Going all good for Scottish opener at Friars Haugh

SILK AND ROSES and Tom Hamilton (right) win the Restricted Open Maiden at the L&R EglintonHunts PtPt at Overton 24/3/12'Photograph by John Grossick
SILK AND ROSES and Tom Hamilton (right) win the Restricted Open Maiden at the L&R EglintonHunts PtPt at Overton 24/3/12'Photograph by John Grossick

Point-to-point racing in the Borders comes under orders on Sunday afternoon when the Jedforest Hunt stages the first Scottish fixture of the season.

The Friars Haugh course at Kelso escaped the recent snowfall and is reported to be in great order for this popular event, which has attracted 91 entries.

The first of seven runs is off at 12.30pm with a five-strong members’ race, sponsored by Hawick-based Storage Xpress and Border Berries. Wendy Hamilton had a great training record last season and her Hawick stable sends out Silk and Roses to defend her 2014 title, in the capable hands of her jockey son, Tom.

Replacing last year’s novice riders’ contest is an intermediate race – a qualifier for the £7,000 Connolly’s Red Mills championship at Cheltenham in April.

The Musselburgh Racecourse and Royal Dick Vet Intermediate is at 1pm and promises to be an interesting 13-strong contest which includes Kalastar, who provided Galashiels-based Katie Scott with the first leg of a double last year.

There are 18 entered in the Gain Horse Feeds ladies’ open, while the first three horses past the post in the Bonhams men’s open at 2pm are eligible for the £7,500 final at the Hunter Chase Evening at Cheltenham on April 29.

Former Irish chaser Page One Two Nine carries the hopes of Melrose owner Jo Luton.

There are 17 entries in the Subaru restricted race at 2.30pm – a qualifier for the series final at Stratford in May – including Probably George for Jedburgh couple Kenny and Karen Lynn.

The Jockey Club/Charlotte Agnew Eventing mares’ maiden race, at 3pm, has 11 lining up, while the Billy Stenhouse Memorial open maiden event (3.30pm) is the last of what promises to be a great afternoon’s racing. Among the 17 entries are Chandos from Quona Thomson’s Greenlaw stable and the former Bruce Mactaggart-trained Craicneasy.

An exciting free competition open to all attending the point-to-point offers the chance to win a lesson with leading British event rider Oliver Townend and European Young Rider Team gold and individual silver medalist Emily Galbraith.

Racegoers can view televised live racing while enjoying a sit-down lunch in a heated tent by booking tickets from Kirsty Brown on 07949 712843.

Regular going reports, prospects and updates can be found at www.friarshaughraces.co.uk.