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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
7:00am Sunday 12th January 2014 in Sport
Caerlaverock is a relatively confident pick from the summit of the weights in the Global Sports Innovation Handicap Hurdle at Kelso.
Rose Dobbin's' nine-year-old has had a pretty wretched time of things of late, but is now at a most appealing mark if his form a few years ago is taken into account.
Caerlaverock looked sharp as a novice, and suggested he was returning to something like that sort of level over an extended two and three-quarters of a mile here in December.
Despite having twice endured a troubled passage, he nonetheless stayed on purposefully to finish third in a reasonable handicap hurdle.
The decision to step him right up trip here looks a good piece of business, while the prospect of soft ground will also hold no terrors.
Isaacstown Lad is respected at a decent price when he runs in the EBF Stallions "National Hunt" Novices' Hurdle Qualifier.
Willie Amos' seven-year-old must admittedly overcome a long absence, but he looks quite an interesting contender if his Irish point-to-point record is factored into the equation.
Isaacstown Lad looked set to take a hand in the finish on his sole try over hurdles at Ayr last March, but he clouted the penultimate fence over a trip that was probably a little on the demanding side at that stage of his career.
Amos goes back in distance at the Borders circuit and could feasibly be tuned up on his return to the fray - especially with the ground likely to be pretty exacting.
Mansonien L'As looked impressive at Towcester last time and can knock off a double in the New Year Handicap Chase.
Donald McCain's eight-year-old trotted up in a humdrum handicap on Boxing Day and is clearly in a happy place right now.
A 13lb rise will not make things any easier, of course, but this race hardly looks an epic and Mansonien L'As should love the cut in the ground.
Diamond Charlie deserves a change of fortune when he contests the Compare Bookmakers At bookmakers.co.uk Handicap at Wolverhampton.
The six-year-old has been in reasonable nick this winter, without getting the rewards his efforts have deserved.
That was certainly the case at Lingfield just under a week ago when he eventually overcame a difficult draw to finish fourth in a much better race than this.
Diamond Charlie flashed home at the death once the cause was lost to indicate the return to five furlongs, a distance at which he has won four times in the past, will be ideal off the same mark.
The return to a Polytrack surface might just do it for Dubai Celebration in the Coral Mobile "Just Three Clicks To Bet" Handicap.
Julie Camacho's six-year-old was not a happy camper at Southwell last time when he came in a well-beaten fifth in a reasonable handicap over a mile and three furlongs.
Dubai Celebration is a much better horse than that, though, as he illustrated over this course and distance in November when he only lost out by a head to Mosman.
The form looks strong, too, as the third and fourth home that day have since hit the target.
Camacho's representative races here off the same mark of 65 and really ought to go close as he returns to his preferred trip and surface.
KELSO: 12.20 Aalim, 12.50 Isaacstown Lad, 1.20 Discoverie, 1.50 Phase Shift, 2.20 CAERLAVEROCK (NAP), 2.50 Mansonien L'As, 3.20 Certification, 3.50 Habbie Simpson.
NAVAN: 12.40 Oscar Vespasian, 1.10 Un De Sceaux, 1.40 Wounded Warrior, 2.10 Gallant Oscar, 2.40 Mad Brian, 3.10 Lion Na Bearnai, 3.40 Lord Valentine.
WOLVERHAMPTON: 1.00 Insolenceofoffice, 1.30 Diamond Charlie, 2.00 Song Of Rowland, 2.30 Strandfield Bay, 3.00 Dubai Celebration, 3.30 Prime Exhibit, 4.00 Pearl Nation.
DOUBLE: Caerlaverock and Isaacstown Lad.
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