Scottish Borders National entices Scotswell’s return

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Sunday sees Kelso racecourse host its richest meeting of the autumn season, with a total prize pot of almost £90,000.

Feature race of the afternoon is the £30,000 Scottish Borders National, sponsored for the second year by Persimmon Homes.

Last year’s runner-up, Scotswell, bids to go one better for Jedburgh handler Harriet Graham. David Pipe’s Smiles For Miles is on a hat-trick after recent wins at Wetherby and Chepstow, while another possible southern raider is the Venetia Williams-trained Union Jack D’ycy.

Another exciting race on a great card is the £23,500 Champion Chase, sponsored by the John Wade Group.

Kruzhlinin, owned by St Boswells-based Paul and Clare Rooney, aims to defend his crown after an impressive triumph last year.

Scottish businessman Ronnie Bartlett – owner of top chaser Simonsig – backs the £16,000 novice chase.

Recently-retired Ryan Mania landed this race 12 months ago on Coverholder for Sue Smith, who bids to win it again with Wakanda. James Ewart may run home-bred Ueueteotl.

Michael Wares, renowned for his Cater Hire business and previously the Carters Rest, has reached a memorable age and is sponsoring a race to celebrate his three score years and ten. Michael and his wife Valerie will be on hand to judge the best turned-out horse and then present the memento to winning connections after what is sure to be a hotly-contested novice hurdle race.

Scotland’s leading jumps trainer Lucinda Russell is triple-handed here with Alizee De Janeiro, Just For Pleasure and This Thyne Jude. Tim Easterby’s Attention Seaker went close in a mares’ hurdle at Newcastle recently.

Kevin Oliver, a regular supporter at Kelso will be getting into the Christmas spirit early with his sponsorship of the two-mile handicap hurdle race.

Pauline Robson, who won a valuable race at Auteuil in France on Monday, has entered Teo Vivo and Scimon Templar. Middleham trainer Simon West could go close with Slipper Satin.

James Ewart has his Langholm yard in great form, and jointly sponsors the final race with London art dealer Cameron McMillan.

The Ewart stable is represented by Snuker, successful over fences at Hexham two weeks ago. In-form Kapricorne could be a rare Kelso runner for Gloucestershire trainer Sophie Leech.

Gates open at 10.20am, with the first race under orders at 12.20pm.