We have two days of racing to look forward to at Perth this week with four runners on Wednesday evening and eight on Thursday afternoon.
This evening the first of our horses is Royal Reserve who makes his long-awaited return to action in the novice handicap chase in his new colours of Tay Valley Chasers. Off the course since the autumn of 2019, it is a big ask for him on chasing debut, but he has schooled well at home and it will be great to get him back on track.
Brodick, who lines up in the mares’ handicap hurdle, will need to improve on what she has shown thus far, but seems to have improved at home. All of her prizemoney goes to the My Name'5 Doddie charity, raising awareness for MND so she will be trying her hardest.
In the three mile chase Emirat de Catana is one who has definite each-way claims. A winner over hurdles at this meeting two years ago, he returned to form when third at Kelso last time and is potentially well handicapped if he can build on that.
We also have Bialco, who is an interesting contender stepping back up to 3m over hurdles. A previous course winner, he has yet to win over this trip, but he could outrun his odds against some younger, less-exposed rivals.
Tomorrow we have a bumper day; Petite Rhapsody contests the second division of the maiden hurdle that opens Thursday’s card. He is bred to want further than this 2m trip, but needs to learn to settle and we’re hoping the switch to hurdles will get him to relax and back off a little more.
Celtic Flames is very lightly raced for an 11-year-old and makes his first start since November in the 2m4f handicap hurdle looking to complete a hat-trick. He was in career-best form back in the autumn, but this is a competitive race for his return and he is likely to come on for the run.
In the 3m handicap chase, we run course specialist Boy’s On Tour who is back down in grade and back to his last winning mark. The trip is a little bit of a question mark as all of his wins have come at 2½m, but if he sees it out, he has every chance. He is pictured.
A staple of our summer team, Vino’s Choice returns from a break in the 2m handicap hurdle. He is probably a better chaser, but has a lower hurdles mark and should be competitive with conditions to suit.
We run two in the 2½m handicap chase with Izzy’s Champion bidding to bounce back to form in the first-time visor and Methodtothemadness making her chasing debut. Both would have each-way claims on the pick of their form.
We also have two in the closing conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle. Patrick rides Bayfriars Bobby who is open to improvement stepping up in trip but may just need the experience of his first handicap, whilst Gripper is a bit of a character but would have a chance if putting his best foot forward.
We will be hoping for better luck over the two days of Perth than we enjoyed with our Flat runners on Tuesday night, as having made the long journey down to Wetherby with Book of Invasions, Aone Ally and Ballyare, the meeting was abandoned after one race due to waterlogging. We did still have Red Missile running at Ayr and he ran well to finish sixth over a trip short of his best. Up in distance and down in grade, he should soon be returning to the winner’s enclosure.