Kelso Races: Sandy and Quona Thomson both saddle winners

Greenlaw trainers Quona and Sandy Thomson had a succesful day at Kelso. Picture: Kimberley Powell
Greenlaw trainers Quona and Sandy Thomson had a succesful day at Kelso. Picture: Kimberley Powell

Husband and wife Sandy and Quona Thomson both saddled winners at Kelso races on Monday.

New Vic’s 25-1 victory in the prestigious Borders Carers Centre Buccleuch Cup maiden hunter chase gave Greenlaw-based Quona a first win under Rules.

And, an hour later, Sandy sent Imperial Prince to an 8-1 success in the Langdale Bloodstock handicap hurdle race.

Selkirk jockey Rachael McDonald, who works at the couple’s Lambden stables, made a victorious debut in the feature hunter chase.

“He won it really well,” said Rachael, who was having her first ride in the race and had been successful the previous afternoon at the Morpeth point-to-point.

The gelding, who cruised home 10 lengths clear of Damiens Dilemma after a dramatic last fence unseating by the well-fancied Ardea, carries the colours of Duns owner/breeder Peter Dale.

The 10-year-old was making a victorious hunter chase debut, having won a point-to-point last month over the river at Friars Haugh.

The winner is a full brother to Peter Dale’s former chaser Lady of Verona.

“He was broken by Peter Buchanan and Campbell Gillies at Lucinda Russell’s yard,” explained Peter.

The chestnut evented to novice level before embarking on a racing career, and had 19 months off after a tendon injury.

Not to be outdone by his wife, Sandy Thomson was also in the winner’s enclosure an hour later with Imperial Prince.

“He’s a really nice horse and the owners have been very patient with him,” he said.

Lowanbehold followed up his previous course success nine days earlier with another impressive performance to win the Manners FW Award Le Garcon handicap chase.

The gelding carries the colours of Yetholm owner Clive Storey and is trained by his partner Sandy Forster – grand-daughter of the late Kenneth Oliver.

He was again ably ridden to victory by Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton, to post a second success from three runs over fences.

“I’m gobsmacked because I thought he needed further,” admitted Sandy.

“We’ll give him an entry at the Perth festival,” she added. “He’s a happy horse just now and is full of confidence.”

Hawick handler George Bewley posted a fourth success on the card for Borders trainers, after What’s Up Woody landed the Lyntoun Taxis East Lothian handicap chase in the hands of his son, Jonathon.

Having jumped fluently throughout, he produced a game performance in the closing stages to win by three-and-a-half lengths, following up his Hexham success.

Sharp Rise dominated in the opening Duncan Sinclair Memorial novices’ hurdle race to post a nine-length success for Northumberland trainer and former ladies’ point-to-point champion, Pauline Robson.

“He barely even broke sweat and jumped like a buck,” said winning jockey James Reveley.

Richest race on the card was the Eildon Hill Stables handicap chase, where Nakadam justified favouritism to land the spoils for Ayrshire handler Mike Smith.

He held the gallant Fiddlers Reel – who ran a blinder at Haydock last month for Kelso owner/trainer/breeder Jane Clark – by two-and-a-quarter lengths.

Generous Pet justified favouritism with an easy 14-length victory in the concluding Green Tree Hotel Peebles conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle race, to complete a hattrick for Cumbrian trainer Kenneth Slack.