Officials at the Borders track moved swiftly to reschedule the high-profile fixture after the original meeting was abandoned last Saturday due to snow and Bristol De Mai is very much the headline act.
Winner of Wetherby’s Charlie Hall Chase on his seasonal reappearance, the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained grey produced one of the most jaw-dropping performance of the entire season when coming home 57 lengths clear of Cue Card in the Betfair Chase at Haydock in November.
He disappointed in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, but his third place in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham in January behind Brian Ellison’s Gold Cup contender Definitly Red was a step in the right direction.
Jacob said: “He seems in good form and I believe there’s some rain forecast up there, so hopefully conditions will be in his favour. He’s had two hard races since he won the Betfair Chase. He didn’t run badly at Cheltenham, but it will be nice to get his head in front and give him a confidence-booster.”
Trainer Sandy Thomson is thrilled to have the opportunity to run Seeyouatmidnight at his local track as he warms up for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree next month. The 10-year-old has been sidelined by injury since finishing second over hurdles at Kelso 12 months ago.
Bingley trainer Sue Smith’s Grand National hope, I Just Know, completes the line-up.
Friday Night Light bids to become the Pipe family’s 10th winner of Sandown’s Imperial Cup today, the prestigious pre-Cheltenham handicap hurdle.
The race was won six times by the legendary Martin Pipe before he retired, while his son David has been victorious on three occasions.
Of the nine winners, three have gone on to triumph at the Cheltenham Festival the following week.
Jodami’s Gold Cup of 1993 remembered – see Sports Monday for a special feature on the last Yorkshire horse to win the blue riband race.