KAREN LYNN celebrated a poignant victory at Kelso’s Friars Haugh track on Sunday when Pas de Baratin posted a comfortable success in the opening members’ race.
Jedburgh-based Karen is the granddaughter of renowned point-to-point trainer Gus Minto, whose ashes are scattered in the winner’s enclosure at his local course.
“This one is for him,” said an emotional Karen after the grey’s 20-length victory in the Storage Xpress and Border Berries-sponsored opener.
Pas De Baratin – bought at Doncaster Sales out of Tom George’s yard – carries the colours of the trainer’s husband, Kenny, and was ably ridden to success by Jedburgh jockey Callum Bewley.
“Tactics are the big thing with him,” explained Lynn, adding: “He pulled too much last year and had not enough left at the end of his races. We may run him at Overton next time, as he likes a sharp track.”
In-form Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton finished runner-up, riding Waterford for his mother, Wendy. They finished just a short head in front of Beverley Beck, ridden by Joanna Walton and trained at Bonchester Bridge by her mother, Diana, for Northumberland sheep farmer Barry Wharf.
En-route to a victorious double, reigning Northern Area ladies’ point-to-point champion Catherine Walton celebrated her 50th career win.
The Northumberland jockey’s half-century came aboard Kildonnan in a closely-contested Brewin Dolphin ladies’ open race. The 14-year-old, owned by Middleham vet Neil Mechie, scored by half-a-length over Val Jackson and Cast Iron Casey, with Joanna Walton again back in the frame, on Temple Green.
Neil acquired the Jim Old-trained gelding, while working at York Equine Hospital, after he broke a pedal bone at Wetherby.
Walton’s second success came in a thrilling conclusion to the Yvette Jelfs Hats Jockey Club PPORA Club members’ mares maiden race.
Riding the home-bred Retrace Your Steps, trained by her step-father Jimmy, Walton got up by half-a-length to defeat Emma Dunkley and Polobury. The runner-up is trained at Galashiels by 2010 Braw Lass Katie Scott, who was recently sidelined after fracturing a vertebra in a fall from a horse.
Just a further half-length separated third-placed Commeonskinnylove, ridden by Hawick jockey Blair Campbell.
Reece Morgan Murphy, 21, and Galant Nuit recorded a hat-trick when landing the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club members’ race for novice riders. Paul Collins finished half-a-length behind on Ngong Hills, with Tom Hamilton from Hawick riding the third-placed Silk and Roses, owned and trained by his mother, Wendy.
Cleveland-based Collins went one better in the concluding Billy Stenhouse Memorial-sponsored maiden race with his six-year-old Irish find Rich Man’s World.
Another successful southern raider was the Middleton-qualified Battle Range, one of two pointers trained by Cherry Coward for Yorkshire owner Richard Morris.
The six-year-old landed the David Merry restricted race in the hands of the trainer’s daughter, Jacqueline.
“Although I come fishing to Kelso almost every month, this is my first trip to Friars Haugh,” admitted Morris.
Jamie Hamilton rode the Katie Scott-trained favourite Moscow Menace to finish runner-up, with Callum Bewley taking third on Safari Dancer for Kenny and Karen Lynn.
An eight-hour journey from Denbigh in North Wales proved fruitful for Welsh trainer Ray Owen, who saddled Croan Rock to win the Bonhams men’s open race.
In the closest margin of the day, the eight-year-old got up by a head to defeat Cool Star and Andrew Richardson at the post.
Tom Hamilton was back in the frame when finishing third on Go West.
Point-to-point racing returns to Friars Haugh on March 16 for the Duke of Buccleuch’s fixture.
RESULTS: Members – PAS DE BARATIN (C. Bewley) 2-1; 2, Waterford (J. Hamilton) 5-2; 3, Beverley Beck (Miss J. Walton) 8-1. Six ran. 20l; sh hd. Kenneth Lynn, Jedforest (Mrs Karen Lynn).
PPORA Novice riders – GALANT NUIT (R. Morgan Murphy) 4-7; 2, Ngong Hills (P. Collins 5-1); 3, Via Archimede (Miss R. McDonald) 10-1. Seven ran 1/2l; 2l. Ferdy Murphy, West of Yore (Rees Morgan Murphy).
Ladies’ Open – KILDONNAN (Miss C. Walton) 6-1; 2, Cast Iron Casey (Mrs V. Jackson) 9-2; 3, Temple Green (Miss J. Walton) 7-2. Five ran. 1/2l; 2l. N. Mechie, West of Yore.
Men’s Open – CROAN ROCK (N. Slatter) 4-5 fav; 2, Cool Star (A. Richardson) 2-1; 3, Go West (T. Hamilton) 11-1. Five ran. Hd; dist. The Clwydian Rockers Partnership, Flint & Denbigh. (Ray Owen).
Restricted – BATTLE RANGE (Miss J. Coward) 2-1; 2, Moscow Menace (J. Hamilton) 6-4 fav; 3, Safari Dancer (C. Bewley) 20-1. Eight ran. 1 1/2l; 10l. Mrs C. Coward and R. Morris, Middleton (C. Coward).
Mares’ maiden – RETRACE YOUR STEPS (Miss C. Walton) 5-2 fav; 2, Polobury (Miss E. Dunkley) 7-1; 3, Comeonskinnylove (B. Campbell) 4-1. 11 ran. 1/2l; 1/2l. Messrs F. T. Walton, Border (J. Walton).
Sponsored maiden – RICH MAN’S WORLD (P. Collins) 8-1; 2, Red Myst (T. Davidson) 9-2; 3, Whispering Wild (C. Dawson) 12-1. Nine ran. 1/2l; 1/2l. P. Collins, Cleveland.