Six-year-old grey mare Flower of Scotland won the 2.10pm EBF Mares National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle for Kelso’s Sandy Thomson with his son-in-law Ryan Mania in the saddle, claiming its £4,901 first prize.
Two other horses trained at Thomson’s Lambden stables and ridden by Mania picked up second places – Overcourt in the 12.33pm Fleet Day Oot Handicap Chase and Doyen Breed in the 1.35pm Paris Pike Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
The former was won by Breaking the Ice and the latter by Bushypark, ridden by Jonathon Bewley and Thomas Dowson respectively.
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Thomson said afterwards: “It was fantastic to get a winner for owner Ray Green with Flower of Scotland at Kelso with Ryan riding.
“I was very glad to shrug off the seconditis in the two previous races with Overcourt and Doyen Breed, who were both trying to give a lot of weight away. It’s been a good day.”
The Borders’ other winning trainer at Sunday’s meeting was Selkirk’s Stuart Coltherd in the 2.43pm George and Margaret Failte Air Ais Comharrahadh Novices’ Handicap Hurdle with 15-8 favourite Grand Voyage, a five-year-old bay gelding ridden by Peter Kavanagh.
Kavanagh was standing in for Coltherd’s son Sam as he’d dislocated his shoulder in a fall in the prior race riding 200-1 outsider Arcandy for his dad.
Yetholm trainer Sandy Forster was also among the runners-up, with Duty Calls in the 3.13pm Racing TV Conditional Jockeys’ Training Series Handicap Hurdle, with Lewis Stones riding.
That race was won by Wor Verge, trained in Northumberland by Sue Corbett and ridden by Dylan Hurst, and Lockdown Luke, trained by Lilliesleaf’s Jackie Stephen and with Tom Midgley as jockey, was third.
Big River won the Lilburn Estate Scottish Borders National Handicap Chase at 1.03pm for Perth and Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox.
Winning for the seventh time at his favourite course, the 15-2 shot, an 11-year-old bay gelding, came from off the pace to beat Cash to Ash, ridden by Jamie Hamilton, by almost three lengths and take the £26,468 first prize.
Russell said: “The only time he’s not been in the first two in all his trips to Kelso was when he was brought down in the Borders National two years ago, and he was going so well at the time too.
“He loves the place and we knew he was coming back to himself after that encouraging first run of the season here in October.
“I think its far to say he’ll be back at Kelso for some of the remaining meetings between now and the spring.”
Geronimo, trained by Thomson and ridden by Mania, was one of five horses pulled up in that £50,000 feature race, with only eight going the distance.
The opening race of the day, the 12.03pm William Hill Bookmakers National Hunt Auction Maiden Hurdle, was won by Kavanaghs Cross, trained by Iain Jardine in Dumfries and Galloway and with Niall Houlihan as jockey.
The next meeting at Kelso Racecourse is on Wednesday, December 29, starting at 11.53am. For details, go to https://www.kelso-races.co.uk/