HAWICK jockey Blair Campbell made it two wins from two rides at Sunday’s Berwickshire point-to-point, where just 14 runners contested the afternoon’s seven races at Kelso’s Friars Haugh course.
The 16-year-old maintained his unbeaten record aboard Buccleuch victor Laura’s Light when riding a blistering finish in the two-horse John Watson Seeds mens open race. Blair got the better of sole rival Mr Twins (Tristan Davidson) by half a length in a ding-dong battle to the line.
Course announcer Rob Hogarth gave winning connections an anxious moment when declaring a change to the result, but quickly confirmed the original placings – dismissing rumours of an April Fools Day prank.
Owner/trainer Alan Brown’s fears over firm ground – which saw the second fence omitted in all races – were quickly forgotten as his 10-year-old entered the winner’s enclosure for the second time at the Borders track this season.
Campbell was delighted with his success, although he said: “He likes this ground, but he didn’t jump as well today.”
A treble for Milnathort jockey Amy McGregor, which included one of the afternoon’s three walkovers, saw her leap to top of the Northern Area novice riders championship.
The 24-year-old recorded her first point-to-point success in the saddle when partnering Askalott to win the Decoupage & Dining open maiden race.
She produced a rousing finish from the seven-year-old to take the spoils by a short head from Clonea Power. Her double was completed when King’s Envoy walked over in the Bonhams ladies open race.
The 13-year-old then provided her with a treble when half-an-hour later he landed the Bill Hardie Memorial NPPA Club Members race for novice riders.
Numerically disappointing support failed to detract from some good finishes, and the meeting produced a further two first-time winners.
The opening Port Brae Wealth Management members’ race was won by pointing debutant Ben Culham riding Doreen Calder’s Little Miss Leana, who got the better of stablemate Whisky Hill by a short head.
Another to record his first riding success was 44-year-old Perthshire shepherd Johnny Ferguson, who walked over in the Meadowhead Caravan and Camping Parks intermediate race with Salmation Knight.
The concluding Brogan Fuels restricted race saw the afternoon’s third walkover, providing trainer Victor Thompson and jockey Tristan Davidson with their 11th success of the season.
Winner Link House Appeal was just pipped at Aspatria, before scoring at Hexham last time out.
Members – LITTLE MISS LEANA (B Culham) 4-1; 2, Whisky Hill (N Orpwood) 6-4; 3, Kasilia (Miss A Brown) evs fav. Three ran. Sh hd; sh hd. Miss D Calder, Berwickshire.
Maiden – ASKALOTT (Miss A McGregor) 3-1; 2, Clonea Power (C Carr) 4-7 fav; 3, Plutonium (T Davidson) 3-1. Three ran. Sh hd; 4 lengths. Miss A McGregor, Fife,
Intermediate – SALMATION KNIGHT (J Ferguson); walked over. Mrs D Whittaker (Mrs L Normile) Fife.
Mens – LAURA’S LIGHT (B Campbell) 1-3 fav; 2, Mr Twins (T Davidson) 6-4. Two ran. 1/2l. A Brown, Duke of Buccleuch.
Ladies – KING’S ENVOY (Miss A McGregor); walked over. Miss A McGregor, Fife.
NPPA Novice riders – KING’S ENVOY (Miss A McGregor) 3-1; 2, Devil Water (B Ambrose) 5-4. Three ran, two finished. 5l. Miss A McGregor, Fife.
Restricted – LINK HOUSE APPEAL (T Davidson); walked over. V Thompson, Percy.