Make a point of visiting Kelso for race action

Never a frown with Molten Brown .... the horse was a winner last year at Friar's Haugh, ridden in our picture by Joanna Walton (picture by Alan Raeburn).
Never a frown with Molten Brown .... the horse was a winner last year at Friar's Haugh, ridden in our picture by Joanna Walton (picture by Alan Raeburn).

FRIAR’S Haugh hosts the first Scottish point-to-point of the season when the Jedforest fixture comes under orders at the Kelso track this Sunday, January 21.

The meeting, which has attracted a good entry of 90, breaks new ground this year with the introduction of a two-and- a-half mile maiden race.

Gates open at 9.30am, and there will be hot food and a bar available throughout the day, with free parking.

Racing comes under orders at 12.30pm with the opening 17-strong StorageXpress and Border Berries Border hunts race, won last year by Northern Area secretary Tony Hogarth, from Galashiels, with Molten Brown.

Lough Derg Island and Eco Warrior are both course victors and it promises to be a competitive event.

Musselburgh racecourse and the Royal Dick Vet again support the intermediate race, where the spoils went south last year – For A Change providing Louise Bevin with the first leg of a double.

The seven entries are headed by Weston Flame – an impressive winner at Alnwick twice last season.

The ladies’ open race is kindly sponsored by Scotty Brand, with 2017 victor Damiens Dilemma bidding to retain the title for Melrose owner Robert Miller-Bakewell and Selkirk trainer Lesley Coltherd.

Knocklong was only beaten a head and a neck by Global Power and Siro Demur on his reappearance at Sheriff Hutton and could be the one to beat.

Cave Hunter has been a credit to Hawick handler Wendy Hamilton, having never been out of the first two in 15 pointing starts, and last year’s men’s open winner bids to defend his success in the Gain Horse Feeds men’s open race at 2pm.

The James Swinton &Co and A. S. Crawford Groundworks restricted race has 11 entries and last month’s impressive Alnwick Maiden winner, Chanceiton, looks the pick. Diamond Brig is best watched, making a reappearance after a winning debut at Corbridge last February.

The innovative two-and-a-half mile maiden race, sponsored by Brown and Turner and Charlotte Agnew Eventing is the penultimate on the card at 3pm and boasts a good entry of 15.

Ask JD is a new recruit for Denholm’s Gavin Hamilton, and the stable is in good form – wife Alison having saddled a winner at Ayr on Monday.

What promises to be an exciting afternoon’s racing concludes with the 12-strong Billy Stenhouse Memorial and St Boswells Mowers maiden race at 3.30pm – won last year by Takethepunishment for Northumberland-based

Tocky McKie.

Course manager Jamie Innes reports the track in great order, with a good covering of grass.

Televised racing can be enjoyed from the comfort of a heated lunch tent. Tables are still available for this popular feature, where family and friends can enjoy a carvery lunch and watch all the action.

Tickets, including entry to the point-to-point, can be booked by contacting Kirsty Brown by emailing kirsty@itfitzmarketing.co.uk or telephone 0794 971 2843.

There’s also a draw to win a lesson with British team event rider Oliver Townend, with entries at the secretary’s tent on the day.

Regular going updates can be found at www.friarshaughraces.co.uk or www.northernp2p.co.uk