Menu Close

Perth – Preview 26th April 2023

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.

Local hero Russell targets Perth following Grand National triumph.


DUAL Grand National-winning local trainer Lucinda Russell has her eye on the feature race on the opening day of the BetVictor Perth Festival (Wednesday).


Based just 20 minutes down the M90, she saddles Haute Estime in the Listed £32,500 BetVictor Fair Maid Of Perth Mares’ Chase, which is staged over almost three miles at the Scone venue.


“She’s a strapping mare with plenty of scope and she has the perfect physique for jumping fences,” said Russell, who recently landed her second National triumph at Aintree with Corach Rambler.


“She won a couple of times over hurdles, but chasing was always going to be her game and she stays well too.”


At the head of the market, bookmakers are finding it hard to separate Venetia Williams-trained Pink Legend and Brides Hill, the top-rated runner on a BHA mark of 146, who represents Irish handler Gavin Cromwell.


The other main race is the Listed £23,000 British EBF BetVictor Gold Castle ‘National Hunt’ Novices’ Hurdle in which Russell saddles progressive Giovinco, who is unbeaten in two starts over timber following his wins at Ayr and Carlisle.


However, there is strong challenge from south of the border from Makin’yourminduop (Paul Nicholls), Hitching Jacking (Dan Skelton) and Hurricane Bay (Lucy Wadham).


The three-day extravaganza gets underway with the Heidsieck Monopole ‘Party Has Started’ Maiden Hurdle with Stuart Crawford-trained Bleu D’enfer looking like the one to beat in the ‘double green’ colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede.