Hermann in the indoor school
HERMANN CLERMONT (12.30) is the first of three runners at Kelso this afternoon, returning to the borders track after coming back to form there in September. He hadn’t been seeing out his races the way we wanted him to so we sent him for a wind operation over the summer and while he was pulled up the first time after it, as often happens the second run is where the benefit kicks in.
We ran him in a Go North Series qualifier over 2m5f and changed tactics to be a bit handier, he seemed to enjoy himself and finished third in what has turned out to be a pretty hot event. The winner has come out and won again since, the second had finished second to the winner again down at Hexham - and the fifth was successful at Wetherby a couple of weeks ago!
Craig Nichol is back on board and given the way he ran last time, we thought going back in trip would work, he did finish second over two miles earlier in his career and his running style suggests this wouldn’t be beyond him.
COSMIC OUTLAW (1.05) makes his seasonal reappearance after we binned the plan to run him here a few weeks back because of the ground. We know this is a track he likes after winning here last season, beating a horse of Harriet Graham’s who has gone on to improve a fair bit since. He’s just three pounds higher than that day now and Dylan Johnston rides. They got on well together last season so we’re glad to have his seven pound claim and would hope they’ll be competitive, although tacky ground is a concern.
GENTLEMAN DE MAI (2.15) makes up the trio of runners in the three-mile novices handicap chase. He gets into this by being a second-season novice having failed to win over fences in three attempts in the spring, but that means he goes into this campaign with the added benefit of experience. He’s a horse we have always liked and he showed his ability going close at Ayr and Wetherby.
The short-priced favourite was made a non-runner last night, leaving five in the race and we’ll be carrying joint top weight now. He’s got the experience under his belt from earlier this year and while he wants deep ground this should be okay for him, so in a contest that’s now very tight on official ratings - 2lbs separate the first four - we’d like to think we’ve got as good a chance as anyone.