handicap over 3m2f has attracted a very small but select field of 4 to the tape. Topping the weights is Potterman, who will be much more at home on this sounder surface and is certainly not handicapped out of things if returning to his best form. However, it is hard not to believe that this is a prep run for a return to Sandown for the Bet365 Gold Cup at the end of the season. 

Rath An Iuir receives plenty of weight from his three rivals but might need softer ground and his efforts this season have not been brilliant, and while Big River is a big threat, especially on this ground – he looks relatively poorly handicapped especially at his age. 

That leaves us with Empire Steel, who although being the favourite for this contest, is at a very backable price and we have yet to really see where the limit on this horse’s ability is. He won here in decisive fashion last time out, when well clear of his rivals and he should have won the valuable price at Wetherby on Stephen’s Day if not for coming day three out. There are strong possibilities that this horse is slightly better than this race and his record at Kelso is flawless, including when trouncing recent Gold Cup third, Protektorat here last season by 30 lengths. He is a price of 7/4 with Paddy Power, which is more than fair. 

The other selection for the day comes in the concluding 4.21 race, which is the 2m bumper and this looks a very competitive race for its kind, around a track like Kelso. Nicky Henderson brings up a good looking favorite for this race, while plenty of the northern trainers are stocked with decent types. I have landed on a horse called Eloi du Puy, who I was very taken with first time out for Nick Alexander, when just failing to collect over this course and distance a month ago. There was strong support in the market for him that day, and he just failed to deliver – being chinned by odds on Ain’t No Sunshine on that occasion. 

He faces that rival again but on more favorable terms, and if handling this different ground – would have to have a chance given the weight concession he is getting off plenty of his rivals today. This four year old definitely has a big run in him and I would be surprised if he had not learnt plenty from that initial experience. At a price of 12/1 with Paddy Power, I think he is a very worthy each way price.

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