Festival Friday Preview
Last year's hero Boric bids for back-to-back wins in the Heineken UK Highland National at Perth Racecourse on Friday (27 April) on the final day of the Perth Festival.
Simon Waugh's Northumberland raider, ridden by regular partner Callum Bewley, faces eleven rivals in the £25,000 marathon which is staged over 3m 6f at the Scone track.
Morpeth-based Waugh said of his stable star: “He's absolutely fine and in good form. He didn't like the ground in the Eider Chase at Newcastle as it was too gluey and tacky.
“Ideally he would prefer better ground but he does act on soft and gets on well with Callum. With a bit of luck and all being well he should run a big race.”
Among the opposition to Boric are Milborough, winner of the 2015 Eider Chase for Ayrshire trainer Ian Duncan, Sandy Thomson's 2016 Scottish Borders National winner Harry The Viking, and recent Midlands Grand National third Ballymalin representing Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.
Six runners line up for the T.B.A. Fair Maid Of Perth Mares' Chase (Listed), at £35,000 the richest race ever staged at the course.
Top rated on a BHA mark of 139 is Rons Dream, a long-distance raider from Peter Bowen's Haverfordwest yard in Wales and ridden by the trainer's son James.
The same combination took the feature at Perth on Thursday as Wadswick Court defied a 193-day absence to land the £30,000 All New Discovery River Tay Handicap Chase.
Peter Bowen, who has a healthy course strike-rate, said: “We were hoping to run him in the Topham Trophy over the Grand National fences at Aintree but he knocked a knee in his box in the build up to the race.”
After a double on Wednesday, trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies repeated the feat with Jamie Bargary-ridden pair, top-weight Ballyarthur in the MKM Building Supplies Balnakeilly Chase and Allthegear No Idea in the GS Group Scoonieburn Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle.