Mise En Rose is set to bloom for Charlie
Mise En Rose can blossom when she is sent into battle for a fast-track qualifier at Chelmsford. Trainer Charlie Appleby will be keen to send this filly to All-Weather Championships Finals Day at Lingfield on Good Friday.
She must, however, step up on her run at Lingfield in November when she only beat one horse home in a Listed race over a mile. Mise En Rose was probably always up against it from well off the pace, but it was disconcerting to see her hang so alarmingly along the home straight.
Be that as it may, the four-year-old daughter of War Front is a much better horse than that performance would suggest, and she can illustrate the point at the Essex venue.
Mise En Rose is the joint-highest-rated runner in this field, yet she races on level terms with most of the field, and even gets weight off the top horse, Ashadihan.
She also has winning form at Chelmsford, having eased nearly three lengths clear in a one-mile handicap last May.
Mise En Rose reverts to seven furlongs, a distance over which she has won twice, for this latest examination, with jockey William Buick likely to be more prominent than he was at Lingfield a few months ago.
These factors combined make her an appealing prospect in an open race.
Russe Blanc's form figures are not particularly encouraging but there could be some reason to anticipate an upgrade in fortune at Carlisle.
The striking 10-year-old has found life challenging since he won Grade Three Classic at Warwick last January, but he is back at a reasonable mark and also has winning course form to his name. Russe Blanc did not run too badly in his quest for a Classic Chase double last month, when a bad error at the 10th fence ended any chance of finishing in the money. This three-and-a-quarter-mile handicap chase looks considerably easier.
The Herds Garden can exorcise painful memories from Newcastle last month as he reverts to the smaller obstacles in the two-mile-one-furlong handicap hurdle.
Donald McCain's eight-year-old had looked pretty exposed after 13 previous starts over fences, but he looked set fair to finally do the business at Gosforth Park.
It all went wrong two out, though, as The Herds Garden made a bad mistake and ditched Will Kennedy on to the floor.
That was nonetheless much more like it, and though the assessor has been a bit mean by raising him 4lb, he seems to be coming to hand.
Querry Horse can provide Oliver Sherwood with a nice winner at Ludlow. The five-year-old won over hurdles at Market Rasen last spring, but always had the look of on an embryonic chaser. That certainly looked the case at Doncaster on January 9, when he won in a novice chase over two miles and three furlongs.
CARLISLE: 1.50 The Blue Bomber, 2.20 Turtle Watch, 2.50 Lastbutnotleast, 3.20 Celtic Tune, 3.55 The Herds Garden, 4.30 Russe Blanc.
CHELMSFORD: 2.00 Afkar, 2.30 Driver's Girl, 3.00 Bracken Brae, 3.30 Mise En Rose, 4.05 Dynamo Walt, 4.40 Eurato, 5.10 Whaleweigh Station.
KEMPTON: 5.20 Awesome Rock, 5.50 Willow Spring, 6.20 Hathfa, 6.50 Pepita, 7.20 La Guapita, 7.50 Blaze Of Glory, 8.20 Masterfilly.
LUDLOW: 1.40 Shantou Rock, 2.10 QUERRY HORSE (NAP), 2.40 Tara View, 3.10 Icing On The Cake, 3.40 Long Call, 4.15 Sam Cavallaro, 4.50 Ckalco Des Loges.
DOUBLE: Querry Horse and The Herds Garden.