Big names lined up for £40,000 chase at Kelso Racecourse

The favourite from last season’s Aintree Grand National, a 2021 Cheltenham Festival winner and two runners-up the Borders and Scottish nationals are among a top-notch entry in prospect for the Edinburgh Gin Chase at Kelso Racecourse on Saturday.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 10:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 10:26 am
Galashiels jockey Ryan Mania rides Vintage Clouds to victory in the Ultima Handicap Chase at this year's Cheltenham Festival in March (picture by Tim Goode/pool/Getty Images)

Cloth Cap and Vintage Clouds are both owned by the executors of the late Trevor Hemmings.

The former, trained by Jonjo O’Neill in Gloucestershire, was impressive at Kelso in the Listed bet365 Premier Chase in March before pulling up three out when sent off as a well-backed favourite in the Grand National.

The latter, trained in West Yorkshire by Sue Smith, was third in last year’s Edinburgh Gin Chase and then galloped to glory at the Cheltenham Festival with Borders jockey Ryan Mania in the saddle in the Ultima Handicap Chase.

Dingo Dollar, trained close to Kelso by Sandy Thomson, was headed on the run-in when just pipped by three-quarters of a length in April’s Scottish Grand National.

A top quality line-up looks assured come Saturday for the 2.44pm limited-handicap chase, a £40,000 3m 2f contest won by the favourite in five of the last six runnings.

One of those market leaders was subsequent Borders-owned Grand National hero One for Arthur, and his trainer, Lucinda Russell, of Kinross, has entered Big River.

Jackie Stephen, relocating from Aberdeenshire to the Borders, has pencilled in Lock Down Luke for the 1.34pm Watch on Racing TV National Hunt Maiden Hurdle.

Lifeisahighway looks to be a promising recruit to fences for Ben Pauling in the 2.09pm Clifford, Martin and Sarah Firth Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase. Gloucestershire-based Pauling has only had one winner at Kelso from 13 previous runners.

The oldest entry on the card is Duke of Navan, for whom last term’s champion conditional rider Danny McMenamin is already jocked up in the 3.54pm Landale Family Handicap Chase. Nicky Richards’ veteran is nearly 14 but is defying the years and has only been out of the first four once in his last 11 starts.

The colours made famous by three-time Grand National legend Red Rum are sported by Blueberry Wine, a possible debutant over fences for Cheshire’s Donald McCain in the 4.29pm Visit Novices’ Handicap Chase.