TARTAN Snow proved a popular winner of Kelso’s feature race on Monday, receiving a warm reception from the Borders crowd.
The gelding landed the Rutherford Centenary Isuzu in the Borders handicap chase, holding the challenge of My Moment by four-and-a-half lengths.
Tartan Snow is trained on the outskirts of Selkirk by Stuart Coltherd and carries the colours of the Whitemoss Golf syndicate. He had been going well at his local track last time, until clipping the heels of another runner, and made up for that with an impressive victory.
Quotica de Poyans made it four out of four to head a competitive Eildon Hill Stables open hunter chase for Bonchester Bridge-based Simon Shirley-Beavan.
Reunited with regular partner Kelly Bryson, previously sidelined through injury, the seven-year-old never looked in danger of being headed, cruising home to a nine-length success.
He could run in handicap company next term, or a crack at the Cheltenham Foxhunters is also being considered.
“He’s a very nice young horse,” said Shirley-Beavan, “and has done everything we’ve asked of him. He clearly loves Kelso, as he always does well here.”
The winner has come through the point-to-point ranks, where he won four, prior to victory in the Buccleuch Cup. “He travels well, and that is his strength,” he added.
Fresh from two point-to-point wins, Robbers Glen had looked the danger to the favourite, but Val Jackson’s loyal campaigner sadly suffered a fatal fall at the sixth fence.
Form choice Wyse Hill Teabags drew clear from the last and cruised home for a comfortable 10-length success in the opening NSPCC School Service novices’ hurdle race for Glasgow handler Jim Goldie. Having just his third start, Quel Elite, in the colours of Lauder farmer Maurice Chapman, produced a good show to take second, ahead of the hard-pulling Freddie Brown, owned by Kelso racecourse chairman Johnny Jeffreys.
Fife trainer Sue Bradburne and her jockey son, Mark, teamed up to take the DG Pryde Ltd novices’ handicap chase with Rossini’s Dancer. Just three of the six runners completed a race not without its drama.
Chicago Outfit’s saddle slipped after a blunder at the first, then Blackpool Billy refused at the third, before the well-supported chasing debutant Winter Alchemy unseated jockey Wilson Renwick with a circuit to go. Musselburgh victor Rossini’s Dancer drew away for an easy 17-length success.
The Bradburne team was deprived of a double when Bertie Milan went down by two lengths to Sendali in the P & G Allan Catering handicap hurdle race. Chris Grant’s winner, whose last success came on the flat last April, stayed on well in the hands of Brian Hughes.
Leith Walk, trained at Hawick by Donald Whillans and ridden by his son Callum, finished third.
There was plenty of pace in the Arpal 120th anniversary handicap hurdle race, headed by the Marjorie Fife-trained King Mak, who battled gamely to the fore, and stayed on strongly in the closing stages.
Graham Lee rarely leaves Kelso without a winner – a feat which has put him at the head of the course’s top jockey table – and he brought home Nodform Richard to win the concluding Rosie’s Catering and Michael Wares Cater Hire bumper.
Kelso’s next meeting is Buccleuch Cup Day on Monday, April 4.
2.10 – WYSE HILL TEABAGS (R McGrath) 8-11 fav; 2, Quel Elite 11-1; 3, Freddie Brown 10 -1. 15 ran. J Goldie, Glasgow
2.40 – ROSSINI’S DANCER (M Bradburne) 5-1; 2, Border Reiver 5-1; 3, Maid in Moscow 12-1. Six ran. Mrs S Bradburne, Fife
3.10 – KING MAK (K James) 15-2; 2, Latin Connection 10-1; 3, County Colours 8-1. 10 ran. M Fife, N Yorks.
3.40 – TARTAN SNOW (G Rutherford) 13-2; 2, My Moment 9-2; 3, Gringo 8-1. Nine ran. S Coltherd, Selkirk.
4.10 – SENDALI (B Hughes) 16-1; 2, Bertie Milan 15-2; 3, Leith Walk 4-1. 11 ran. C Grant, Co Durham.
4.40 – QUOTICA DE POYANS (Miss K Bryson) 5-4 fav; 2, Ardnaclancy 8-1; 3, Hot n’ Holy 66-1. 10 ran. S Shirley-Beavan, Hawick.
5.10 – NODFORM RICHARD (G Lee 4-1); 2, Pyjama Game 9-1; 3, Farm Pixie 50-1. 15 ran. K McLintock, Newcastle.