National hero set to saddle up at Kelso Racecourse

SBSR Ryan Mania Parade

SBSR Ryan Mania Parade

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Grand National hero Ryan Mania is all set to make a return to his home ground on Monday, riding at Kelso’s end of the month meeting.

It will mark the 23- year-old’s first appearance at his local track since his epic Aintree win on Auroras Encore.

Ryan was devastated when he couldn’t make the last meet at Kelso, due to his accident at Hexham the day after his National win, and looks forward to a good book of rides at another competitive day’s racing at the popular Borders venue, when the first race comes under orders at 2.10pm.

“I was really hoping to be out of hospital on the Monday and, although I knew I wouldn’t be able to ride, I had planned to pop in,” he told The Southern.

“Going back there is going to be great. There is something special about the Borders and the people who live here and hopefully I can reward them with a good performance on Monday.”

Racing starts with the Lyntoun Private Hire maiden hurdle when Greystoke trainer Nicky Richards plans to enter Bishops Gate, who should appreciate the better ground after his promising debut at Ayr in February. Scotland’s leading flat trainer Jim Goldie is pencilling in Plus Jamai.

Feature race of the afternoon is the Jedforest Deer Park novice handicap chase. Itzacliche, the winner of a Kelso hunter chase last May, has been off since the autumn and is likely to make his comeback in this for owner/rider Joey Richards.

In the two-and-three-quarter mile handicap hurdle race at 3.10pm, Hawick handler Alison Hamilton could be tempted to run Bow School after a promising recent comeback. Two opponents he could face are Nicky Richards pair Merrydown and Mallin Bay.

Galashiels-based Katie Scott could bid for a further Kelso success in the novice hunter chase with Buccleuch Cup victor Moscow Menace. Opposition could include Iain Jardine’s Hawick raider Buywise, who was travelling strongly when falling three out.

A competitive two-mile handicap hurdle race is also on the cards. Hawick handler Alistair Whillans, who won the bumper at Ayr on Scottish Grand National day, could saddle Funky Munky.

More on Monday’s meeting at www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk