DINO BOY is expected to make a bold bid to become the latest back-to-back winner of the £50,000 Lilburn Estate Scottish Borders National at Kelso on Sunday.
A fifteen-length scorer last December for Dumfriesshire trainer Iain Jardine and jockey Conor O’Farrell, he is one of thirteen declared runners for the extended four-mile marathon.
Jardine said: “Last season, as well as the Borders National, he was runner-up in the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh so it would be great to win again at Kelso. He’s already gone close over fences this autumn when only beaten by a nose at Carlisle.”
Likely favourite Weststreet – pulled up in the 2019 renewal when trained by Oliver Sherwood – is a rare raider at the borders venue for Gordon Elliott, who has recorded two winners from his nine previous course runners.
In-form Lucinda Russell saddles Big River, a six-time Kelso scorer who has only been out of the first two once in nine visits to his favourite venue
And Rose Dobbin, daughter of the race sponsor, has booked Craig Nichol for the ride on Do Not Disturb, who completed a hat-trick of Kelso wins in October.
The Paris Pike Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase is always a quality event and Doyen Breed showed a nice attitude when scoring on his debut over fences at Hexham recently for Sandy Thomson and Ryan Mania.
Gipsy Lee Rose tries to go better in the 2m 7f handicap chase, a race in which Nick Alexander’s grey mare came second last year.
“She has slipped to an attractive mark and the ground was too quick for her last time,” the Kinneston trainer said.