Mission set to open account over fences

THE Donald McCain-trained Cool Mission will surely gain his first victory over fences in the Corona Beginners’ Chase at Ayr today.

The seven-year-old was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons last month as after finishing a narrow second to Beshabar at Doncaster, jockey Jason Maguire incurred a ban that so nearly meant he would miss the Champion Hurdle ride on Peddlers Cross.

Maguire was reprieved on appeal, though, and it should not be forgotten how well Cool Mission performed to chase home a very useful horse.

A suspended Maguire is replaced by Graham Lee, but that is hardly a negative and a similar effort to his last one will see him go one place better.

Alan King has found Swansbrook an excellent opportunity to open his account over fences at Leicester.

The eight-year-old earned a rating in the 120’s over hurdles but failed to get competitive on his first two chase starts here and then at Taunton.

But he was much better at Hereford recently, where he filled the runner-up spot, and he should go one better in the Kirkby Mallory Beginners’ Chase.

The Grand Military Gold Cup takes centre stage at Sandown and smart novice Cois Farraig is an interesting contender for Paul Webber.

The six-year-old was successful in Grade Two company at Newbury early in the season but has had his limitations exposed in a couple of hot events since the turn of the year.

However, he is up against an older brigade who are largely past their best this time and with more improvement possible, Cois Farraig must be considered a major player.

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