Kelso hat-trick puts Costello at top of table

LOCAL PRESENT ( Green Red and white cap) ridden by Dougie Costello wins at Kelso 5/10/14'Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723
LOCAL PRESENT ( Green Red and white cap) ridden by Dougie Costello wins at Kelso 5/10/14'Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723

Dougie Costello was the jockey to follow at Kelso on Sunday after completing a victorious treble before a bumper crowd.

His victory trail began in the D. G. Pryde Ltd juvenile hurdle, where Mr Gallivanter justified hot favouritism, cruising home to a 21-length success.

A quickfire double followed after Big Sound made every yard of the running to land the George Dove Final Racecourse novices’ handicap chase, where just two of the six runners finished.

The winner – bred at Lockerbie by Willie and Penny Hodge – produced a gutsy display and dug deep as Ryan Mania and runner-up Wakhan tried to close.

Costello’s hat-trick was sealed in a thrilling finish to the Kieran Robson Hope 18th Birthday celebration handicap chase, but only after Local Present survived a stewards’ enquiry into late contact with the runner-up.

“It’s certainly been a good day,” said Costello, who leads the course’s top jockey table after also winning at the opening twilight fixture.”

He admitted: “The first two were both favourites, but I expected them all to go well.”

Heavy overnight rain on Friday saw 65mm fall on the track, resulting in 14 non-runners across the card, but failed to detract from some competitive racing.

Six withdrew from the opening Newcastle Arms Coldstream handicap hurdle race, which almost halved the field, to seven.

Sleep In First was always prominent and James Ewart’s gelding hung on gamely to hold the challenge of Mason Hindmarsh on the run-in.

The winner, ridden by 2014 Langholm Cornet Dale Irving, was completing a victorious hat-trick following success at Sedgefield and Cartmel.

Scotland’s only professional lady jockey, Lucy Alexander, won the Robin Aitchison Memorial Intermediate Hurdle, riding Landecker for her father, Nick.

The gelding was posting a third win from four visits to the Borders track.

Lucy was injured after Jet Master crashed through the last in the feature NSPCC School Service Handicap Chase, won by 15-8 favourite Simply Ned.

Steven Fox and Irish raider Burnt Sienna held on to their lead at the last to hold the challenge of favourite One For Hockey in the concluding Calendula novices’ handicap hurdle.

There was a nail-biting finish to the ever-popular Border principals’ race, with Coldstream’s Colin Leifer holding Gary Neill from Musselburgh by a head. Lockerbie’s Kenny Little finished a close third.

Racing returns to Kelso on Saturday October 18.