New Year meeting looks good to go at Kelso

RACING is set to resume at Kelso on Wednesday when officials at the Borders track are optimistic of staging the first meeting of 2011.

Head groundsman Brian Meike is hopeful the first meeting of the New Year, when gates open at 10.25am, will beat the winter weather and come under orders as planned on January 12.

“The gradual thaw has helped,” he explained, “ and we have no waterlogged areas on the course which is currently about now 60% snow free.”

The Kelso races website, Facebook and Twitter pages will be updated regularly with weather and up-to-date going reports.

Principle raced of the afternoon is the Roxburghe Hotel and Golf Course chase. Bruce Mactaggart’s Steel Man has limited experience over fences but has two runs over course and distance to his credit for the Hawick handler. Jean MacGregor’s More Shennanigans was third here in November and this long-standing maiden is due to open his account.

Racing comes under orders at 12.25pm with a novice hurdle. Just Maddie who has been to Kelso for six of her 11 starts for Selkirk owner trainer Rayson Nixon. Scarvagh Rose, trained by Rose Dobbin, ran at Ayr’s New Year meeting and would prove a popular winner for the MS Borders Racing Club.

The European Breeders Fund supports racing across the UK and sponsor two races, including a mares only novice chase. The race is jointly sponsored by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association who work closely with the EBF to improve the quality of breeding stock throughout the UK. The objective of this type of race is to try and improve the quality of winning jumps mares who will in turn go on to produce promising youngstock. Jedburgh-based Tim Finch from the Thoroughbred Breeders Association will be on hand to present winning connections with mementos.

The second EBF race is a National Hunt novices hurdle, which is a qualifier for the £65,000 final held at Sandown Park on Saturday March 12. Ferdy Murphy is a great supporter of Kelso and has entered Emperor Charlie, an encouraging fourth over course and distance in late November. Cartmel trainer Jimmy Moffatt may well run Comeththehour again as both his racecourse starts so far have been at Kelso.

The final chase on the card run over three miles one furlong may see Lindseyfield Lodge, who gave Kenny Johnson his comeback winner at Kelso in the autumn in the shake up. Knight Valliant, a half brother to former Fighting Fifth and Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Arcalis, trained in Cumbria by Barbara Butterworth, could have a chance of building on his Hexham second..

Annual membership badges are now available for new and existing members to purchase before and during racing so anyone wishing to join, please come to the office at the main entrance gate. Annual Membership runs on the calendar year and provides great value with 13 race meetings at Kelso and approximately 90 free reciprocal days at other racecourses.

As always Kelso Races offer a range of superb hospitality packages starting from as little as £50 per head. Enjoy a relaxing lunch followed by seven thrilling National Hunt races. If you are interested in making the most out of your days racing contact the Racing Office on 01668 280 800 for further information and bookings.