Sunday marks Kelso’s major meeting of the season, with the prestigious Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National the feature race of an exciting £80,000 card.
David Pipe’s Somerset raider Bostons Angel, winner of the 2011 RSA Chase at Cheltenham when trained by Jessie Harrington, is the top-rated entry in the Borders National. Novice Imperial Vic, trained in Northumberland by Michael Smith, was only beaten by a neck by Green Flag at the track earlier in the season.
In-form Alnwick trainer Rose Dobbin must fancy the chances of Ros Castle after his excellent second to subsequent winner Tutchec, at Carlisle last month, and would be a fitting winner of the race, sponsored by her father, Duncan Davidson.
Scotty Brand – whose chairman Ronnie Bartlett celebrated Cheltenham success with Simonsig – sponsor the Paris Pike Novice Chase for the second year. All eyes will be on Lucinda Russell’s Green Flag, unbeaten in three chasing starts, while Donald McCain’s Beeves, owned by St Boswells couple Paul and Clare Rooney, will be another to watch.
John Wade, chairman of the Durham-based John Wade group, supports the Champion Chase in the name of his good chaser, Always Right. Sue Smith won this last year with 20-1 chance Douglas Julian and she bids for a repeat victory with recent Wetherby scorer, No Planning. Dianne Sayer’s veteran More Equity is another likely contender, while Night Alliance could be an interesting runner for Worcester trainer Dr Richard Newland, after recent wins at Ascot and Ffos Las.
James Ewart and Macmillan Fine Art back a competitive novice hurdle race at 2.55pm. The Langholm stable is in cracking form and sponsors alongside www.macmillanfineart, who are connected to the yard. Chris Grant has been victorious for the past two years and bids for the hat-trick with Cinnomhor and ex-point-to-pointer, Ma Cranky. Irishman Ian Duncan, now based in Ayrshire, has entered Spring Over, third at Newcastle in November at 100-1.
The concluding Border Facilities handicap hurdle race has attracted the biggest entry of 32, and was won 12 months ago by Donald McCain, who has three pencilled in – Apollo Eleven, Cool Sky and Gabrial The Great. James Ewart has two entered – Thorlak and Ueueteotl. Racing comes under orders at 12.25pm, with gates open at 10.25am.
Early booking is advised for Kelso’s next fixture on Sunday, December 29 – contact Laura or Trish on 01668 280800.