Big River the bet in Scottish Borders National

Big River failed to sparkle on seasonal reappearance, but now eased in grade and returned to Kelso looks worth a wager in the Scottish Borders National Handicap Chase there today (1.15).

This Lucinda Russell trained nine-year-old has won two his nine starts over fences, and has won five times and been placed once in six runs at the venue.

In the the last of those successes heavy ground here back in February 2018 he came from off the pace and stayed on strongly to beat Shantou Flyer by 4 1/2 lengths in a class 2 off a rating of 140.

Big River backed that up with a solid second at Uttoxeter off 143 and ran a cracker at the Cheltenham Festival here back in March when fourth of 24 to Beware The Bear in the Grade 3 Ultima Handicap Chase off 140.

Despite making a bad mistake at the first, and then being far fron fluent at several obstacles, he responded well for pressure to be gaining all the way to the line after the last and be beaten just 6 1/2 lengths.

It was a fine effort after so many costly errors and Big River went on to round off the campaign with similar style performance when a 17 1/4 length fifth of 23 to Takingrisks in the Grade 3 Scottish Grand National at Ayr off the same rating.

Big River River is able to race in it off 3lb lower (137) having been quicly dropped 2lb after being pulled-up on return to action in a Grade 3 at Cheltenham last month.

This class 3 is less taving and he is one from two in the grade and also now gets fitted with the cheekpieces for the first time.

It makes him a key player at the weights if that has the desired effect and this is his second start back following a wind-op on ground which is ideal.

Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Big River (9/1 Ladbrokes – BOG)

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