Organisers of the annual Common Riding race meeting were in celebratory mode this week following one of the most successful events in recent years.
The flapping bandwagon rolled on to The Rig last Friday and the larger than usual crowd were treated to some fine racing. Rig secretary Stuart Hogarth told The Wee Paper: “It was certainly one of the smoothest race meetings we have ever held, everything went without a hitch and the racing was well competed.
“On top of that, gate numbers and entries were up, so everyone is delighted with this year’s event.”
The meeting was further boosted this year by a large donation from Paul Rooney of Monksford. Stuart added: “We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors and Paul’s generous donation this year went a good way to putting on a very successful meeting.”
The highlight of the afternoon was the historic Golden Mile with a first prize of £1,100. Six runners lined up at the start and all were in with a big chance.
Once again, Big Mac, the Tradesmen’s and Buccleuch winner from Hawick a week earlier, was the one to beat and started a warm 4/6 favourite. A good start saw That’s Right take the field along at a good clip with Celtic Star second and Acannicanoe back in third.
Entering the final three furlongs, however, Big Mac threw down his challenge and a great battle saw him, Celtic Star and the fast-finishing Isobar go all out to the line.
Big Mac, owned by Hawick’s Waverley Bar Syndicate, held on by one length from Celtic Star and the same distance back to Isobar.
There were eight races in total, including four balloted, with Brian Rodgerson, Standard Bearer Martin’s dad, lifting the Standard Bearer’s Cup.
Licenced Victuallers Handicap: 1, Take a Risk (T. Williams); 2, The Freeman (S. Huggan); 3, Moodla Point (J. Riding).
Jess McWilliams Memorial Trophy (Ladies’ Race – balloted horses): 1, Emma Forrest; 2, Zara Bell; 3, Jennifer Stott.
Peatlaw Handicap: 1, Maybe A Star (A. Fairley); 2, The Gambler (G. Fairley); 3, Mr Cool (T. Williams).
William Lees Memorial Trophy (balloted horses): 1, Claire McNoughton; 2, Scott Rodgerson; 3, Jane Tait.
Standard Bearers Cup (balloted horses): 1, Brian Rodgerson, 2, Ally Craig; 3, Gavin Henderson.
Selkirk Co-op NGT Golden Mile: 1, Big Mac (T. Williams); 2, Celtic Star (G. Fairley); 3, Isobar (G. Hannon).
Alexander Munro Trophy (Men’s Race ‑ balloted horses): 1, Rikki McLean; 2, S. Coltherd; 3, Darren Knox.
Forest Handicap: 1, Kalahari Desert (G. Fairley); 2, Just A Joker (A. Fairley); 3, Chameleon (D. Oliver).