Lord Wishes ran his rivals ragged with an impressive front-running performance, to land Kelso’s feature race today (Tuesday), for Langholm trainer James Ewart.
The gelding’s comprehensive success also provided winning jockey Brian Harding with the second leg of a double.
Lord Wishes was always to the fore in the £11,000 Children’s Immunology Trust novices’ Limited handicap chase and stayed on gamely in testing conditions to post a comfortable 11-length victory.
The top weight produced an exemplary jumping display and travelled well throughout.
“He got a fright when he hurt his pelvis two years ago but I think we´ve finally got his confidence back and I´m sure he´s coming back to the horse he once was,” explained Ewart.
Winning jockey Brian Harding had begun the afternoon in victorious mood aboard Takingrisks after landing the opening McGrath 1000 bags of carrots NH maiden hurdle race, where just four of the nine starters completed.
The Keith Dalgleish-trained Flemensfirthleader was to the fore when suffering a tired fall at the last, leaving favourite Takingrisks to collect the spoils.
Both Flemensfirthleader and Hawick jockey Craig Nichol recovered unhurt.
Nicky Richards’ Greystoke stable is in fine form, and Takingrisks was his fifth winner from the last 11 runners.
After being passed fit to race the previous afternoon, the course survived a precautionary early morning inspection, with the heavy going proving testing.
Seven went to post in the Joe Sullivan Memorial handicap chase, with the grey, Tipsy Dara taking a tightly grouped field along at a steady pace in the early stages.
Jedburgh jockey Callum Bewley had Total Assets to the fore as they turned in to the home straight and the mare held on gamely for a two-and-a-half length success.
The winner is trained at Mitford by Simon Waugh for the Northumberland Racing Club.
“The last two times she has been beaten on pace at the end and I thought we should go a little bit further,” explained Waugh.
”She´s neat and she´s tidy over her fences and everything went perfectly,” he added.
There was an exciting finish to the G Marshall Tractors Case IH mares’ novice hurdle race, with Presenting Rose getting the better of Berkshire Downs as both went close in the final stages.
Following a stewards’ enquiry, the placings remained unaltered.
Winning trainer Nick Alexander went on to complete a double at the well-supported fixture, when Another Mattie landed the SPG Fire & Security Ltd handicap hurdle race.
Lucy Alexander – daughter of the Fife trainer, and Scotland’s only professional lady jockey – gave the gelding a well-judged ride, to get the better of Bescot Springs by three lengths.
“He likes the mud but I thought that was a very big ask off a career-high mark and off top weight on that ground,” said the winning trainer.
“I think he could go three miles,” he added.
Caraline secured a hattrick of wins when accounting for the Monteith Memorial handicap chase in convincing style in the hands of Joe Colliver.
The favourite, just a four-year-old, finished 15 lengths clear of Trust Thomas, ridden by Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton.
Kelso’s final fixture of 2015 attracted a bumper crowd for another good afternoon’s racing, which concluded with the Take it Easy Tiger handicap hurdle race.
Plenty had chances as they rounded the bend for home, with Maxie T giving Middelham trainer Micky Hammond a double on the day with an easy win.
Kelso’s first fixture of the New Year is on Sunday, January 17.
12.05 – TAKINGRISKS (B Harding) 10-11 fav; 2, Sevenballs of Fire 12-1; 3, Dakota Grey 3-1. Nine ran. N Richards, Cumbria.
12.40 – TOTAL ASSETS (C Bewley) 4-1; 2, Present Flight 10-3; 3, Chavoy 9-2. Seven ran. S Waugh, Northumberland.
1.15 – PRESENTING ROSE (S Mulqueen) 7-1; 2, Berkshire Downs 7-2; 3, Attention Seaker 9-4. Seven ran. N Alexander, Fife.
1.50 – CARALINE (J Colliver) 11-4 FAV; 2, Trust Thomas 9-2; 3, Rupert Bear 12-1. Nine ran. M Hammond, Middleham.
2.25 – ANOTHER MATTIE (L Alexander) 9-1; 2, Bescot Springs 9-1; 3, Kind of Easy 28-1. Nine ran. N Alexander.
3.00 – LORD WISHES (B Harding) 9-2; 2, Kilbree Chief 4-1, 3, What A Dream 9-2 Seven ran. J Ewart, Langholm.
3.30 – MAXIE T (F O’Toole) 9-1; 2, Alizee De Janeiro 7-2 fav; 3, Renoyr 11-2. 12 ran. M Hammond.