Horse racing: Aye Well, it's Coltherd's day at Kelso
Aye Well cruised home to head Kelso's feature race on Monday, providing the first leg of a double for Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd.
The 11-1 chance enjoyed a convincing 12-length success in the hands of Derek Fox in the Champagne Joseph Perrier handicap chase.
Returning from a six-week break, Aye Well was recording a fourth success over fences.
Coltherd was back in the winner’s enclosure just half-an-hour later when his teenage son Sam also posted a comfortable victory aboard 7-1 shot Captain Redbeard.
They came home seven lengths clear of Boruma in the Queens Head Hotel Kelso Best Bar None handicap hurdle race, to make it three wins from four starts.
“Potentially we´ve always thought he´s the best we´ve ever had,” explained Stuart.
“He won well at Carlisle the other day and I thought the handicapper was a bit harsh putting him up 10lb, but he might put him up another ten now.
“He´s done it well again and he´s a chaser for the future, without a doubt,” he added.
Local connections accounted for three of the afternoon’s six races, with St Boswells owners Paul and Clare Rooney winning the Berwick Speedway Every Saturday Kids Free mares’ novices hurdle race with Sainte Ladylime.
The trip from Gloucestershire proved worthwhile for Kim Bailey’s charge who was completing a hattrick over hurdles.
The Towcester victor was also the third successive winning favourite of the afternoon.
Benny’s Secret reverted to maiden company from handicaps to post victory at the sixth time of asking in the opening Braehead Commercial Finance National Hunt maiden hurdle race for in-form Fife trainer Nick Alexander.
“He´s been very unlucky and the better ground has helped,” explained the winning handler.
Five went to post in the Belhaven Brewery novices’ handicap chase, with Ueueteotl taking them along in the early stages, until a costly blunder five out.
Oscar O’Scar was challenged by Present Flight on the run-in, but held on gamely to make it two wins from four starts over fences.
“He ran well in defeat last time and hopefully he will continue to improve,” said winning trainer Micky Hammond. “Fences have made the difference.”
Mick Easterby landed the concluding Newcastle Arms Coldstream handicap hurdle race with nine-times point-to-point victor Ganbei.
The Harriet Graham-trained Maggie Blue, ran well in defeat for Jedburgh owner Michael McGovern, with Snapping Turtle finishing third for Donald Whillans’ Hawick stable.
Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday, April 2.
2.00 – BENNY’S SECRET (B Harding) 9-4 fav; 2, Ryalex 5-2; 3, Baby Ticker 50-1. 12 ran. N Alexander, Fife.
2.30 – OSCAR O’SCAR (F O’Toole) 2-1 fav; 2, Present Flight 5-2; 3, Tikkandemickey 5-1. Five ran.M Hammond, Middleham.
3.00 – SAINTE LADYLIME (D Bass) 2-5 fav; 2, Stay in My Heart 14-1; 3, Miss Tiggy 7-2. Five ran. K Bailey, Gloucs.
3.30 – AYE WELL (D Fox) 11-1; 2, Indiain Voyage 8-1; 3, Jet Master 11-1. Seven ran. S Coltherd, Selkirk.
4.00 – CAPTAIN REDBEARD (Mr S Coltherd) 4-1; 2, Boruma 9-1; 3, Landecker 13-2. Nine ran. S Coltherd.
4.30 – GANBEI (H Bannister) 5-1; 2, Maggie Blue 20-1; 3, Snapping Turtle 22-1. 12 ran. M Easterby, N Yorks.