HAWICK handler Alison Hamilton celebrated success at her local Kelso track when Bow School recorded his first win over hurdles last Wednesday
In the colours of the trainer’s husband Gavin, the gelding quickened away up the run-in for a comfortable victory in the Oswald Hughes handicap hurdle race.
The 16-1 chance, ridden by Denis O’Regan, cruised away from his rivals with Funky Munky, trained at Hawick by Alistair Whillans, having to settle for the runners-up slot.
Ros Castle, trained in Northumberland by Rose Dobbin, finished third.
“We knew he was quite straight and he’s run really well here before,” said Alison.
“Denis gets on very well with him, which is important, so I was delighted when he said he was coming here today.”
Half-an-houtr later, the winning trainer’s teenage nephew, Jamie Hamilton, was in the winner’s enclosure to celebrate a victorious handicap chase debut.
Jamie, 17, son of the course’s clerk of the scales, Michael Hamilton, gave Tartan Snow a great ride to win the Amateur Jockeys Association Amateur Riders Handicap Chase.
The 25-1 chance, trained at Selkirk by Stuart Coltherd, powered home nine lengths clear of the Jim Goldie-trained Circus Clown, with Badger Foot from Lucinda Russell’s Arlary House stable in third.
Winning jockey Jamie has been gaining valuable experience at Richard Fahey’s Malton stable in North Yorkshire.
He has previously ridden four times on the flat, for Fahey and South Lanarkshire trainer Linda Perratt, and also rode in a hunter chase last spring.
The victorious jockey gained high praise from winning trainer Stuart Coltherd, who said: “Full marks to Jamie, he gave him a cracking ride and did everything I told him.”
The third local success of the afternoon was recorded in the Lyntoun Private Hire Open Hunter Chase, won in a close-fought battle to the line, by Doc Row.
The winner is trained at Galashiels by Katie Scott, and was partnered to victory by Jedburgh jockey Gillon Crow.
They finished ahead of Sacred Mountain (Catherine Walton) with Alison Hamilton’s well-fancied Aggie’s Lad in third.
“We thought he might need the run, but we got him as fit as we could at home and hoped for the best,” said Scott.
There was a 10-minute delay to the opening Berrymoss Novice Hurdle race after Skirlaw and John Dawson parted company before the off.
After running loose on the track, the gelding was withdrawn, and racing was delayed while emergency services got back on track. The jockey gave up the rest of his rides after suffering soft tissue injury.
Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson, having opted not to run Cheltenham contender Binocular in the feature race, brought three horses to the Borders track, and returned to Berkshire with three winners.
He got off to a victorious start when former German Flat contender Lyvius made an encouraging debut to land the opener.
“He has a very good attitude to life,” said Henderson of the four-year-old Triumph Hurdle prospect, bought for 32,000gns.
“I hoped he might be a Triumph Hurdle horse but based on what we’ve seen today I’d like him to have another run before throwing him into that company, and we might not have the time to do it.”
Lucinda Russell’s stable is in cracking form and the Milnathort handler saddled Rhymers Ha to take second, while Absinthe, giving over a stone to the winner, finished third.
Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty completed a quickfire double when Bellvano landed the second race of the afternoon – the Kelso Members Novice Chase – where just four went to post. The field was reduced to three when Maggio unseated Brian Hughes at the second.
Henderson’s treble was completed in the feature BetVictor Morebattle Hurdle race where Simonsig recorded an impressive success.
The talented grey, a possible Supreme Novice Hurdle contender at Cheltenham next month, posted an effortless victory in the afternoon’s big race.
Long-time leader Knockara Beau, a winner of three out of four at Kelso, finished second.
A good afternoon’s racing concluded with the DBS/EBF mares’ bumper, where there was a further success for local connections, when Brijomi Queen took the spoils for the MS Borders Racing Club and partners.
The Nicky Richards-trained victor came home ahead of Doyly Carte, with Lucematic, a debut winner for Blainslie owner Pat Stirling, finishing third.
The success of the well-bred filly also provided claimer Brian Treanor with his first race-riding victory.
Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday, March 3.