Wayupinthesky landed Kelso’s feature Buccleuch Cup today, on an afternoon which saw locals win five of the eight races.
Owned and trained at Denholm by Gavin Hamilton, the grey held favourite Crazy Diamond by half-a-length in a thrilling conclusion to the prestigious maiden hunter chase.
Having just his second start under rules for his new yard, Wayupinthesky produced a strong finish in the hands of Harry Bannister to end Crazy Diamond’s unbeaten run.
“He won his point-to-point well and this is his first hunter chase, so I’m delighted for the horse and also for the team. It’s a real team effort,” said Gavin, who bought the gelding privately in Ireland.
The winner could take his place in the Bonhams men’s open point-to-point series final at Cheltenham later this month.
Another Hawick handler in winning form was Alistair Whillans, who saddled Apachee Prince to take the opening Duncan Sinclair Memorial novices hurdle race.
Appearing to appreciate the drop in trip, the six-year-old stayed on strongly for a six-length success.
Langholm trainer James Ewart saw Lord Wishes make a successful return to hurdles when the gelding landed the second division of the Langdale Bloodstock handicap hurdle race.
“It’s always great to have a winner at my favourite track,” said James, who plans to remain hurdling with the eight-year-old.
Winning jockey Dale Irving – the 2014 Langholm Cornet – went on to complete a victorious double, after riding the Karen McLintock-trained Gurkha Brave to take the concluding Le Garcon d’Or conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle race.
Amethyst Rose enjoyed a comfortable 11-length success in the Borders Carers Centre mares handicap chase for Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd, whose horses are in good form.
Northumberland-based Jane Walton sent Newcastle victor Have You Had Yours from her Otterburn stable to win the J S Wight Grantshouse handicap chase.
“He had bad gastric ulcers - it was off the scale - but he´s clear of all his problems now,” explained the winning trainer.
“He likes this sort of ground and he will run again soon, though not too quickly as he needs a little break between his races,” she added.
Nicky Richards has a good strike rate at the Borders track and extended his lead as the course’s top trainer when Looking Well clinched the opening division of the Langdale Bloodstock handicap hurdle race.
“He´s a three-mile chaser in the making and it´s nice to win some races on the way there,” said the Greystoke handler.
The victory saw jockey Brian Harding complete a quickfire double.
The afternoon’s big prize went to Tyne and Wear-based Richard Johnson, who saddled Lord Brendy to win the Psigma Investment Management handicap chase for the Haddington Jubilee Cup.
Racing returns to Kelso on Wednesday, May 6.
2.00 – APACHEE PRINCE (B Hughes) 100-30; 2, Professor Plum 2-1; 3, Master Dee 13-8 fav. Nine ran. 6l; 18l. A Whillans, Hawick.
2.30 – HAVE YOU HAD YOURS (B Harding) 13-2; 2, Red Admiral 3-1 fav; 3, Brother Scott 5-1. Nine ran. 4 ½ l; ¾ l. J Walton, Otterburn.
3.00 – LOOKING WELL (B Harding) 7-2 jt fav; 2, Sky Khan 8-1; 3, Jack Albert 17-2. 11 ran. 1l; ¾ l. N Richards, Penrith.
3.30 – WAYUPINTHESKY (Mr H Bannister) 7-2; 2, Crazy Diamond 11-8 fav; 3, Darsi Dancer 6-1. Nine ran, ½ l; 7l. J P G Hamilton, Hawick
4.00 – LORD WISHES (D Irving) 11-2; 2, Landecker 13-2; 3, Boruma 20-1. 10 ran. 1 ¾ l; 4 ½ l. J Ewart, Langholm.
4.30 – LORD BRENDY (P Buchanan) 9-2; 2, Beeves 9-2; 3, Full Jack 4-1 jt fav. Nine ran. 1 ½ l; 4l. R Johnson, Tyne & Wear.
5.00 – AMETHYST ROSE (J Reveley) 3-1; 2, Jewellery 9-2; 3, Sultana Belle 9-4 fav. Five ran. 11l; nk. S Coltherd, Selkirk.
5.30 – GURKHA BRAVE (D Irving) 7-1; 2, Ballyvoque 11-2; 3, Super Collider 9-1. 13 ran. Nk; 9l. K McLintock, Newcastle.