Kelso stages season’s first P2P races

Previous Point-to-Point action from Friars Haugh (archive image by Grace Beresford).
Previous Point-to-Point action from Friars Haugh (archive image by Grace Beresford).

The first of this season’s six Scottish Point-to-Point racing fixtures takes place this Sunday (January 27) with the popular Jedforest card at Friars Haugh in Kelso.

It has attracted over 80 entries and starts at 12.30pm, with under-16s admitted free.

There are plenty of experienced campaigners in the opening Storage Express & Border Berries Jedforest Conditions Race, with 10 of the 14 entries aged 11 or over.

Molten Brown landed the corresponding contest in 2017 on his seasonal debut and other course winners include Eco Warrior, Lough Derg Island and Wayupinthesky, while Whats Left has been placed on his last four runs at Friars Haugh.

The Tony Dobbin-trained mare, Worcester Pearmain, completed an early season hat-trick at Alnwick earlier this month and is the top rated entry in the Adam Purves and Brown & Turner Intermediate Race.

The improving Coomacarrea scored first time out at Alnwick in December, as did Shropshire raider, Myoldman, at Chaddesley Corbett.

The pick of the 13 entries for the Musselburgh Races and Dick Vet Ladies Open Race are Abbeyview, Ballinahow Bill, Border Breaker and Slim Pickens. The latter is a 132-rated hurdler and finished third of 23 in a Class 2 Cheltenham Handicap Hurdle on his last outing in April 2018.

There are 17 entries for the Harbro Country Store Men’s Open, including prolific winner, Cave Hunter, who is going for a third consecutive success in this race.

Shantou Magic scored twice here last year and was quite impressive when making a winning reappearance in the Border Men’s Open last month. Others to note are recent Alnwick winner, Gran Paradiso, and Killer Crow. The latter was only beaten by a neck by Cave Hunter in the 2018 renewal.

Oakham raider, Templepoint, found the useful Monte Alban only half a length too good at Alnwick last time and can go one better against a maximum of five rivals in the A. S. Crawford and James Swinton & Co Restricted Race.

The main danger comes from the locally trained Templenaboe, owned by the Two Golf Widows Partnership of Belinda McClung, from Ancrum, and Debs Thomson, of Cessford.

The Karen Lynn-trained gelding, Hardrock Davis, is the one to beat in the two and a half mile Bisset’s Baguettes & Charlotte Agnew Eventing Open Maiden Race.

He boasts the best form on offer, after finishing three quarters of a length second to Worcester Pearmain in a higher grade at Hexham last month. Steel’s Cotton, One For Martha and One For Silky are the pick of the other 12 entries.

The lightly raced Steel’s Cotton showed promise last season and also features among the 12 entries for the concluding Billy Stenhouse & Toffs On Tour Open Maiden Race.

Ozean is an exciting recruit for Doreen Calder, having been beaten a maximum of two and a half lengths in two Irish Maiden contests last year, while Costly Dream should also be in the mix after finishing a close third behind the promising Donnie Brasco at Alnwick a few weeks ago.