LOCAL trainers are saddling up for the beginning of another National Hunt season and Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd has upped the stakes by announcing his latest prodigy as one to watch.
Coltherd, who trained Tartan Snow to secure his fourth career win at Kelso earlier this year, is all set for Snow Easy, the only daughter of Tartan Snow, to make her racing debut.
The Midlem-based handler is looking forward to racing the father-and-daughter team throughout the new season and told TheSouthern: “These two national hunt horses are set to provide a thrilling season for their Whitemoss Racing Syndicate.
“Their bloodline, coupled with the stamina Snow Easy is already displaying, means we’re going to see some exciting races this autumn.”
Tartan Snow is one of a kind, the only British runner to be sired by Valseur, son of Lyphard. He has already made his mark on the National Hunt circuit, including the two-mile Rutherford Centenary Isuzu in April. Snow Easy is equally unique, as the only foal of Tartan Snow.
Borders jockey Gary Rutherford, who regularly rides out of Coltherd’s yard, is also excited about the prospects for these two horses.
Kelso racecourse opens its gates for an exciting new season with the ever-popular family day on Sunday – and a wealth of local interest is on display.
The first race (2.05pm) is sponsored by the Sunday Mail and Jedburgh-based Harriet Graham, clerk of the course at Perth and soon to be confirmed for the same role at Musselburgh, has pencilled in hat-trick-seeking Scotswell, while Hawick’s Alistair Whillans is represented by Claude Carter.
Next up is the first juvenile hurdle of the season, sponsored by the Urwin Family, which always throws up a few quality novices worth following for the rest of the campaign.
The feature race of the day is the NSPCC School Service intermediate hurdle, sponsored by East Lothian owners Ray and Anita Anderson Green. A select quality field includes Aikman from James Ewart’s Langholm stable, who won twice last season and was far from disgraced at Cheltenham and Aintree.
The supporting handicap chase, sponsored by Isle of Skye Scotch Whisky, sees Star Beat, trained at Middleham by jockey Richie McGrath’s mother-in-law Kate Walton, as one of the likely top-weights.
Kelso racecourse again welcomes the Carrington family for their second year of sponsorship as they back the novice handicap hurdle, which has attracted the afternoon’s biggest entry.
Among those is Carters Rest, trained near Hawick by ex-jockey Iain “Scobie” Jardine, who has already been in the winners’ enclosure this summer on the flat.
Radio Borders sponsor the penultimate chase on the card. After setting a new personal-best campaign in 2010-11, James Ewart looks like having his first runners of the autumn when represented by Frontier Boy.
Robert Weir of City Roofing Ltd, Edinburgh, has returned to support the opening bumper. Stables to keep an eye on include Alan Swinbank and Rose Dobbin.
Before the start of the seven-race card, the Borders track will feature another highly competitive Borders principals race (1.30pm).
There is a full complement of 14 runners and inter-town rivalry will again prove fierce.
Last year’s runner-up, Scott Nisbet from Musselburgh will bid to go one better, while Suzanne Henry from Galashiels hopes to regain the trophy she won in 2005.
There will be a host of entertainment for children, with under-17s admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Gates open at noon.