ROAD TO GOLD(best price 5/2) had to fight really hard for victory over today’s course last time out and that’s the second time Nick Alexander’s inmate has shone around the contours of this Roxburghshire venue. Indeed, the son of Gold well looked in trouble for majority of the race until his stamina kicked in going up the hill after jumping the last and it’s those qualities which can help him keep his perfect track stats intact. Moreover, his final circuit time of 1.57.8 bettered the lap of the 158-rated and Champion Hurdle fifth Top Notch who posted 1.58.0 and with the potential of more improvement to come stepping up in trip on better ground, the seven-year-old makes plenty of appeal despite his double-penalty.
Road To Gold - 1pt @ 5/2Lost -1pts
NAKADAM(best price 10/3) impressed by the way he travelled last time out at Ayr and if it wasn’t for taking home a couple of fences as a souvenir, Mike Smith’s inmate may have landed his first chase under rules. Looking as though he was just coming through to lead jumping the last, the son of Nickname made a vital ground-losing blunder just at the wrong time and although he rallied gamely on the run-in, he couldn’t quite peg back Kilbree Chief in the last 100yrds. Clearly not the most fluent of jumpers, he therefore isn’t one for maximum stakes, but at the same time there’s no denying he’s got a fair amount of ability for a horse of his grade and he has enough quality to go close in a race of this nature providing he can avoid too many mishaps.
Nakadam - 1pt e/w @ 10/3Won 4pts
VEINARD(best price 7/1) has travelled like the best horse on several occasions but in failing to seal the deal, he’s become a little frustrating for his supporters. However, given that the majority of those suspicious performances have taken place over stiff tracks on heavy winter ground, today’s quicker surface might just prove to be the key component to him finally seeing out his race in a more positive fashion. Although the Borders venue couldn’t be regarded as an easy track, it’s a damn sight sight less stiffer than the likes of Hexham and Carlisle which he’s been encountering of late, and if Callum Bewley can settle his mount nicely in the early stages, there’s a decent chance this tricky customer can finally deliver the goods.