Supreme entry Glingerburn can shine in Morebattle Hurdle
Exciting novice Glingerburn can take a step up in class in his stride to land the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso today (3.00).
The Nicky Richards-trained gelding, who holds an entry in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at next month’s Cheltenham Festival and is 40/1 with Coral for the curtain raiser, has created a huge impression in winning both his starts over the obstacles.
In the first of those, the seven-year-old overcame a 587-day absence to stay on strongly and winning going away by 2 1/4 lengths from Relic Rock in an 18-runner affair at Doncaster.
Glingerburn then showed real battling qualities to follow-up at the same venue when beating Some Buckle by a short-head, with the pair pulling 11 lengths clear of the field.
The runner-up is a useful sort who has since gone on to finish a decent fifth in a Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham and give the form a strong look.
Although Glingerburn has work to do with Hawk High on official figures in receipt of just 2lb from a rival rated 10lb his superior, the son of King’s Theatre remains unexposed and open to bags of improvement.
I think he is up to the task, and this race has been used a stepping stone to the Cheltenham Festival by the likes of Simonsig and Peddlers Cross in recent years.
Richards has yet to commit Glingerburn to run in the Supreme, but if he comes through this test he would have to be considered a lively outsider for the north if allowed to take his chance.
Hawk High, trained by Tim Easterby, is the obvious main danger, having had some smart form to his name last season including a win in the Fred Winter at the Cheltenham Festival.
The five-year-old looked as good as ever when making a winning seasonal reappearance at Aintree, and after getting outclassed behind The New One at Haydock posted a solid effort to finish third last time out under top weight in a decent handicap hurdle at Musselburgh.
That form sets the standard in this line-up, but Hawk High is now pretty exposed and I feel he may prove vulnerable to an improver like Glingerburn.