HAWICK handler Iain Jardine received a rousing cheer from a bumper Kelso crowd after celebrating victory at the course’s opening fixture of the season on Sunday.
The former jockey, who now trains at Gatehousecote, near Bonchester Bridge, saddled Push Me to win the second division of the Katie Scott Pointing and Emma Dunkley’s 18th novices’ handicap hurdle race.
The grey had previously been placed on the Flat, and opened her account over hurdles with an impressive display in the hands of Adrian Lane.
“He gave her a cracking ride,” said Iain. “I’m delighted to have a winner at Kelso for the Card family, and it’s a big boost for the yard.”
The 20-1 chance was just one of four long-priced winners throughout a marathon eight-race card, which produced from thrilling finishes.
St Boswells owners Paul and Claire Rooney saw their colours carried to victory in the Urwin Family juvenile hurdle race, when Kitchapoly scored in comfortable fashion under Jason Maguire, who was recording his 47th success of the season.
After two wins in France, Kitchapoly got off the mark in the UK with an easy five-length win over 7-4 fav Estinaad.
The winner is trained in Cheshire by Donald McCain for his Borders owners, who live at Monksford House.
“I know it was a lower-class race but he did that well,” said trainer’s representative Darren O’Dwyer.
“I don´t think the ground matters too much to him, but we put ear plugs in today to help him to relax,” he added.
Alnwick trainer Rose Dobbin, who recently celebrated the birth of her first child, saddled 28-1 chance Honourable Gent to win the opening division of the Katie Scott Pointing & Emma Dunkley’s 18th novices’ handicap hurdle race for her parents Sarah and Duncan Davidson.
Hawick jockey Wilson Renwick produced a strong finish on the five-year-old, to hold favourite Sendiym by a length.
Kirkheaton-based Michael Smith landed the concluding City Roofing Ltd bumper with his well-bred five-year-old Mont Royale, a £1,300 purchase this summer.
Having run at Hexham just two days earlier, Carrigdhoun produced a gutsy display to land the feature Tiger McElrath Novices Ltd handicap chase.
The grey is owned and trained at Brampton by Maurice Barnes, who rode Scotland’s Grand National winner Rubstic to his historic 1979 victory.
Just three battled for the £6,498 first prize, with the outsider taking the spoils from Atlantic Falcon, with the favourite Kris Cross back in third.
Radio Borders – broadcasting live from the track throughout the afternoon – supported the opening two-mile handicap hurdle race where 13 went to post.
Kelso’s opening race of new season produced a thrilling finish, with 14-1 chance Glencree getting the better of Bright Applause by a head. Course specialist Endeavour – victorious on his last three appearances at Kelso – finished third.
The victory provided jockey Brian Hughes and trainer John Wade with their first leg of double – the pair again successful later in the afternoon when Chigaco Outfit justified support to take the Fleet Bar Eyemouth handicap chase.
Maggio recorded his third win from six course starts to land the NSPCC School Service intermediate hurdle race, getting the better of Our Joey in the closing stages.
The winner had stalked Our Joey – trained at Southdean by George Bewley and ridden by son Jonathon – for most of the contest, and got up by 1 ¾ lengths to reclaim his 2012 title for Irish handler Patrick Griffin.
“He is one of those horses who seems best in conditions races,” explained trainer’s son James Griffin.
“He may go back over fences next,” he added.
Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday, October 19.
2.00 – GLENCREE (B Hughes) 14-1; 2, Bright Applause 22-1; 3, Endeavor 5-1. 13 ran. J Wade, Sedgefield.
2.35 – KITCHAPOLY (J Maguire)7-2; 3, Estinaad 7-4fav; 3, Aneedh 7-2. 19 ran. D McCain, Cheshire.
3.05 – CARRIGDHOUN (S Mulqueen) 3-1; 2, Atlantic Falcon 9-4; 3, Kris Cross evs fav. Three ran. M Barnes, Brampton.
3.45 – MAGGIO (D Fox) 9-4 c; 2, Our Joey 9-4 c; 3, Full Jack 9-4 c. Six ran. P Griffin, Dublin.
4.15 – CHICAGO OUTFIT (B Hughes) 3-1 fav; 3, Presenting Junior 100-30; 3, Western Bound 22-1. 10 ran. J Wade.
4.45 – HONOURABLE GENT (W Renwick ) 28-1; 2, Sendiym 2-1 fav; 3, Dynamic Drive 40-1. 10 ran. Mrs R Dobbin, Alnwick.
5.15 – PUSH ME (A Lane) 20-1; 2, Discoverie 4-1; 3, Lucky Sun 3-1 fav. Nine ran. I Jardine, Hawick.
5.45 – MONT ROYALE (D Cook) 16-1; 2, Lord De Beaufai 4-1; 3, Cousin Guillaume 8-1. 12 ran. M Smith, Northumberland.