Borders trainers among front-runners at Kelso Races

Calipso Collonges won the feature race at Kelso yesterday, November 6, for Warwickshire racehorse trainer Olly Murphy.

Sunday, 7th November 2021, 6:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 7th November 2021, 6:08 pm
Selkirk jockey Sam Coltherd on Budarri in the second race at Kelso on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie )

Ridden by Fergus Gregory, the nine-year-old bay gelding, a 13/2 chance, saw off bottom-weight Caboy, trained at Kinross by Lucinda Russell, by four and a quarter lengths in the £20,000 Paxtons’ Borders Direct for Genuine Kverneland Wishing Well Handicap Chase at 2.10pm.

Kelso trainer Sandy Thomson’s Sirwilliamwallace, 2-1 favourite to take the race’s £10,130 top prize, finished third with Ryan Mania in the saddle.

“We dropped him back in trip today as he returned from wind surgery and everything just clicked,” said Gregory after his sole ride on the seven-race card gave him his second win at Kelso.

Kelso trainer Sandy Thomson at his home-town track at the weekend (Photo: Bill McBurnie )

“He’s just such a game and tough horse and he gives you everything.

“There is talk of him going to Haydock next for the Tommy Whittle Chase, which we were second in last year.”

Another winner on the day was Donny Boy, carrying the colours of Midlothian owner Lynne MacLennan, in the 3.50pm Belhaven Brewery Open National Hunt Flat Race for Fife trainer Nick Alexander and jockey Conor O’Farrell.

A winning point-to-pointer, the five-year-old bay gelding was sent off as 7/4 favourite and eased home by 14 lengths on his rules debut ahead of Nights in Venice, trained in Hawick by Donald Whillans and ridden by Craig Nichol.

Hawick's Neve Deeks, Brooke Hogg and Erica Duncan defying adverse weather to enjoy a day out at the races (Photo: Bill McBurnie )

Augharue, trained in Selkirk by Stuart Coltherd and ridden by his son Sam, finished fifth, and the Real Rascal, ridden by Jamie Dunlop for Lilliesleaf’s Jackie Stephen, was eighth.

Alexander said: “He came with a tall reputation from the point-to-point world and he could be an exciting prospect.

“I would say he will go straight over hurdles now and is a full brother to Ebony Jewel, who was pretty useful himself.”

Breaking the Ice could be back at Kelso over the winter after his fourth win over fences in the three-mile Royal Caledonian Hunt Novices’ Handicap Chase at 2.45pm.

Borders jockey Ryan Mania, in maroon and white, riding Geronimofor trainer Sandy Thomson in the first race at Kelso on Saturday (Photo: Bill McBurnie )

Cumbrian trainer George Bewley, formerly of Southdean, near Chesters, said: “He’s got so much speed you could run him over two miles.

“I could see him dropping back to 2m 5f for some of those races here and they would really suit him.”

The Coltherds’ Deep Charm finished runner-up to the six-year-old bay gelding, ridden by Bewley’s son Jonathon.

Mister Whitaker won the first race of the day, the 12.25pm Racing TV Novices’ Hurdle, for Cheshire’s Donald McCain, with Thomson’s Geronimo, ridden by Mania, sixth.

Selkirk jockey Sam Coltherd on Budarri in the scond race of the day at Kelso (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Richie McLernon rode Brelan D’As to victory in the 1pm Ian Anderson Memorial Handicap Chase for North Yorkshire trainer Ben Haslam, with Ashjan, trained at Yetholm by Sandy Forster and ridden by Edward Austin, fourth. Budarri, trained by Coltherd, fell at the final fence after leading up to that point, unseating jockey Sam.

Thomson’s Doyen Breed, with Mania riding was second in the 1.35pm Bruce Farms Handicap Hurdle behind Sultans Pride, trained by Cleveland’s Gillian Boanas.

Thomson had two horses running in the 3.15pm Graeme Todd and Friends Handicap Hurdle, Goodtimes Badtimes, ridden by Nichol, and Stoney Rover, with Mania as jockey, finishing fourth and fifth respectively.

The Coltherds’ Grand Voyage was second to Foster’s Island, trained by Micky Hammond in Lincolnshire. Forster’s Lastin’ Memories, with Stephen Mulqueen in the saddle, was ninth.

The next meeting at Kelso is the Scottish Borders National on Sunday, December 5. There’ll be seven races, the first starting just after noon. For details, go to