Locals lead charge for Buccleuch Cup

Monday sees Kelso racecourse host its popular Buccleuch Cup meeting, with the first race off at 2pm, writes Hilary Mactaggart.

Cazenove Capital Management has sponsored the Buccleuch Cup for the last three years and another competitive maiden hunter chase looks on the cards.

Moscow Menace landed the spoils 12 months ago for Galashiels trainer Katie Scott, and local handlers again bid to keep the title in the Borders. Greenlaw-based Sandy Thomson has his string in great form and his home-bred Just Awake could be one to watch. Hawick jockeys Tom and Jamie Hamilton are riding high this season, and Jamie partnered the gelding to an impressive success at the Duke Of Buccleuch’s point-to-point across the river at Friars Haugh recently.

The Borders Carers Centre sponsor the two-mile handicap chase which has been supported by an anonymous donor for the charity. Alison Hamilton’s Denholm stable is in good heart and Some Lad, the ride of her nephew Tom, is a possible contender after posting good runs over both hurdles and fences. Stuart Coltherd may send recent Carlisle runner-up Cloverhill Lad on the short journey from Selkirk.

Cameron McMillan, chief executive of McMillan Fine Arts sponsors the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle. Endeavour won the race last year and has plenty form at Kelso over hurdles and fences. Hawick handler Alistair Whillans may run Funky Munky, who performed well at the last two Kelso fixtures.

Gates open at noon and the first race at 2pm is sponsored by Douglas Pryde of DG Pryde Ltd of Chirnside, in memory of his friend, Duncan Sinclair. Rose Dobbin’s Utopian and Spitz could both reappear in this. The Alistair Whillans-trained Pixie Cut, a good second at Ayr in February, should also be suited by this trip and ground.

Alan and Lorna Vannan of the Green Tree Hotel in Peebles back a Betfair Scottish Chase qualifier. Donald McCain’s My Flora ran a cracking race in this last year, while the Dianne Sayer-trained More Equity is another possible before the 12-year-old heads for the breeding paddocks.