SCOTSWELL secured the sole Borders victory at a well-supported Kelso meeting on Saturday.
Trained at Camptown by Harriet Graham and ridden by Jedburgh jockey Gary Rutherford, the six-year-old enjoyed a two-and-a-half length success in the John Rowe’s Last Racecourse 60th handicap hurdle race.
Having his second outing in a week, Scotswell led from pillar to post in a well-judged ride.
“It was a brave, brave ride,” said Harriet, whose stable is in great form. “We told Gary he had to make all and he did. He was vulnerable at the end and Scostwell’s got just the one pace, but it’s quite a good pace.”
Easement from George Bewley’s Southdean stable finished runner-up, with Hawick jockey Wilson Renwick riding the Rose Dobbin-trained Pyjama Game to take third.
There were a further two Scottish victories courtesy of Super Ally and Parson’s Punch.
Super Ally justified 10-11 favouritism to take the penultimate D. G. Pryde novice handicap chase for East Lothian owners Ray and Anita Anderson Green, and Lockerbie trainer Andrew Parker.
The four-strong field was reduced to three as they went out on the final circuit, when Dodgey Dream pulled up. A winner twice over fences and once over hurdle at the Borders track last year, Super Ally produced a fluent jumping display, and now heads for Ayr’s Scottish National meeting.
The third Scottish success was recorded by 12-1 chance Parson’s Punch, winner of the Jedforest Deer Park handicap hurdle for Glenfarg trainer Lucy Normile and Haddington jockey Campbell Gillies.
After setting a steady pace, there were five horses abreast at the final flight, with Parson’s Punch stamping his superiority up the run-in to enjoy a comfortable five-length success over handicap debutant Tutchec, whose jockey Brian Harding completed a double at the meeting.
He first rode Mr Syntax to land the feature Stark Main – UK’s Best Accountancy Practice 2011 handicap chase for Malton trainer Tim Fitzgerald. Runner-up on his two previous outings, the winner clearly benefited from the strong gallop. Bene Lad, who jumped well, finished a close second, trained at Glasgow by Jim Goldie for Ray and Anita Anderson Green.
Harding’s second success came in the concluding NSPCC School Service bumper aboard the well-backed Eduard from Nicky Richards’ Greystoke yard, defeating stablemate Duke of Navan.
With no rush to set the pace, it remained steady until half way and six horses were well in contention two furlongs out.
The first three then drew clear, and Eduard, from a prolific jumping family, finished well for a decisive success.
Royal Opera cruised home for a seven-length victory in the opening MITIE Property Management novices’ hurdle race, in the hands of Denis O’Regan.The 124-rated favourite, who won a juvenile event at Market Rasen in December, was left well clear at the final flight after the fall of pursuer Muwalla.
“He goes to the sales,” said trainer Brian Ellison, “and will make someone a nice hurdler next season.”
Lucinda Russell saddled both runner-up Blazin White Face and the third-placed hurdling debutant Ryton Runner (Campbell Gillies).
RESULTS: 2.30 – ROYAL OPERA (D O’Regan) 4-6 fav; 2, Blazin White Face 10-1; 3, Ryton Runner 6-1. Eight ran. B Ellison, Malton.
3.00 – PARSON’S PUNCH (C Gillies) 12-1; 2, Tutchec 4-1; 3, European Dream 5-1. Nine ran. L Normile, Glenfarg.
3.30 – MR SYNTAX (B Harding) 5-1; 2, Bene Lad 13-2; 3, Shadrack 5-1. Seven ran. T Fitzgerald, Malton.
4.05 – SCOTSWELL (G Rutherford) 11-2; 2, Easement 10-1; 3, Pyjama Game 9-1. 13 ran. H Graham, Jedburgh.
4.40 – SUPER ALLY (T Murphy) 10-11 fav; 2, The Magic Bishop 9-2; Soul Bid 13-5. Four ran. A Parker, Lockerbie.
5.15 – EDUARD (B Harding) 4-1; 2, Duke of Navan 20-1; 3, Shu Shi Gah 13-2. 13 ran. N Richards, Greystoke.