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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
8:53am Sunday 8th December 2013 in Sport
Imperial Vic looks the ideal type to relish the marathon distance of the Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National at Kelso.
Michael Smith's staying handicap chaser has not looked short of stamina in recording victories up to three and a quarter miles at Musselburgh, Catterick and Perth.
He is usually up with the pace at those trips and while this four miles is an unknown, he has been finishing his races well enough to suggest it will be well within his compass.
Imperial Vic also has the touch of class to deal with this company, having been a close third to Vintage Star in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Graduation Chase at Carlisle.
Night Alliance can continue his progression by defying a 10lb hike in the weights to complete a hat-trick in the John Wade Always Right Champion Chase.
Dr Richard Newland's eight-year-old has looked a decent performer this term, with wins at Ffos Las and at Ascot last time, where he accounted for Duke Of Lucca by four and a half lengths.
He is still towards the bottom of the handicap in this field and could have scope for further improvement.
All eyes at Warwick will be on Vukovar, who makes his much-anticipated British debut in the Age UK Solihull Beginners' Chase.
The French import was last seen winning at Auteuil in June when he defeated Dell' Arca by three lengths.
That form was given some boost by the emphatic victory of the runner-up, now with David Pipe, in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
It is straight to fencing for Vukovar as the four-year-old tackles this two-mile heat.
Trainer Harry Fry reports his new acquisition to have schooled with promise but the acid test is on the track.
Given his reputation, he should pass it with flying colours.
Twoways can confirm the impression he made on his debut over the bigger obstacles to land the Citizens Advice Solihull Handicap Chase.
The seven-year-old, trained by Mark Rimell, plugged on to take third place behind Arkaim at Huntingdon two weeks ago and is fancied to go two places better.
CORK: 12.45 Rathvinden, 1.15 Alelchi Inois, 1.45 Emily Gray, 2.20 Twinlight, 2.50 Way Up In The Air, 3.20 After Dark, 3.50 Mm Dazzler.
KELSO: 12.25 Roc De Prince, 12.55 Talkin Sence, 1.25 Titus Bolt, 1.55 IMPERIAL VIC (NAP), 2.25 Night Alliance, 2.55 Tonvadosa, 3.25 Snuker.
PUNCHESTOWN: 12.30 Ange Balafre, 1.00 Apache Jack, 1.35 Sir Des Champs, 2.05 More Madness, 2.35 Bright New Dawn, 3.05 Daring Article, 3.35 Black Hercules.
WARWICK: 12.40 Mahican, 1.10 Vukovar, 1.40 Twoways, 2.10 Oscars Way, 2.40 Orange Nassau, 3.10 Portofino Wasp, 3.40 Troyan.
DOUBLE: Imperial Vic and Night Alliance.
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