Borders horse trainer Sandy Thomson celebrating hat-trick of wins at Ayr
Two out of three ain’t bad, according to the old Meat Loaf song, and three out of five is pretty good going too, as Borders horse trainer Sandy Thomson can attest.
Thomson racked up a hat-trick of wins at Ayr Racecourse yesterday, March 1, and wasn’t too far off with the other two horses representing his Lambden stables, near Kelso.
The first of the 59-year-old’s winners, behind closed doors, at the South Ayrshire track was Storm Nelson.
It was the eight-year-old bay gelding’s first run for Thomson’s yard, having only been there since former Perthshire trainer Lucy Normile’s retirement last year, and also his first outing for just short of 400 days.
Ridden by Theo Gillard, the 11-4 joint favourite won the 2.30pm Stunning Weddings at Western House Hotel Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle with over nine lengths to spare ahead of co-favourite First Class Return, trained by Warwickshire’s Olly Murphy.
Win number two for Thomson came courtesy of Doyen Breed, another horse formerly trained by Normile.
With 2013 Grand National winner Ryan Mania in the saddle, the 15-8 favourite beat Charm Offensive, trained in Fife by Nick Alexander, by almost three lengths in the 3.40pm Join Racing TV Now Handicap Hurdle.
Former Kelso and South of Scotland rugby player Thomson’s hat-trick was completed by Sirwilliamwallace, another favourite, at 6-4, and also ridden by Mania, the 31-year-old’s second winner of the day, in the 4.10pm Thank You NHS Novices' Limited Handicap Chase.
The eight-year-old bay gelding finished 10 lengths clear of runner-up Kalaharry, trained by Hawick’s Alistair Whillans, and three places ahead of Milvale, Thomson’s other runner at Ayr, ridden by Sean Quinlan.
Thomson wasn’t the only one celebrating success at the treble on the day as jockey Derek Fox also racked up a hat-trick of wins.
Fox rode Ahoy Senor to victory for Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell at 16-1 in the 1.20pm Western House Hotel Staycation Maiden Hurdle, three ahead of Flower of Scotland, trained by Thomson and ridden by Mania.
He followed that up with a win for Ardera Cross at 6-1 in the 3.05pm Ayrshire Cancer Support Handicap Chase for South Lanarkshire trainer Willie Young and another for Russell on Slainthe Mhor in the three-mile Western House Hotel Gift Vouchers Handicap Chase at 4.40pm, also at 6-1.
Thomson said afterwards: “It was obviously a brilliant day.
“Any day you get a winner is a brilliant day so to have three at the same meeting is something special.
“It’s really good that they were all able to show their true potential.”
Next up for Thomson is this weekend’s meeting at Kelso, and he’s planning to have four horses running there – Bad Rabbit in the 12.25pm Bet365 Juvenile Hurdle, Mcgowan’s Pass in the 2.05pm Bet365 Handicap Hurdle, course specialist Cedar Hill in the 3.50pm Bet365 Cyril Alexander Memorial Novices' Limited Handicap Chase and Salvino in the 4.25pm Bet365 Standard Open National Hunt Flat.
Mania is lined up to be in the saddle for all four on Saturday, March 6.