NEXT Monday sees Kelso racecourse host its popular Buccleuch Cup meeting, with the first race off at 2pm.
Cazenove Capital Management has sponsored the Buccleuch Cup for the last three years, in support of the Borders Carers Centre, and another competitive maiden hunter chase looks on the cards.
Moscow Menace landed the spoils 12 months ago for Galashiels trainer Katie Scott, and local handlers again bid to keep the title in the Borders.
Greenlaw-based Sandy Thomson has his string in great form and his home-bred Just Awake could be one to watch. Hawick jockeys Tom and Jamie Hamilton are riding high this season, and Jamie partnered the gelding to an impressive success at the Duke Of Buccleuch’s point-to-point across the river at Friars Haugh recently. Jim Pate’s grey Barachois Silver bids to go one better after her short-head defeat in the contest last year.
The Borders Carers Centre also sponsor the two-mile handicap chase which has been supported by an anonymous donor for the charity.
Alison Hamilton’s Denholm stable is in good heart and Some Lad, the ride of her nephew Tom, is a possible contender after posting good runs over both hurdles and fences. Stuart Coltherd may send recent Carlisle runner-up Cloverhill Lad on the short journey from Selkirk.
Cameron McMillan, chief executive of McMillan Fine Arts of South Kensington has generously sponsored the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle and before racing offers a free valuation service for paintings, water colours and prints.
Endeavour won the race last year and has plenty form at Kelso over hurdles and fences. Hawick handler Alistair Whillans may run Funky Munky, who has performed well at the last two Kelso fixtures.
Gates open at noon and the first race at 2pm is sponsored by Douglas Pryde of DG Pryde Ltd of Chirnside, in memory of his lifelong friend, Duncan Sinclair. Douglas, won the 2013 Grand National with the now retired Auroras Encore, and bids to repeat the feat on Saturday with Mr Moonshine.
Rose Dobbin’s Utopian and Spitz could both reappear in this after recent decent efforts over course and distance. The Alistair Whillans-trained Pixie Cut, a good second at Ayr in February, should also be suited by this trip and ground.
Alan and Lorna Vannan of the Green Tree Hotel in Peebles back a Betfair Scottish Chase qualifier. Donald McCain’s My Flora ran a cracking race in this last year, while the Dianne Sayer-trained More Equity is another possible before the 12-year-old heads for the breeding paddocks.
North Berwick butcher John Anderson supports the Handicap Hurdle. The Malcolm Jefferson-trained Magic Present should be suited by a return to Kelso and has been ridden on all nine starts by Brian Hughes. Jimmy Moffatt’s Redpender ran a fine race when third over course and distance in early March and should run well again.