Trigger Nichol was bought cheaply out of Nicky Richards' yard and, while he showed promise over hurdles for ValueRacingClub.co.uk and Dr Richard Newland last season, the Dubai Destination gelding was always expected to improve once jumping fences. Well held over an inadequate two miles on his chasing debut at Leicester less than a fortnight ago, the seven year old appreciated the step up to two miles six at the same track on Tuesday. Racing off a mark of 108 and reunited with Sam Twiston-Davies for the first time in over a year, he sauntered clear in the homestraight before recording an easy eleven lengths win. It will be a surprise if his shrewd connections don't place him further successes in the near future.
Erik The Red is a four times winner on the Flat and is rated 95. Kevin Ryan elected to send the seven year old hurdling for the first time at Kelso and it proved a wise move as the Kendargent gelding outclassed his seven rivals. In receipt of six pounds from previous winner Northern Soul, he raced enthusiastically early on but was always in control. A three lengths winner, it is possible he will return to the Borders' track for the Grade 2 novice hurdle in early March (2nd). Alternatively, he could head to Musselburgh for the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trail Novices' Hurdle (3rd February), although it is a quick turnaround. Ryan would that event last season with Beyond The Clouds.
Finally, the unbeaten but currently sidelined top-class bumper horse Malone Road received a form boost in the bumper at Kelso. Mam Trasna was beaten eighteen lengths in third behind Gordon Elliott's charge at Punchestown in November. Absent since, he got the better of the well supported debutant Glenduff by three lengths.
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