Remembering to show respect at Kelso Races

Sudski Star, who could provide Selkirk's Captain Redbeard with a strong challenge in Saturday's race meeting at Kelso (picture by Alan Raeburn).
Sudski Star, who could provide Selkirk's Captain Redbeard with a strong challenge in Saturday's race meeting at Kelso (picture by Alan Raeburn).

Jockeys at Kelso’s Remembrance Meeting, this Saturday, will wear a specially-designed armband feautirng the poppy emblem.

Gates open at 10.15am and there will also be a minute’s silence at 11am, before the first race, which is scheduled for 12.15pm.

Race number one on the programme is sponsored by the Harrow family, from Hawick, and features a strong entry, including the recent Kelso winner Coole Hall, trained by Rose Dobbin.

He could be pitted against Senor Lombardy, Keith Dalgleish’s £125,000 purchase, who won at Hexham last month, having been denied at odds of 1/3 on at Kelso on his seasonal debut.

The scaffold has recently come down on Kelso High School, a brand new facility opposite the racecourse, which has been developed by Morrison Construction.

While the students can enjoy a fine view of the races from the top floor of the new school, the team from Morrison Construction will be joining the crowd at the races – as sponsor of the second race.

Langholm trainer James Ewart is triple-handed in the race, with Betancourt, Leading Score and The Wise One, while Donald McCain could have a live chance with Midnight Walk, a close runner-up on his recent chase debut at Southwell.

Landecker, trained by Nick Alexander, won the 19th running of the Graeme Todd & Friends Handicap Hurdle in 2016 and can make a bold bid to take the 20th running of the race too, with Nick’s son Kit in the saddle.

James Ewart could be represented by home-bred Ueueteotle, whose name is derived from that of a mythical Aztec god, presenting a fairly unique challenge for racecourse commentator Gareth Topham.

The fourth race on the card usually produces strong form, despite relatively slim fields. Last year’s third, Stuart Coltherd’s Captain Redbeard, went on to win twice following his run at Kelso. The Selkirk horse could be back on Saturday in an attempt to go two places better in the £10,000 Frank Flannigan Skiphire & Border Skiphire Handicap Steeplechase. He’ll face strong opposition from the multiple course winner Sudski Star (pictured), trained by Harriet Graham for course director Geoff Adam.

Britain’s most northerly racehorse trainer, Jackie Stephen from Inverurie, is making the journey south with Welcome Ben. A winner of three races from his last four starts, Welcome Ben could face Lucinda Russell’s Vengeur De Guye in the Mayfield Restaurant Handicap Steeplechase.

Rhymers Stone, another entry for the Harriet Graham / Geoff Adam combination, is a likely runner in the George Higgins 60th Birthday Celebration Handicap Hurdle, the penultimate race on the card.

Forty Crown is another interesting contender for George Bewley, who has relocated to Appleby from his old base at Bonchester Bridge.

A number of top yards, including those of Lucinda Russell, David Pipe, Malcolm Jefferson and Stuart Crawford, could collide in the final race, the Urwin Family National Hunt Flat Race, due off at 3.45pm.

Stuart Crawford, who has jocked up Brian Hughes for Rashee, won the Hadwins Mares’ Series at Cartmel Racecourse during the Summer and enjoys great strength in depth in this sector.