Champagne City has posted some solid efforts in hot handicaps and makes plenty of appeal at 5/1 in the 2.25 at Kelso today. This Tom George trained six-year-old is a consistent sort who has a strike rate of 30 per cent having won four times and been placed on four occasions from 13 starts over the obstacles. He comes into this having run really well on three occasions this season. In the first of those at Cheltenham, he only lost second place close home when finishing an 11 1/4 length third of nine to subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Al Dancer off a mark of 134. Champagne City then finished a fine fourth of 12 to Benny’s Bridge at the same venue before running a blinder at Newbury earlier in the month when a 3/4 length second of 11 to the lightly-raced and unexposed Crooks Peak where after racing at the head of affairs he made a mistake at the last before rallying strongly. But for the final flight blunder Champagne City may well have prevailed so a 3lb rise in the weights looks fair. A revised rating of 136 is a career-high but judged on the aforementioned efforts it should not be beyond him. Champagne City is also 1-1 at the venue, has his ideal underfoot conditions and thus looks weaker than the race he contested last time out.
Daily Sport recommended bet: 2pts each-way Champagne City (5/1 generally available – use BOG firms)