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Kelso

  • 16:15 Best Odds Guaranteed At totepool.com Premier Chase 2m 7f 110y

  • (Listed) £27,500 added 5yo+ 5 ran
  • Winner £15,661 2nd £5,877 3rd £2,942 4th £1,466
  • Going: Good to Soft, Soft in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 9.40s
  • Off time: 16:15:21

View from connections: Premier Chase at Kelso

Last Updated: 28/02/14 1:42pm

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Opening Batsman: Looking to get back on track

Opening Batsman: Looking to get back on track

Connections of Maggio are looking to the nine-year-old to maintain his fine course record in the Best Odds Guaranteed At totepool.com Premier Chase at Kelso on Saturday.

Maggio, trained in County Dublin by Patrick Griffin, has three wins to his credit at the Borders track and has finished second three times as well.

He is not just a one-track horse as he ran well on his latest visit to these shores when beaten a length by Benvolio at Haydock six weeks ago.

"This has been the plan since he ran at Haydock, purely because of his course and distance form. He hasn't been out of the first two on any of his completed starts round Kelso," said Griffin's son and assistant, James.

"He loves the place and it looks the ideal stepping stone for Aintree in April when he will have a couple of options.

"He gets in nicely-treated on 10st 12lb on Saturday and Brian (Hughes) is back on board. At the end of the day, we are not unduly worried about the competition because he's a better horse round Kelso than anywhere else.

"Depending on how he performs on Saturday, we will decide which race he goes for at Aintree."

Harry Fry is hoping Opening Batsman can get his career on track with a confidence-boosting run.

Since winning the Racing Plus Handicap Chase at Kempton last February, the eight-year-old has lost his way with a string of disappointing efforts.

"Obviously this season hasn't gone to plan so far and we've just been doings lots of schooling at home," said the Dorset handler.

"The fall in the Hennessy knocked his confidence, hence why he ran over hurdles last time. He's been for a few trips out hunting and a few different things just to try to get him back to the level of form he has shown before.

"We are going a long way from home for the race but it is an ideal opportunity, (with) not too many runners. He's not giving lumps of weight away, so hopefully it will be a chance to get a foothold with him again and build for the future."

Sue Smith is happy to give Mr Moonshine this prep run ahead of a crack at the Crabbie's Grand National.

"This is going to be his race before the National and he's in very good form going there," said the Bingley trainer.

Kruzhlinin's last three wins have all come at Kelso and his trainer Donald McCain has had this particular race in mind for him for some time.

The Cheshire handler put a line through his latest start on soft ground at Doncaster when he was unplaced in the Sky Bet Chase.

"We've been aiming there for a while. He didn't really go on the ground at Doncaster. It should be better tomorrow and he likes Kelso, so he should run well," said McCain.

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