Kelso Race Course’s historic twilight meeting yesterday saw race goers treated to some thrilling finishes.
The cancellation of both chases, due to water irrigation logistics, produced a card of five hurdle races and one bumper.
Course specialist Endeavour recorded his fifth victory at the track to head the opening Racing UK Anywhere Available Now handicap hurdle race.
Ridden by ex-Braw Lad and Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania, from Galashiels, the 8-1 chance got the better of Push Me, who produced another gallant effort to finish runner-up for in-form Hawick handler Iain Jardine.
There was a brief delay to the start of the Straightline Construction maiden hurdle race, for remedial work on some of the bends.
Calton Entry outbattled Like A Diamond in the closing stages, to post a rare Kelso success for Carluke trainer Ian Semple.
“We decided to make the running with him today,” said Semple. “He went to post quite keen but he settled well in the race and he´s jumped them into the ground.”
Seven lined up for the Straightline Construction Congratulates Keith Dalgleish handicap hurdle, where Foot The Bill recorded his first hurdling success under John Kington.
“We’ve alternated him between fences and hurdles, as he can be a bit flippant,” explained Middleham trainer Patrick Holmes.
Shantou Tiger produced a gutsy display to post a third hurdling victory in the World Horse Welfare novices hurdle race and provide jockey James Cowley with a first course success.
Highlight of the evening was the feature Lamont Racing Congratulates Jason Hart handicap hurdle which developed into a ding-dong battle to the post between Satanic Beat and Gold Chain.
Ryan Mania was deprived of a double by a neck when Brian Harding refused to be headed on Satanic Beat.
“He´s very tough and he really stuck at it.,” said the winning jockey. “He´s a grand horse and he tries hard.”
The concluding racinguk.com maiden open bumper saw another driving finish, with Divine Port reversing previous form with favourite Luccombe Down.
“That didn´t surprise us,” admitted victorious trainer Alan Swinbank. “He´s too slow for the Flat, so we´ll give him one more run in a bumper then we´ll go jumping.”
Racing returns to Kelso on Sunday October 5.
4.35 – ENDEAVOUR (R Mania) 8-1; 2, Push Me 5-1; 3, Claude Carter 14-1. 11 ran. Mrs D Sayer, Cumbria.
5.05 – CALTON ENTRY (D Costello) 11-1; 2, Like A Diamond 2-1; 3, On Vacation 22-1. 11 ran. I Semple, Carluke.
5.35 – FOOT THE BILL (J Kington) 6-1; 2, Dun to Perfection 5-1; 3, Dumbarton 9-2. Seven ran. P Holmes, Middleham.
6.05 – SHANTOU TIGER (J Cowley) 3-1; 2, Factor Fifty 2-1 jt fav; 3, Spieta 5-1. Four ran. D McCain, Cholmondley.
6.35 – SATANIC BEAT (B Harding) 2-1 jt fav; 2, Gold Chain 11-2; 3, Phoenix Returns 13-2. Five ran. J O’Keefe, N Yorks.
7.05 – DIVINE PORT (P Moloney) 100-30; 2, Luccombe Down 5-2 fav; 3, The Last Leg 9-2. 10 ran. A Swinbank, N Yorks.