Kelso racecourse opens the gates on its new season next Wednesday (September 14) with its popular twilight fixture.
Racing comes under orders at 4.15pm, with gates open at 12.30pm for a repeat of the exciting Jumping Jockeys Team Challenge.
Jockeys past and present will compete in a relay over a course of jumps opposite the Tweedie Stand at 1pm, with teams auctioned the night before at an evening event.
Guests speakers are former leading Flat trainer Jack Berry and international Goffs auctioneer Nicholas Nugent.
Money raised will go the Borders Multiple Sclerosis Society, Borders Riding for the Disabled Association, and the House that Jack Built – a Malton-based respite centre for the horse racing industry.
Tickets and further information is available on the racecourse website www.kelso-races.co.uk or by contacting Rhona Elliot on 01835 864111.
The first race on the card is sponsored in memory of Barbara McLeod, fondly know as Babs. Jeff Slater, who works for many good causes, has together with his wife, Kate ,organised Babs’ friends and family for this fitting memorial race.
Main race is the £15,000 two-mile handicap, sponsored by Principal and Prosper, which has moved into the Borders with its successful chartered financial planning outlet.
Gillian McDougall, office manager at the Edinburgh head hffice, said: “We’re delighted to support racing at Kelso, as it’s such a tremendous corporate vehicle for our business.”
Feature chase of the evening has attracted a new sponsor in Andy Johnstone to promote his successful retail outlet, Jail Dornoch.
Andy has recently moved to Bonchester Bridge and is using the race not only to highlight his high quality retail outlet but also in support of Multiple Sclerosis.
Lucinda Russell has this in mind for Imjoeking, who has won two of his 10 starts over fences.
The Milnathort handler said: “He’s been running well enough but not quite staying 2m 4f ,so we are bringing him back in trip at Kelso. It’s good prize money and he might run a big race, as he jumps very well.”
Newly-merged Borders lawyers’ firm, Bannerman Burke Tait Solicitors, has generously sponsored the 2m 5f handicap hurdle and Rory Bannerman will head up a strong party of clients and friends to promote their business.
Nicky Richards plans to put forward his two mares, Mardale and Carinena, for the race.
Mardale has winning form in the spring and summer at Perth and Sedgefield. Lucinda Russell is considering the race for Vengeur De Guye, who ran at the Galway Festival for Scotland’s leading jumps trainer.
The bumper is kindly sponsored by John and Judith Murray to highlight the marvellous work Mary Irvine has done for the MS Borders Society and many sufferers from this debilitating disease.
Jedburgh trainer Harriet Graham is likely to be represented by Messi’s Magic, named after Barcelona star striker Lionel Messi.
The 2m5f handicap chase is sure to attract a competitive field with the going being ideal for this time of year, according to head groundsman Brian Meikle.
He reports a tremendous covering of grass and that the track may need to be watered prior to the opening meeting.