Big Mac double cheers crowds at Common Riding race meeting

Hawick CR. Tradesmens Handicap
Hawick CR. Tradesmens Handicap

HUGE crowds were treated to two entertaining days of racing on Hawick Moor last weekend as the biggest flapping meeting in the Borders took place.

Friday’s racing got under way with The George Harrow Memorial Flex Handicap. Causeway Coast was one of two Irish runners and was well backed to start as favourite, but was beaten into second by Jacob’s Well in the hands of Tyrone Williams.

Sponsored by the Kennedy family, The Skipper Rum handicap saw locally trained Just A Reiver starting as favourite and he didn’t disappoint connections with a pillar-to-post ride by Andrew Fairley.

The 129th running of the world famous Tradesmen’s Handicap was next up. An amazing 13 runners went to post and with £1,700 going to the winner the betting was fast and furious. Acannicanoe, Big Mac, Solway Coast, Freako and Ferry Tone were the main fancies.

The start was one of the best for many a year and in the driving seat was Acannicanoe, Isobar, Eastmill Diamond with Big Mac close up on the rail. There was a little bumping and barging at the first bend and as they approached the two-furlong mark Isobar, Eastmill Diamond, Solway Coast and Big Mac were the ones to beat. In the end it was local lad Gary Berridge on Big Mac who came on the outside to win by three lengths from Eastmill Diamond, with Isobar holding on for third.

Full Of Magic won the final race on day one, The Emtelle and Dobbie & Michie Stewards handicap.

Saturday’s racing was equally well contested with the following winners – Race One, sponsored by Jim Hay Estate Agent and the on course bookmakers: Celtic Star; Buccleuch Handicap, sponsored by Sharkey & Telfer: Big Mac; The Feguson & Aitkin Ltd James Bell handicap: The Freeman; New Delhi Restaurant six furlongs: Just A Joker.

Credit must go to the committee, and especially the starters, who did a great job over the weekend.

The flapping bandwagon rolls into Selkirk on Friday (2pm) with the Golden Mile the big race, then back to Hawick Moor on Saturday evening, first race at 6.15pm.