Kelso welcomes the ladies for season’s last meeting

Sunday is Ladies Day at Kelso Racecourse
Sunday is Ladies Day at Kelso Racecourse

Ladies Day marks a fitting end to Kelso’s season on Sunday, when gates open at noon and the first race of another cracking card comes under orders at 2.05pm.

As an added bonus to some great racing, every lady will receive an exclusive Slaley Hall Spa Break voucher.

The feature three-mile handicap chase – for the Patricia Crawford Memorial Trophy – is sponsored by John Smiths. The Heineken Group’s Ian Davidson will be joined on the podium by legendary National Hunt jockey John Francome, and equine artist Susan Crawford, to make the presentations. Somerset trainer Philip Hobbs has entered Allthekingshorses, a recent winner at Wincanton. Pauline Robson had a welcome winner at Perth last week and she sends the Ray Green-owned Full Jack back over fences.

The KOSB is Kelso’s longest-serving sponsor after 43 years and Colonel Colin Hogg, and his wife Cynthia, organise the Regimental party. Lucy Normile saddles Agricultural, third when last seen out at Musselburgh in November. Malcolm Jefferson’s Grey Life is on a hat-trick after recent strikes at Sedgefield.

Another army race is the valuable Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Hunter Chase, where General Charles Ramsay will present the trophy. Galashiels-based Katie Scott has pencilled in Hexham runner-up Douglas Julian. Rockiteer, winner of three similar races already this spring, could be a rare Kelso runner for Shopshire trainer Henry Daly.

Retired businessman Dennis Coppola sponsors the novice chase in honour of his four grandchildren, Reece, Ben, Jessica and Charlotte, who he hopes will all be all on hand to make the presentation a real family affair. Jackie Stephen is the UK’s most northerly-based handler and she could saddle her first winner under Rules with Reland, who was unlucky to be brought down at Perth last week. Blue Kascade, trained at Greenlaw by Sandy Thomson, was fifth on his chasing debut at Carlisle earlier this month.

Weatherbys Bank supports the Novice Hurdle to help the Royal Caledonian Hunt. Joe Scott Plummer will be in charge of selecting which of the 70 club members make the presentation. St Boswells owners Paul and Clare Rooney’s colours will be carried by recent Carlisle scorer Degooch. Stuart Crawford’s Irish raider Ballylumford could be one to watch.

Adam Pringle, of Northumberland firm Border Facilities, sponsors the opening novice handicap hurdle. Lord Brendy has already won and been second at Kelso this spring for father and son combination Robert and Kenny Johnson.

Mercedes of Coldstream sponsors the final race and will be displaying two of their latest models, with a prize draw to win the use of an SLK Mercedes for the weekend. Major Ivan is named after the late Ivan Straker and Malcolm Jefferson’s charge has been second on both starts at Perth and at Kelso over course and distance. Rose Dobbin has her horses in good order and she is set to introduce an interesting newcomer in Attention Please.

There will the usual Boutique Marquee – offering fashion, gifts, beauty and food – situated this year below the paddock in the horse box park with a direct access beside the number board.