Grand National winner back in the Borders

Derek Fox, second left, on Grand National day with co-owners Belinda McClung, Debs Thomson and trainer Lucinda Russell (picture by Toby Williams).
Derek Fox, second left, on Grand National day with co-owners Belinda McClung, Debs Thomson and trainer Lucinda Russell (picture by Toby Williams).

Grand National-winning jockey Derek Fox is to lead the way in the ‘course to course for causes’ opening ride, which comes under orders at Musselburgh racecourse on September 16.

Sponsored by Scottish Racing, the innovative four-day charity fund-raising venture begins at the East Lothian track and finishes in the Borders at Kelso racecourse on September 19.

Participants will raise money for the MS Society Borders branch, the Injured Jockeys’ Fund (Jack Berry House), and Riding for the Disabled.

Fox (24) rode the Lucinda Russell-trained One for Arthur to a momentous 14-1 victory in the 2017 Aintree marathon for Borders owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson.

He will represent the Injured Jockeys’ Fund charity when he joins walkers and riders on the opening day.

The event – the brainchild of Jedburgh-based MS sufferer Rhona Elliot MBE, a successful trainer and point-to-point jockey prior to her diagnosis – has already attracted generous support. Those taking part can do as many days as they wish, or complete the full 34.5 miles.

Wheelchair and buggy users plan to join walkers at the Musselburgh racecourse start, on Caledonian race day, with the first-day route covering five miles to Ormiston via Crossgates and Pencaitland Railway Walk.  The minimum £25 sponsorship included entry to the races, a tour of the course, and a finger buffet.

Day two offers the option of seven or 13 miles over the Lammermuirs, beginning at The Hopes (EH41 4PL) via Carfraemill, to Thirlestane Castle, and is open to both walkers and riders. It begins with a 10am registration at The Hopes and will be followed by a barbeque at Tollishill. Day three, on September 18, is for walkers only, covering nine miles from Thirlestane Castle to Mellerstain House. Walkers (10.30am) will be joined by riders (11.30am) for the finale on day four as they leave Mellerstain House and complete seven-and-a-half miles to Kelso racecourse.

Entrants must commit to raise a minimum of £25 per day for the designated charities, and must register beforehand. Entry forms from Rhona Elliot, Tel: 01835 864111 Mobile: 0797 695 9944 email: theyett@btconnect.com