Kelso is perfect for a Spring Fling

Racing fans can enjoy plenty of April action at Kelso (picture by Alan Raeburn)
Racing fans can enjoy plenty of April action at Kelso (picture by Alan Raeburn)

Racing returns to Kelso this Monday (April 3) for the Spring Fling fixture, when a six-race card comes under orders at 2.10pm.

Gates open at 12.10pm, with a two-mile handicap chase the feature race of the afternoon.

Nick Alexander’s Fife stable is in fine form and dual course victor Jet Master, who finished third last year, may bid for victory for the Kinneston stable.

Nine Altars was a good second over course and distance on Saturday and Ann Hamilton’s Northumberland raider is a possible for a quick return to the Borders track.

Robin Lees, of Coldstream’s Newcastle Arms, returns to sponsor the three-mile handicap hurdle race.

Nicky Richards’ Top Billing has had success at this trip and has slipped to a ‘winning’ mark, while the Lucinda Russell-trained Rivabodiva is worth watching at this trip. Cruachan, trained by Lucy Normile, ran well at Kelso last Saturday.

Another regular supporter of the track, Mark Hay and his Queen’s Head Hotel, sponsor the concluding £9000 handicap hurdle race. Mark’s son, Ali, has reached great heights with his success in the Ninja Warrior UK contest and is now developing a Ninja gym in Kelso.

This was won 12 months ago by Captain Redbeard, who has since won twice over fences and ran on the first day of this year’s Cheltenham Festival for Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd.

Langholm handler James Ewart intends to enter a couple of horses in the shape of Lycidas and Aristo De Plessis.

The Our Friends from Yorkshire National Hunt maidens’ hurdle race is generously sponsored by Kaye Niven, of Five Star Taxis’ in Galashiels.

Ray Green is pencilling in ex-French recruit Uluroo, fourth in a Newcastle bumper earlier this month, for his hurdling debut, while an entry is also being made by James Ewart for Ca La Ferra, who was favourite at Musselburgh on his comeback after missing the mid-winter heavy ground.

Each year, a number of the Kelso Annual Members sponsors a race, with a draw to decide who judges the best turned out and makes the presentation.

There was a great finish to this race last year when Micky Hammond’s Oscar O’Scar just pipped Present Flight by three-quarters of a length.

Ascot De Bruyere, who finished alone under Brian Harding on Saturday when his four rivals all unseated their jockeys, is said to be on course to come back for this similar race.

The fifth race on the card is the mares’ novices’ hurdle. Another Bill has course and distance winning form, and Nicky Richards may be tempted by another trip up the A7 from his Greystoke base.

Grays Choice and Grey Storm have been running in mares and handicap company in the north recently for George Bewley and Rose Dobbin respectively.

The meeting is also a Racing UK Season Ticket day. so any Racing UK members get free entry by presenting their 2017 Members badge at the gate.

And Kelso race fans will not have long to wait for a return to the course – the next meeting after this will be Buccleuch Cup and Family Day on Monday, April 10.

To make the most of this Easter holiday meeting, the eacecourse will have a special family zone in the Pavilion Marquee, where the children can learn all the delights of racing, enjoy face painting, a craft table, and take part in the Rabbits Riddle Easter Egg Hunt.

Gates will open on April 10 at 12.10pm and the first race off is due off at 2.10pm. You can book your tickets online now at www.kelso-races.co.uk and save a few pounds with the advanced booking discount.