Lucinda Russell celebrated a hat-trick of victories at Kelso’s final fixture of the season, when a bumper crowd enjoyed the fun and fashion of Sunday’s Ladies’ Day.
On a good afternoon for local jockeys, Jedburgh’s Grant Cockburn rode two of the Milnathort trainer’s winners, while Derek Fox completed the treble in the feature £14,000 handicap chase.
Cockburn rode Beidh Tine Anseo to a two-length success in the KOSB novices’ handicap chase, and was back in the winner’s enclosure 35 minutes later when Make It Happen stayed on gamely to get the better of joint favourite Apachee Prince in the Reece, Ben, Jessica & Charlotte Coppola novices’ handicap hurdle race.
“That might have been the last chance saloon,” said Lucinda of Beidh Tine Anseo, “as he looked so disinterested at Perth last time.
“Grant’s been with us for six years now and he gave both horses a great ride,” she added.
Lucinda Russell later collected the afternoon’s major prize when Derek Fox rode 11-1 chance Ballyben to clinch the Border Facilities handicap chase, for the Wilfred and Patricia Crawford memorial trophy.
“He had a nasty fall and lost his confidence, so we put him back over hurdles, and we’ve done a lot of schooling since,” said Lucinda
Another Jedburgh jockey in winning form was Callum Bewley, who upset the form book in the opening Lyntoun Taxis and Anderson Butchers East Lothian novice’ hurdle on 40-1 shot, Runninng Brook.
The winning pointer has always been held in high regard by Ayrshire trainer Mike Smith, and Bewley gave him a great ride to hold hot favourite Angus Glens by a neck.
“I rode him in a couple of point-to-points, but haven’t sat on him for a while,” explained Bewley, who recorded a 100% strike rate on his sole ride of the day.
The well-backed Angus Glens made a blunder at the last.
“I did think I was held for second,” admitted Bewley, “but Mike has always thought a lot of the horse, and he didn’t ride like a 40-1 chance.”
Hawick jockey Tom Hamilton has enjoyed a great season, and added to an already impressive tally when riding Cave Hunter to a three-length victory in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards hunter chase.
The Doncaster Sales purchase is trained by Tom’s mother, Wendy, for farmer Niel Manning.
“He stays well and jumps for fun,” said Tom. “He’s gone from strength to strength.”
A stewards’ enquiry ruled the runner-up had been slightly impeded, costing Tom a three-day ban.
Favourite backers were back on track when Jack Albert landed the opening division of the Elliot Henderson novices’ handicap chase in convincing style.
Dianne Sayer’s charge appeared to relish the fast ground and step up in trip, cruising home 11 lengths clear in the hands of Brian Hughes.
Tristan Davidson saddled Leanna Ban to an equally impressive win in division two.
“We had his neck and back done after Carlisle, and he likes going this way round,” he explained. “If there is something that suits, we’ll keep him going, but if not he’ll be roughed off, because you can’t beat a bit of good rest.”
Thirteen went to post in the concluding Jane Sturrock 40th Birthday Bash bumper, where Sam Twiston-Davies rode Banks of Houxty to a seven-length win.
Racing was preceded by two competitive Charles Owen pony races - 13-year-old first season jockey Oakley Brown riding Irish purchase Nomoranum to win the 138cm race, and 15-year-old Rachel Sharpe heading the 148cm section on Mr Marshall.
With some fabulous outfits on show, judges had an unenviable task, but found a worthy winner of the best dressed lady award in Yvonne Patterson from Selkirk.
Having just her second visit to the racecourse, Yvonne’s outfit came from Dorothy Perkins.
Berwick-based Nina Robertson lifted the prize for best hat with a stunning butterfly creation from Debenhams.
2.10 - RUNNING BROOK (C Bewley) 40-1; 2, Angus Glens 8-11 fav; 3, Another Bygones 28-1. Nine ran. R Mike Smith, Galston.
2.40 - JACK ALBERT (B Hughes) 7-2 fav; 3, Vision De La Vie 4-1; 3, King of the Dark 14-1. Nine ran. D Sayer, Penrith.
3.10 - LEANNA BAN (J England) 4-1; 2, Brother Scott 11-2; 3, Tribal Dancer 16-1. Eight ran. T Davidson, Irthington.
3.45 - BEIDH TINE ANSEO (G Cockburn) 7-1; 2, Great Demeanour 12-1; 3, Clonleney 12-1. Seven ran. L Russell, Milnathort.
4.20 - MAKE IT HAPPEN (G Cockburn) 4-1; 2, Apachee Prince 5-2 jt fav; 3, Un Anjou 5-2 jt fav.Six ran.L Russell, Milnathort.
4.55 - CAVE HUNTER (Mr T Hamilton) 100-30; 2, Nowurhurlin 6-1; 3, Young Hurricane 8-1. Eight ran. Mrs W Hamilton, Hawick.
5.25 - BALLYBEN (D Fox) 11-1; 2, Buddy Love 3-1 fav; 3, Beeves 7-1. Nine ran. L Russell, Milnathort.
5.55 - BANKS OF HOUXTY (S Twiston-Davies) 8-1; 2, Show on the Road 11-1; 3, Boogie Life 11-4. 13 ran. K McLintock, Newcastle.