Borders trainer tells of joy over victory on Kelso Racecourse's biggest payday ever

Borders trainer Sandy Thomson has told of his joy at claiming a win at his local racecourse at Kelso up against all-star opposition from all over the UK.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 7:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 8:10 am
Borders horse trainer Sandy Thomson (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Borders horse trainer Sandy Thomson (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Cedar Hill, trained at Thomson’s Lambden stables near Kelso and ridden by Borders jockey Ryan Mania, was first past the post in the 3.50pm Bet365 Cyril Alexander Memorial Novices' Limited Handicap Chase, one of eight races run at the Borders course on Saturday.

That win yielded £8,187 prize money for the seven-year-old brown gelding, following on the biggest payday ever offered at Kelso, but pride at ending up victorious on such a high-profile stage was equally important for Thomson.

“I’m absolutely delighted. It’s great,” said the 59-year-old.

“It’s very difficult at these big meetings when you’ve got these big-name trainers coming up from the south with their expensive horses so it’s great to go along and beat them.”

Cedar Hill, at 10-3, finished ahead of 11-10 favourite Eclair D’Ainay, ridden by Harry Skelton and trained by his brother Dan in Warwickshire, in that four-horse race.

That was his third win in four races at Kelso since Th omson took over his training last summer, the others being in October and November and he finished second, at the end of December, in his other race there.

Galashiels-born Mania, 31, was in the saddle for all four.

Thomson also claimed a win at Newcastle on Tuesday, with M ania riding nine-year-old chestnut gelding Dingo Dollar to victory in the Quinnbet Handicap Chase to claim a £7,018 prize.