Take a stroll By The Boardwalk at Ludlow

BY The Boardwalk can give trainer Kim Bailey a nice boost at what is the start of big week by winning the Racing UK Handicap Chase at Ludlow.

Bailey is set to saddle The Last Samuri in Saturday’s Randox Health Grand National and while By The Boardwalk is certainly not of that calibre, he looks the right type for a race like this.

The nine-year-old struck gold at Market Rasen back in October but has had to settle for minor honours on three subsequent outings, most recently claiming fourth at Taunton at the end of December.

He probably had little chance of making a real impact that day as he was given a lot to do in the finish and just lacked the necessary pace, but it was still a decent performance.

Eased 1lb by the handicapper, By The Boardwalk remains on a workable mark and can make his presence felt if ridden a little closer to the pace.

The decision by Philip Hobbs to send Atirelarigo back over the smaller obstacles can continue to reap reward in the Oyster Communications Novices’ Hurdle.

The seven-year-old has run four times over fences this term, winning once but falling or unseating on the other three occasions. Back over hurdles last time out at Uttoxeter, he crept into the race nicely before quickening up to beat a decent rival comfortably.

He is reportedly quite a tricky character but with the confidence gleaned from his last run, there is no doubt far more to come from him.

Finaghy Ayr looks the best option in the Kelso Annual Members Chase at the Borders track.

Trained by Ian Duncan, he is far from exposed, especially compared to most of his rivals. Having lost his way over fences when he first tried them, he did end up with a win over hurdles before injury struck.

After that success he was off for well over a year, but he returned with a win over fences at Carlisle. Subsequently beaten just a head off 7lb higher at Ayr, on his most recent outing he was still travelling well when departing at Hexham.

His jumping could be the sticking point, but if he stands up he brings some solid form to the table.

Duncan’s Lochnell has only been raised 8lb for a very easy win last time out and had been in consistent form before that. He is out again in the Newcastle Arms Coldstream Handicap Hurdle and could take all the beating.

Trustan Times has been a very good horse in his day and if he was anywhere near what he was he would be a certainty in the Queen Head Hotel Handicap Hurdle.

That he is on the downgrade is not in dispute and he left Tim Easterby to join Mark Walford, but he has been freshened up and if there is life in the old boy, he can go well off a mark of 130.

Duke Of Sonning is the pick in the 188Bet Handicap Hurdle at Huntingdon.

Winner of one of his two hurdles outings for Alan King last term, the five-year-old has been off the track since last July when he disappointed on the Flat at Ffos Las.

Now with Shaun Harris, he is an interesting contender as he makes his seasonal bow.


Nap: By The Boardwalk

(2.30: Ludlow)

Double: Finaghy Ayr

(2.40: Kelso)

Treble: Lochnell

(3.10: Kelso)

Yankee: Trustan Times

(4.40: Kelso)