An extended race programme to remember at Kelso

Chain Of Beacons, a winner last year, has the backing of the Mayfield Restaurant in Hawick and was trained near Galashiels (picture by Alan Raeburn)
Chain Of Beacons, a winner last year, has the backing of the Mayfield Restaurant in Hawick and was trained near Galashiels (picture by Alan Raeburn)

Kelso Racecourse hosts an action-packed programme of eight races this Saturday (November 10), having stepped in to present an additional Steeplechase following Musselburgh’s decision to stage an all-hurdles programme on Wednesday.

The runners for the first race will now come under starter’s orders at 11.50am, while the gates will open at 10am.

Five-time Kelso scorer Landecker, in front, has never won anywhere else (picture by Alan Raeburn).

Five-time Kelso scorer Landecker, in front, has never won anywhere else (picture by Alan Raeburn).

In keeping with the theme of remembrance, the Royal British Legion will have a presence at the track and poppies will be available in return for donations.

Grand National-winning trainer Lucinda Russell holds a strong hand in the first race of the day, the George Harrow Memorial Novices Hurdle – sponsored by the Harrow family from Hawick.

Russell’s three entries are headed by recent Kelso runner-up Scales of Justice, carrying the colours of Fitri Hay.

The John Wade Chase is a limited handicap for novice chasers and has attracted a high-quality entry, including one-time Champion Hurdle entry Aristo Du Plessis.

The James Ewart-trained raider’s only previous outing over fences came when fifth at Cheltenham two years ago. The Iain Jardine-trained Cool Mix was second on his chasing debut to a useful rival at Wetherby three weeks ago.

Five-time Kelso scorer Landecker, who has never won anywhere else, was runner-up in the Graeme Todd and friends Handicap Hurdle last year and aims to go one better for his Kinneston trainer, Nick Alexander.

Isaacstown Lad, trained by Nicky Richards, will be a popular runner in the colours of the MS Borders Racing Club.

There could a royal winner in the fourth race, a 2m 5f Handicap Steeplechase, as the Queen’s Forth Bridge has been given an entry by trainer Charlie Longsdon.

Joint-top rated in the race is Jovial Joey, carrying the colours of the Edinburgh Woollen Mill and trained by Maurice Barnes, who was a close second in a similar event at Market Rasen in September.

Customers from the Mayfield Restaurant, in Hawick, will be making their annual pilgrimage to the racecourse for the fifth race of the day, which bears the name of the restaurant.

Last year’s winner Chain Of Beacons, is expected to try for more glory at his local track. Trained near Galashiels, by Katie Scott, he ran a promising race over the course and distance a fortnight ago on his first run since a wind operation.

Benny’s Secret, trained by Nick Alexander, is entered for the 2.30 Urwin Family Handicap Hurdle, in an attempt to win the race for the second year running. He could be up against plenty if in-form rivals, including Keith Dalgleish’s hat-trick seeking One Night In Milan, who won twice within the space of 48 hours late last month.

Tim Vaughan has been among the winners lately and he is represented by Monsieur Arkadin in the 3.05, who was third on his autumn comeback at Stratford recently.

Fellow Welsh trainer Peter Bowen is a regular at Kelso with his long-distance raiders and Cougar’s Gold is expected to strip fitter after his return to action at Chepsow.

Several leading trainers are set to represent in the final race of the day, including Keith Dalgleish, Fergal O’Brien, Gordon Elliott and Stuart Crawford.

Ben Pauling is another such name and his newcomer Anightinlambourn, owned by St Boswells couple Paul and Clare Rooney, catches the eye.

The final race, at 3.40pm, will be followed by live music from The Guilty Pleasures in the Marquee.