By Andrew Atkinson

Trainer Nick Alexander based at Kinneston, Fife, rued Blazing Port’s run at Kelso last weekend, when pulled-up, after expecting a better show.

“It became the big disappointment of the weekend, pulling up three out – when he ought to have been just about winning,” said Nick. Nick added: “A post race scope found there to be a lot of mud in his trachea, which I very much hope was the reason for his performance.

“We will be thoroughly checking him out to ensure nothing else is bothering him.”

Benny’s Secret ran a solid race on his comeback to be third over an inadequate trip, said Nick: “The rain came down at Carlisle and conditions ended up testing.

“Up Helly Aa King ran a very brave race to finish third, giving a lot of weight away all round.  Manetti looked like playing a big part, until fading from two out. Better ground and 3 miles for him next

“Craiganboy started no problem, thank goodness, but was struck into from behind and pulled up, just as he was coming into the race. He has a nasty enough cut, but should be okay in a week or so.”

Up Helly Aa King misses Topham at Aintree.

In the stayers chase Eagle Ridge ran a very solid race to finish fourth with conditions against him. Racing Pulse stumbled on landing after the first unseating his rider; and McGinty’s Dream didn’t appear very interested: “Maybe Hexham will switch him on again,” said Nick.

Up Helly Aa King misses Topham at Aintree.
Up Helly Aa King misses Topham at Aintree.

Dubai Days’ run at Musselburgh failed to land a blow, staying on into sixth: “It’s very tricky to win with a hold-up horse in a busy field round there – we should probably have waited for Kelso,” said Nick.

On a more positive note, Nick said: “Arnica ran a tremendous race, to finish third, as did Memors to finish second on debut. I’m delighted with both of them.”

With racing remaining behind closed doors, Nick said: “Obviously, without crowds the Go North weekend felt a little empty – but it is an excellent initiative and could make up into a really fun part of the racing schedule.

“I hope the BHA and the three racecourses involved will stick with it, as the concept hasn’t had a chance so far.” Photos: courtesy Nick Alexander.