LUCINDA Russell, who bids to give Scotland its first Grand National success on Saturday since Rubstic’s 1979 victory, continued her winning form at Kelso on Monday when Duke of Malfi landed the Princess Royal Trust for Carers handicap chase.
HRH the Princess Royal was at the Borders track for the first two races, and made the presentation to winning connections.
The gelding, who won three of his four starts last term, got the better of Bob’s Dream – trained at Hawick by Willie Amos – by three-and-a-quarter lengths, with 3-1 jt fav Sheriff Hall back in third.
The Buccleuch Cup is a much coveted prize and the Brewin Dolphin maiden hunter chase saw 10 go to post, with Hold on Julio justifying favouritism for a comfortable success.
The winner is trained at North Berwick by Vicky Simpson, and was ably ridden by former Northern Area novice point-to-point champion Mikey Ennis.
Julio has been a force to reckon with on the point-to-point circuit, and the winning jockey, now based in Newmarket, was again impressed by his performance.
“I’ve had four wins with him and one second, and he’s stepped up on every occasion,” Ennis enthused.
The intermediate championship at Cheltenham could be a potential target for the eight-year-old, who is likely to run under Rules next season.
“He’s done nothing wrong so far this season, and has yet to be asked a question,” said Simpson.
Marksmore, trained at Galashiels by Katie Scott for her mother Sylvia, and ridden by Northern Area ladies’ champion Kelly Bryson, ran on gamely to finish runner-up, with 16-1 chance Putitawayforayear from Val Renwick’s Melrose yard a close third.
Silk Parasol, trained at Hawick by Alan Brown, had every chance until suffering a fatal crashing fall at the penultimate fence.
In the opening Ali Gilhome conditional jockeys’ handicap hurdle race, Rolecarr got up by a neck to hold Irish raider Latin Connection. The winner is trained in Northumberland by Ann Hamilton for her husband Ian.
Maurice Barnes, who rode Rubstic to his Aintree victory, saddled Soft Spoken Guy to win the Le Garcon D’Or novice chase.
The 7-1 chance was winning over fences at the third time of asking, in the hands of Michael McAllister.
Greystoke trainer Nicky Richards rarely leaves Kelso without a winner and he saw 8-11 favourite Realt Mor head the Duncan Simpson Memorial novice hurdle race.
The Irish maiden point-to-point victor enjoyed a comfortable 14-length success. “He won nicely and jumped well,” said Richards. “Hopefully he has a great future as he looks the job for chasing.”
Finish of the afternoon came in the Jason Sweeney Sporting Scupltures in Stainless Steel handicap hurdle race, where four were in line as they battled to the post.
A photo-finish saw the spoils go to the Howard Johnson-trained Moon Indigo, ridden by conditional Paul Gallagher.
“He has a lot of ability, and got his head in front when it mattered,” explained the winning jockey.
They got the verdict by a short head from Hawaii Klass, trained at Hawick by Donald Whillans and ridden by Hawick jockey Wilson Renwick.
Seven went to post in the More Likely mares handicap chase, where More Equity produced an exemplary jumping display for an impressive success.
Trained by Dianne Sayer, the mare was bred in Berwickshire by Ailie Tullie, who sponsored the race.
Racing concluded with the second division of the Duncan Sinclair Memorial novices’ hurdle race, where Bogside powered home to take the spoils for Northumberland handler George Charlton. Irish raider Mar Ocean finished second.
Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday, April 23, for the “Party in the Paddock” evening fixture.
2.30 – ROLECARR (H Haynes) 18-1; 2, Latin Connection 15-2; 3, King Mak 8-1. 15 ran. Mrs A Hamilton, Northumberland.
3.00 – DUKE OF MALFI (P Buchanan) 4-1; 2, Bob’s Dream 12-1; 3, Sheriff Hall 3-1 jt fav. Nine ran. Miss L Russell, Fife.
3.30 – SOFT SPOKEN GUY (M McAllister) 7-1; 2, Flying Doctor 9-1; 3. Chamirey 8-11 fav. Five ran. M Barnes, Penrith.
4.00 – REALT MOR (D Elsworth) 8-11 fav; 2, Rupert Lamb 3-1; 3, Tamanaco 16-1. 14 ran. N Richards, Greystoke.
4.30 – HOLD ON JULIO (M Ennis) 8-11 fav; 2, Marksmore 22-1; 3, Putitawayforayear 16-1. 10 ran. Miss V Simpson, North Berwick.
5.00 – MOON INDIGO (P Gallagher) 6-1 2nd fav; 2, Hawaii Klass 12-1; 3, Kilbranish Hill 8-1. 15 ran. H Johnson, Crook.
5.30 – MORE EQUITY (J Reveley) 10-1; 2, Maid in Moscow 14-1; 3, Posh Bird 9-4. Seven ran. Mrs D Sayer, Penrith.
6.00 – BOGSIDE (J Faltejesk)2-5 fav; 2, Mar Ocean 40-1; 3, Master Performer 33-1. 13 ran. G Charlton, Northumberland.