Open Champion is an interesting runner at Kempton on Saturday

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June 2

There has been more rain in Spain than there has at Barbury these past couple of weeks, but we can still look back on May with s lot of pride, with an exciting bumper horse launched at Market Rasen in Denburn, Mount Olympus winning on his first run for us at Kempton and both Haseefah and Paradias running well enough to rubber-stamp the belief in the yard that there is a good handicap with their name on it this summer.

This week-end we have a couple making the long journey to Hexham, while Open Champion is off to Lingfield’s polytrack evening meeting. Hourless, successful on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, has only five opponent when he makes his jumping debut in the juvenile hurdle, while Methusalar, who was returning after an absence of almost a year at Market Rasen recently, ought to be a lot sharper when he contests what looks a competitive handicap hurdle. Methusalar had won his previous race at Bangor, so, hopefully, he can show up in a better light here.

Open Champion, who runs for the Thurloe Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, ran his best race since joining Alan at Kempton in early April, and a reproduction of that run would put him bang in the mix.

He travelled like a dream that day and looked the winner turning into the straight, but he then ran into traffic problems at the furlong-pole, and his jockey was forced to snatch up and take evasive action.

But for that,  Open Champion would definitely have been involved in the finish, and he did not enjoy the best of runs either when subsequently unplaced in the prestigious Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom. We can put a line through both runs, and remember he did break his maiden for Roger Varian on the same polytrack surface here at Lingfield.