New day at the races

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THE great racing day out that never was is back on again for Selkirk punters.

Last week, we reported that Kelso racecourse managing director Richard Landale was trying to come up with an alternative day for the two coachloads left disappointed when the January 15 meeting was called off because the track was frozen. Mr Landale had offered free admission and a buffet in the prestigious Duke and Duchess’s Box to mark Scotbet’s Market Place manager Andy Bennett being named UK Betting Shop Manager of the Year in November.

The 90-strong party which had signed up for the trip will be delighted that a new date has been set and a special package has been arranged for the meeting on Saturday, March 24.

“Richard has again done us proud,” said Andy who lives in Ettrick Terrace with partner Tracy and five-year-old son Kris.

This time round punters wishing to make the rearranged trip will be charged £2 a head, plus a further £5 minimum donation to the Special Care Baby Unit at Borders General Hospital which has a special place in Andy’s heart.

Andy said: “The unit means a great deal to me because it saved Kris’s life ... betting shop managers, even those who win national awards, are not paid a fortune and this is giving me the chance to give something back.”

The party will not only get free transport, free admission to the course and a free racecard, they will also by given access to the John Smith’s No-Nonsense Bar.