Kelso Racecourse stages its first fixture of 2014 on Sunday, when the feature event of another exciting card is the £5,000 Royal Caledonian handicap chase.
Fledgling trainer Rebecca Menzies enjoyed a winner at Kelso’s last meeting and will be hopeful of a big run from recent Newcastle runner-up Samson Collonges, while Ann Hamilton is just starting to hit form and the Northumberland trainer could saddle her pre-Christmas Newcastle scorer.
The first race – the EBF Stallion Studs Novice Hurdle, sponsored by the Trustees of the European Breeders Fund – is off at 12.50pm, with gates open at 10.50am.
A competitive field includes last month’s 66-1 winner Seeyouatmidnight from Sandy Thomson’s Greenlaw stable, while George Bewley reports possible contender Cumbrian Farmer in good health after his early unseat at Newcastle on Saturday.
Aidan Gunning, one of the Borders’ great entrepreneurs in the electricity world and responsible for supplying infrastructure across the UK, has agreed to sponsor under the name of his new company Electricity Plant Solutions. No problem is too great for Aidan and his team, who will be on hand in strength to support the race, judge the best turned out and make the presentations to the winning connections.
John Ferguson – also Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock adviser – bids for his first Kelso winner with the choice of impressive Catterick scorer Aalim, Certification – a son of Derby hero Authorized– or New Year’s Eve.
The Tweedside track hosts the first Hunter Chase of the season, again sponsored by the CGA, which supports the feature Hunter Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.
A cracking entry includes Stuart Coltherd’s 100-1 Aintree Foxhunters hero Tartan Snow, James Ewart’s winning Kelso hurdler Captain Americo and John Wade’s four-time course winner Always Right.
Racecourse farrier David Merry sponsors the three-mile handicap hurdle race, in which Jane Walton has already booked Alistair Findlay for course winner Heez A Steel, while Rose Dobbin’s Caerlaverock steps up to this marathon trip after a good course third last month.
Racing returns to Kelso for Timeform Morebattle Hurdle Day on Thursday, February 13.
z Gala’s Grand National hero Ryan Mania took Musselburgh by storm last week when booting home a 111-1 New Year’s Day treble on Mr Moonshine, Swing Hard and Any Given Moment.