It’s a Royale Knight to remember in big race

ROYALE KNIGHT Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies wins at Kelso 8/12/13'Photograph by John Grossick
ROYALE KNIGHT Ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies wins at Kelso 8/12/13'Photograph by John Grossick

St Boswell owners Paul and Clare Rooney celebrated further success at their local track on Sunday when Khruzlinin scored by five lengths in Kelso’s £12,000 John Wade Always Right Champion Chase.

The victory also provided the first leg of a quickfire double for trainer Donald McCain and jockey Jason Maguire.

“He seems to love the place, and is improving all the time,” admitted McCain, who plans to target the course’s premier chase in the spring.

Favourite Tonvadosa made a victorious hurdling debut to land the and James Ewart Racing mares’ novices’ hurdle and secure a double for the Cheshire handler.

Hawick handler George Bewley and jockey son Jonathon teamed up to take the concluding Lazy Grace National Hunt novices’ handicap hurdle with 14-1 chance Brae On.

Fresh from his Aintree success the previous afternoon, Sam Twiston-Davies was back in the winner’s enclosure to capture the feature £16,000 Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National.

On a rare visit to the Borders track, the jockey partnered Royale Knight to an impressive victory in the four-mile marathon for Worcestershirer trainer Dr Richard Newland.

A gallant effort saw Scotswell finish runner-up for Jedburgh trainer Harriet Graham, with top-weight Imperial Vic far from disgraced in third for Berwick owner John Stephenson.

Grand National winning jockey Ryan Mania rode Coverholder to a comfortable success in the Scotty Brand Paris Pike novices’ chase.

The Galashiels jockey was deputising for currently suspended regular pilot Jonathon England.

Bought out of a seller by the trainer’s husband, former international showjumper Harvey Smith, the six-year-old completed a five-timer over hurdles, and was making it two out of two over fences with an impressive display.

Sunday’s card got off the mark with a surprise 80-1 winner in the opener, when towering Tough Trade romped home to land the Border Facilities novices’ hurdle race in the hands of Henry Brooke.

“He stands at 17.3hh and will be a better chaser,” explained winning owner David Armstrong. “Anything he does over hurdles is a bonus.”

Thirteen went to post in the Kevin Oliver Christmas handicap hurdle race, with last season’s leading conditional Lucy Alexander producing a strong finish aboard Bogside to record his first success since 2011.