Borders racehorse trainers Jackie Stephen and Sandy Forster join Lucinda Russell as leading ladies at Kelso

Racehorse trainers Jackie Stephen and Sandy Forster were the Borders’ leading ladies at Kelso’s latest meeting, held last Wednesday.

By Darin Hutson
Thursday, 5th May 2022, 4:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 7:05 pm
Lilliesleaf racehorse trainer Jackie Stephen with Sputnik, left, and Lock Down Luke (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Lilliesleaf racehorse trainer Jackie Stephen with Sputnik, left, and Lock Down Luke (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Stephen notched up her second win since relocating to Lilliesleaf from near Inverurie in Aberdeenshire in October last year with Lock Down Luke, ridden by Irish jockey Sean Quinlan, in the 2.15pm Aitken Turnbull Architects Handicap Hurdle, taking its £4,520 top prize.

“It was a super-game performance and we are starting to really get to know our new facilities,” she said afterwards.

“This horse isn’t always as tough and sometimes he can be a real challenge, but we got it right today, which is excellent.

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Lock Down Luke en route for victory at Kelso last week (Photo: Kelso Races)

“We always like coming here, so it’s extra nice to get a winner at our new local track. It was excellent. It was great to get off the mark at Kelso.”

As well as being her first at Kelso this season, that was Stephen’s second winner in the space of four days, seven-year-old bay gelding Sputnik, with Bruce Lynn riding, having come up trumps as 9/2 second favourite at Hexham in Northumberland the preceding Saturday.

Runner-up to the six-year-old bay gelding, sent off at 10/3, in that race, the second of the day, was 5/2 favourite Goodtimes Badtimes, trained near Kelso by Sandy Thomson and with his son-in-law Ryan Mania in the saddle.

Two horses trained near Town Yetholm by Forster also claimed top-five places, Lissen to the Lady finishing fourth with Bonchester Bridge’s Joanna Walton as jockey and Dr Shirocco fifth with Edward Austin riding.

Pipers Rock winning the last race of the day at Kelso (Photo: Kelso Races)

Forster was first past the post in the concluding Shirley Winthrop Open National Hunt Flat Race at 4.55pm, however, with 25/1 outsider Pipers Cross, again with Walton in the saddle to guide the five-year-old bay mare to its £2,723 top prize.

Voice Note, an even bigger outsider at 200/1 entered by Hawick trainer Ewan Whillans and ridden by Jedburgh’s Callum Bewley, finished seventh and last in that one.

Perth and Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox were the day’s biggest winners, pulling off a 195-1 treble with Castletown in the opening 1.40pm AM Gilhome Joinery and Building Novices’ Handicap Chase, Domandlouis in the 2.50pm Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers Novices’ Hurdle and Rapid Raider in the 3.20pm Reg and Betty Tweedie Handicap Chase.

The only other runners in the opener were both Borders-trained, second-placed Hidden Commander by Selkirk’s Stuart Coltherd, with Quinlan as jockey, and third-placed Deluxe Range by Thomson, with Mania in the saddle.

Lock Down Luke being ridden to victory by Sean Quinlan for trainer Jackie Stephen (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Victory in last week’s two other races went to Joke Dancer and Downtown Getaway.

The former, trained by West Yorkshire’s Sue Smith and ridden by Brian Hughes, finished first in the 3.50pm Bedmax Handicap Chase, crossing the line 10 lengths ahead of runner-up Cedar Hill, trained by Thomson and with Mania riding.

The latter, trained in Wales by Mickey Bowen and with James King in the saddle, was first home in the 4.20pm Racing Together Community Raceday Novices’ Hunters’ Chase.

Kelso’s next meeting is on Sunday, May 29, starting at 2.12pm.

Domandlouis en route to victory for trainer Lucinda Russell at Kelso last week (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Dalileo in the second race at Kelso last Wednesday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Jockey Ryan Mania on board the Sandy Thomson-trained Goodtimes Badtimes at Kelso last week (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Domandlouis being ridden by Derek Fox for trainer Lucinda Russell at Kelso last week (Photo: Bill McBurnie)