Rockawango sets up double for Ewart in feature race

ROCKAWANGO Ridden by Dale Irving wins at Kelso 8/11/14'Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723
ROCKAWANGO Ridden by Dale Irving wins at Kelso 8/11/14'Photograph by GROSSICK RACING 07710461723

Langholm trainer James Ewart completed a double at Kelso on Saturday, including victory in the feature £15,000 Mayfield Restaurant handicap chase.

After three good runs on the flat, Rockawango jumped boldly in the hands of Langholm jockey Dale Irving, to record an impressive five-length success.

“He had a wind operation in the summer and has come back and won on the flat, which was good for his confidence,” explained the trainer’s wife, Briony.

The stable enjoyed a second success when Thorlak landed the concluding Urwin Family handicap chase in convincing style.

The 5-1 chance made all, to provide Galashiels jockey Ryan Mania with the second leg of a double.

Thirty-five minutes earlier, Mania had ridden Ballyvoque to win the Hireline novices’ handicap hurdle race for Stocksfield-based George Charlton.

The winner held the rallying Quest Magic – having a first run for Hawick handler George Bewley after 530 days off the track – by two lengths.

Off a career-high mark, Samstown produced a gutsy display to hold 2-1 fav The Last Samuri by half-a-length in the Graeme Todd Haulage and Friends handicap hurdle race.

Trained on the outskirts of Hawick by Alistair Whillans, the six-year-old battled gamely to the post, on his first run over hurdles for almost two years.

“He’ll come on for that,” said the trainer’s son, Ewan, “and the plan is to go for the Becher Chase.”

On a good afternoon for Scottish trainers, Lucinda Russell saddled Kingswell Theatre to land the opening George Harrow Memorial novice hurdle race.

A £100,000 purchase at Doncaster’s Spring Sales, the five-year-old was making a victorious hurdling debut.

“He was just a shell of a horse last year, but he’s really matured,” explained the Milnathort trainer. “He stays well, the fastest he goes is from the second last,” she added.

Neighbouring trainer, Nick Alexander, won the Frank Flannigan Skiphire and Border Skiphire handicap chase with 7-1 chance Isla Pearl Fisher – the longest-priced victor of the day.

The 11-year-old’s eighth career success provided jockey Peter Buchanan with the second leg of a double.

Uno Valeroso made a victorious debut over fences to head the Ship Inn, Dalkeith, novice handicap chase for Sheriff Hutton trainer Mark Walford.

“He’s been slow to come to himself, but he’s more mature now and he jumps fences well,” he said.

Racing returns to Kelso on Sunday, December 7.

Results: 12.30 – KINGSWELL THEATRE (P Buchanan) 6-1; 2, Donna’s Diamond 3-1; 3, Golans Choise 5-1. 11 ran. L Russell, Milnathort.

1.05 – UNO VALOROSO (T Kelly) 7-2; 2, Brother Scott 11-8 fav; 3, Aye Well 7-1. Six ran. M Walford, Sheriff Hutton.

1.40 – SAMSTOWN (B Harding) 6-1; 2, The Last Samuri 2-1 fav; 3, Fourth Estate 11-2. Seven ran. A Whillans, Hawick.

2.15 – ISLA PEARL FISHER (P Buchanan) 7-1; 2, McMurrough 8-1; 3, Fentara 5-1. Six ran. N Alexander, Fife.

2.50 – ROCKAWANGO (D Irving) 11-2; 2, Firth of Clyde 5-2 fav; 3, Quito Du Tresor 10-1. Eight ran. J Ewart, Langholm.

3.25 – BALLYVOQUE (R Mania) 9-2; 2, Quest Magic 8-1; 3, Innocent Girl 12-1. Eight ran. G Charlton, Stocksfield.

4.00 – THORLAK (R Mania) 5-1; 2, Some Lad 3-1; 3, Azerodegree 10-1. Five ran. J Ewart.