SCOTSWELL provided Jedburgh trainer Harriet Graham with her biggest victory to date after landing the £25,000 Liz Adam Memorial handicap chase on another cracking card at Kelso on Saturday.
The home-bred gelding – a Scottish Grand National hope – proved a popular winner, receiving a rousing cheer from a bumper local crowd.
Harriet, who also bred the eight-year-old, admitted: “I thought it was a very even race and anything could win. If he ran well I decided to save my pennies and put him in the Scottish Grand National, so that could be the long-term aim, though he might not get in.”
There was a dramatic start to the card when leader Captain Brown took a tired fall at the final flight in the opening Abbey Tool and Gauge handicap hurdle race.
His exit left the challenging Keeneland to take the spoils in the hands of Adrian Lane, holding the fast-finishing 33-1 chance Overpriced by a head.
The winner carries the colours of St Boswells owners Paul and Clare Rooney – sponsors of the afternoon’s £25,000 Bentley Homes handicap hurdle race, won by Lie Forrit. The pillar to post success took Milnathort trainer Lucinda Russell to a personal best seasonal tally of 60 winners.
The McNeill family’s gelding held the challenge of Sandy Thomson’s Neptune Equester by three-quarters of a length. “He went to Cheltenham for the Pertemps Hurdle but the ground was too quick,” explained Lucinda.
“It’s great that Kelso put this race on,” she added.
The fourth consecutive Scottish success of the afternoon belonged to Jet Master who recorded his second victory on the trot to land the Ashleybank Investments Reg & Betty Tweedie handicap chase.
Trained in Fife by Nick Alexander and ridden by daughter Lucy, he came through the field and held James Ewart’s joint favourite Un Guet Apens by a neck.
Hawick jockey Wilson Renwick took a crashing fall from Kie, resulting in a delay to the start of the following D G Pryde Ltd novices’ hurdle race, won by Kilgefin Star.
The 11-8 favourite is trained in Northumberland by Michael Smith for Berwick owner John Stephenson.
Bellorophon bolted up in the Jedforest Deer Park handicap hurdle for Hawick-born Keith Dalgleish, now training successfully at Carluke. The winner was ridden by Galashiels jockey Ryan Mania – deputising for the injured Wilson Renwick, who tweeted later that evening, “nothing broken, bit sore, be back next week.”
Another competitive afternoon’s racing – televised by Channel Four – concluded with the aptly-named Kelso Races A Great Day Out open bumper, won by Sir Vinski.