Fry's Scottish delight
Trainer Harry Fry is confident of a big run from Mendip Express ahead of the Coral Scottish National at Ayr on Saturday.
Writing in his blog on stanjames.com, the Dorset-based handler expressed his delight that Tidal Bay has been left in the race as it will allow his contender to run off 10st 7lb instead of being 19lb higher in the weights.
"We're delighted to see Tidal Bay stay in at the top of the weights as it makes a big difference," said Fry.
"We're only running off 10st 7lbs and obviously a lot of horses will be out of the handicap. The less weight we can carry the better and it's not often you can run off 10st 7 for such a valuable race.
"It's our first runner in a National, he's done really well all season for us and hopefully he can continue that form. We've done our job and now it's up to him and Noel (Fehily) on the day."
Fry also had news of Rock On Ruby, who bounced back to form in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle last week.
"It's great to see Rock On Ruby back to somewhere near his best over hurdles," said Fry.
"Obviously chasing hadn't quite gone to plan last time and we'll stick to hurdling. He looks top class over hurdles and there's no comparison to the form he's shown over fences so we'll stick to what he's good at.
"He's finished for the season now but we've got options with regards to trip next year and we don't necessarily have to go and take on the new up and coming hurdlers.
"We can try and find races away from the high-fliers and have a lot of fun with him. But he just showed on his day, especially in the spring on good ground, he's still more than capable of running a very big race.
Fry also reported that his exciting novice hurdler Activial found the ground too quick at Aintree last week but he will stay over hurdles next season.
"Activial was disappointing but as soon as he had run, we knew the ground was going to be perfect for Ruby because it had dried up a bit more," admitted Fry.
"It was too quick for him and he was slightly outpaced and outclassed on the day in those conditions. He's finished for the year and we'll look forward to bringing him out in softer ground in the autumn possibly with a view to stepping up in trip but he'll stay over hurdles next year for sure."