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Kelso – Preview 5th March 2022

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

DUAL Champion Hurdler Buveur d’Air is just one of a host of stars on parade for a £262,000 card at Kelso – the richest-ever stayed at the the borders venue, which celebrates its bicentenary in September.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and carrying the famous green and gold colours of J P McManus, he faces some quality rivals in the £100,000 bet365 Morebattle Hurdle, a race his Berkshire trainer has landed three times.

Once more there will be a £100,000 bonus, scooped last year by The Shunter, should the winner go on to win, a hurdle or a chase, at the Cheltenham Festival.

Set to shoulder top-weight of 11st 12lb, Nico de Boinville-ridden Buveur d’Air takes on some classy opposition including Harry Fry’s Metier, a Grade 1 novice winner, and Favoir, who was third in last year’s Morebattle Hurdle for Dan and Harry Skelton.

The supporting races feature the Grade 2 bet365 Premier Novices’ Hurdle and the Listed bet365 Premier Chase, both worth £50,000.

North Lodge, unbeaten in two starts over timber including in this company, is a first runner at Kelso for Scots-born Wiltshire handler Alan King in the Premier Hurdle.

Olly Murphy-trained Itchy Feet, a Grade 1 winner over fences in 2020, takes on the likes of Kim Bailey’s Espoir de Romay in the Premier Chase