Nigel Twiston-Davies made a worthwhile journey from Cheltenham to land Kelso’s feature £12,000 Bedmax handicap chase at the course’s penultimate fixture of the season.
Winged Crusader cruised home 14 lengths clear to land the spoils in the hands of the trainer’s son, Sam.
The gelding was bouncing back to form after being treated for stomach ulcers, and may run again at Hexham on Saturday.
“That was a surprise,” admitted Ian Robinson of owners Imperial Racing Partnership.
“He jumped well and won with a bit in hand.”
Four went to post in the opening Black Bull Inn Wooler novices’ chase, where 4-5 favourite Pair of Jacks got off the mark over fences at the fourth attempt for in-form Malton trainer Malcolm Jefferson.
Isaacstown Lad received a rousing cheer after his success in the Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers Novices’ handicap hurdle race. The eight-year-old carries the colours of the enthusiastic MS Borders Racing Club, founded by Rhona Elliot from Jedburgh.
“He’s a tough little horse who stays well,” explained winning trainer Nicky Richards. The former point-to-point winner was opening his account at the second attempt, coming home three-and-a-quarter lengths clear of Hurricane Rita, trained at Selkirk by Stuart Coltherd.
Nicky Richards was deprived of a quickfire double when My Friend George got the better of Winter Alchemy, to land the Annie MacDonald Birthday Bash selling handicap chase, for Cumbria trainer Kenneth Slack. Chicago Outfit from George Bewley’s Hawick stable finished third, in the hands of his son, Jonathon.
Glasgow handler Jim Goldie saddled Turtle Watch to win the Principal & Prosper Conditional Jockeys handicap hurdle race, for East Lothian owners Ray and Anita Anderson Green.
Recording a third victory over hurdles, the seven-year-old cruised home for a comfortable 12-length success.
“He would have won at Ayr if he hadn’t made a bad mistake at the last,” said Goldie.
Chanceofa Lifetime was a popular winner of the Berwick Speedway Every Saturday Kids Free novices’ hunter chase for Alnwick handler Victor Thompson. He came home one-and-three-quarter lengths clear of the George Bewley-trained 12-1 chance Mister D.
A competitive afternoon’s racing concluded with two divisions of the Cheers Bar National Hunt flat race. Alan Swinbank’s stable has a good record in bumpers and he sent out the flat-bred Micklegate Run to land the first division, seeing off favourite Gully’s Edge – owned by Alix Stevenson from Langholm and her daughter, Karen Gaffney – by half a length.
Having taken the opener, Brian Hughes and Malcolm Jefferson completed a double when heading the concluding bumper with Dante’s Way, who got the verdict in a photo-finish with Nuts Well.
Full results at www.thesouthernreporter.co.uk
Racing returns to Kelso for its final meeting of the season – Ladies’ Day – on Sunday, May 24.