Big day on race circuit for Borders runners and riders

Action at the Kelso Races (picture by Alan Raeburn)
Action at the Kelso Races (picture by Alan Raeburn)
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One For Arthur was a popular winner of the £17,000 feature EDFER handicap chase at Kelso on Saturday for the ‘Two Golf Widows’.

Borders owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson were pleased with the seven year-old’s return to action after 189 days.

He was to the fore at the penultimate fence and produced a gallant display to score by six lengths.

Aintree is a possible target for the gelding, who is held in high regard by trainer Lucinda Russell. “He is probably the best handicapped in the yard and a proper horse,” she enthused. “Derek (Fox) gave him a fabulous ride and, as he jumps so well, we will look at the Becher Chase if he gets in,” added the Milnathort handler.

Local runners filled the frame, with Scotswell finishing runner-up for Jedburgh trainer Harriet Graham, and Pena Dorada taking third for Hawick handler Alistair Whillans.

On a good afternoon for Borders connections, Seldom Inn cruised home 21 lengths clear of Ballyboker Breeze – owned by Paul and Clare Rooney from St Boswells – in the Clifford and Martin Firth Memorial novices’ chase.

The wide margin winner is trained at Greenlaw by Sandy Thomson for Borders owner Bill Walker.

Runswick Days made a victorious stable debut for George Bewley’s Southdean yard, with an impressive seven-length success in the Bruce Farms handicap chase.

The nine-year-old was having a first run for the Hawick yard.

He also gave jockey Brian Hughes the second leg of a double, having earlier taken the opening Ian Anderson Memorial NH maiden hurdle race on Kalaniti.

With the departure of hot favourite Brio Conti at the first, the race was left wide open and the 8-1 chance battled gamely to make a victorious start to her hurdling career.

Nicky Richards rarely leaves Kelso without a winner and Saturday was no exception, when the Greystoke trainer saddled Another Bill to head the Myles McNulty You’re Never Fifty novices’ hurdle race.

The six-year-old stayed on gamely to hold favourite and winning pointer Arctic Destination.

East Lothian owner Dennis Coppola saw his colours carried to victory by Cool Baranca in the Sir Maxwell Harper Gow Memorial handicap hurdle race.

Thirteen went to post in the concluding BARK conditional jockeys’ training series handicap hurdle race, headed by Welsh raider and 15-8 favourite Bassarabad.

Racing was preceded by an informative display in the paddock by World Horse Welfare, which included Jennifer Dalgetty Duff from Galashiels, riding side-saddle on rescued Highland pony stallion, Logie.

Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday, November 5.