Kelso serves up seven-race card to whet appetite

RACING returns to Kelso on Monday with the themed Food and Farming Race Day.

The racecourse has taken the innovative step to embrace its rural setting and create an additional dimension to the race day by holding a lunch in the pavilion marquee, complete with two speakers, before racing begins at 2.10pm. It is hoped the lunch will enable agricultural businesses to network with local farmers.

Agricultural and motor dealership J Rutherford (Earlston) Ltd celebrates its centenary by sponsoring the feature race of the afternoon.

Barry Murtagh’s Carrietau has been a grand servant to connections and he could be joined by fellow Cumbrian raider Restoration, trained by Nicky Richards. Chris Grant intends entering both Double Vodka and Tom’s Toybox.

One of Kelso’s regular supporters, Douglas Pryde, under his financial advisory service based in Bo’ness, West Lothian, sponsors the second of a seven-race card – a two-mile six furlong novice handicap chase which is shaping up to be a really competitive event.

Northumberland-based Rose Dobbin is keen to run Guns And Butter, who was fifth here earlier in the month. Langholm’s James Ewart, who enjoyed his first taste of the Cheltenham Festival this week, is pencilling in Signalman, while Nicky Richards is double-handed with Winter Alchemy and Sundown Trail.

East Lothian owners Ray and Anita Green, who are invaluable supporters of the track and renowned for their generosity to charitable organisations, have chosen the NSPCC as the main benefactor of their race sponsorship.

This opening novice hurdle has attracted the Brian Storey-trained No Way Hozay. Storey rode plenty of winners round the Tweedside track during his days in the saddle and is now training from near Carlisle.

He could be joined by Lucinda Russell’s Knockando.

Peter and Gillian Allan, catering managers of the popular Tweedie Stand at the course, have sponsored the fifth race on the card, a competitive handicap hurdle.

Selkirk permit-holder Rayson Nixon, on the mark at Ayr recently, may be tempted to run Just Posh. Near neighbours Lucy Normile and Lucinda Russell could be represented by Dickie Henderhoop and Go Silver Bullet respectively.

The third race of the programme, off at 3.10pm, will see the James Ewart-trained Super Baby make the short trip up the A7 to go over hurdles after he unseated his rider at the second in a chase at Kelso’s last meeting. Other local interest could come from Hawick-based Bruce Mactaggart’s Red Tanber and Shelly Johnstone’s Soneva Gili.

Robert Miller Bakewell backs the popular Charlie Brown Open Hunter Chase under the Eildon Hill Stables banner, a yard run for him by Michael and Joanna Imray.

This competitive hunter chase has attracted the bang in-form Quotica De Poyans, trained at Bonchester Bridge by Simon Shirley-Beavan, who is going for his treble of hunter chases at the course and looks the one to beat. Scotch Warrior and Ardnaclancy could re-oppose, while Val Jackson may appear aboard her reliable partner Robbers Glen.

One of the most successful working relationships in the Borders is the combination of Rosie Cully Catering and Michael Wares Cater Hire who have given their backing to the final race on the card.

Alan Swinbank is always to be feared in bumpers and he intends entering Nuts N Bolts, who was a close third at Doncaster recently. Rose Dobbin relies on Pyjama Game, second on both racecourse starts at Musselburgh this season.