GALASHIELS jockey Kelly Bryson notched her first treble at last year’s Jedforest point-to-point – and returned to the same track on Sunday to repeat the feat.
The current Northern Area ladies’ champion completed her second hat-trick at her local Friars Haugh course, admitting the Kelso course is a favourite.
“It’s great to ride a treble, and even better to do it here,” she told TheSouthern.
Her victory trail began in the opening JRW Group members’ race when Quotica de Poyans defended his 2010 title to take the spoils by a convincing five lengths.
The French-bred gelding is owned by Kelly’s employer, Bonchester-based Phillipa Shirley-Beavan.
“That was a nice confidence restorer,” explained Phillipa, whose charge had enjoyed an unbeaten run until falling on his two previous outings. The winner is likely to contest a hunter chase at Kelso Races’ February 17 fixture.
Hawick’s Jamie Hamilton was close on the heels of the winner, until Waterford came down five from the finish.
Sixteen-year-old Callum Bewley, who was making his pointing debut, finished runner-up on Windy Hills.
Bryson and Phillipa Shirley-Beavan joined forces an hour later to record a second success, when Minouchka enjoyed a 10-length win in the Aga ladies’ open – a qualifier for the Cheltenham final in May. Aggie’s Lad came to the last in front, and looked to have the race in hand, until ducking out and unseating jockey Lucy Alexander.
Minouchka had been retired last season to begin life as a brood mare, and will return to stallion Indian Danehill this year. “The plan is to go back and try again,” said Shirley-Beavan, “as she’s such a tough, genuine, mare.”
Bryson completed her hat-trick in the concluding Billy Stenhouse Memorial open maiden race on 2-1 favourite Marksmore.
The eight-year-old carries the colours of Sylvia Scott, whose popular Galashiels-based Quins Restaurant sponsors the winning jockey. Bought for just £500 from Berwickshire breeder Ailie Tullie, Marksmore is trained at Galashiels by Sylvia and Murray Scott’s daughter, Katie, “We bought him in the summer, and he’s a lovely horse,” said Katie, who currently has some six horses in her yard.
Eighteen-year-old Hawick jockey Russell Lindsay celebrated his first point-to-point win when bringing home Alan Brown’s Silk Parasol to land the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club members’ race for novice riders. Lindsay rode out for Hawick handler Donald Whillans, before joining Keith Reveley’s Saltburn yard last August, and was having just his third ride.
Another rider to enjoy a first success in the saddle was fashion designer Drew Holmes from Bolam in Northumberland, who won the David Merry restricted race on Stark Raven.
Holmes, who works in Gosforth for Nigel Cabourne, recently returned from a fashion week in Florence. He plans to run the 11-year-old in the Buccleuch Cup at Kelso.
Stark Raven was previously with Yetholm-based Clive Storey, who trained Gunner Jack to win the Brewin Dolphin men’s open race.
The 10-year-old was bought privately last year for Edward Wrigley, a student of religious studies at Edinburgh University “to have some fun”.
“We’ll just keep running him and see how he is,” said Storey.
Former National Hunt jockey Iain Jardine saddled Rowan Road to win the Bedmax PPA PPORA mares’ maiden race for Jedburgh owner/breeder Alec Dawson and his daughter Kate Campbell, who now lives in Newmarket.
“We thought quite a lot of her last year, and she has really strengthened up now,” said Jardine, who has three pointers in training at his yard outside Hawick.
The Jedforest fixture – the first Scottish meeting of the season – survived two inspections after temperatures plummeted overnight.
Despite being bitterly cold, a good crowd supported the meeting.
Racing returns to Friars Haugh on March 19 for the Duke of Buccleuch’s point-to-point.