Camptown trainer Harriet Graham the only lady to have a horse make her day at Kelso

It might have been ladies’ day at Kelso Racecourse yesterday but only one woman was given cause to celebrate success on the track, Camptown trainer Harriet Graham, and even that was a joint enterprise with a gent, her business partner Gary Rutherford.

By Darin Hutson
Monday, 30th May 2022, 6:16 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st May 2022, 12:01 pm
Brandy McQueen, winner of Sunday's fourth race at Kelso, with his owners, trainers Gary Rutherford and Harriet Graham and Hawick jockey Craig Nichol (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Brandy McQueen, winner of Sunday's fourth race at Kelso, with his owners, trainers Gary Rutherford and Harriet Graham and Hawick jockey Craig Nichol (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

6/4 favourite Brandy McQueen, ridden by Hawick jockey Craig Nichol, won the 3.57pm Five Star Taxis Handicap Hurdle for the pair, taking its top prize of £4,520, at the course’s last meeting of the season and first ladies’ day since 2019.

That was the five-year-old bay gelding’s second win in the space of three weeks, having come up trumps at Perth too, also with Nichol in the saddle.

“He is a lovely prospect, and that will probably be him for the summer now,” said Graham.

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Winner of Race five winner Hidden Commander, trained by Selkirk's Stuart Coltherd, with jockey Danny McMenamin and his owners in the winners' enclosure (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“Craig says you need to wind him up but he always answers and stays on well for you.”

Four other Borders-trained horses featured among the seven runners contesting that race – Hawick handlers Ewan and Donald Whillans’ Tartan Cookie and Bonny Houxty finishing third and fourth respectively, Lissen to the Lady bringing up the rear for Town Yetholm’s Sandy Forster and Lindean’s Katie Scott seeing her 50/1 outsider Halcyon Dreams falling two out.

Brandy McQueen was one of only two Borders winners on the day, the other being Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd’s Hidden Commander in the 4.32pm Edinburgh Gin Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

Ridden by Danny McMenamin, the 11/10 favourite finished over two lengths clear of Perth and Kinross trainer Lucinda Russell’s Castletown to pick up that race’s top prize of £7,407.

Amy Coltherd with Hidden Commander at kelso on Sunday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

That was the seven-year-old bay gelding’s third win in the last two months following a previous success at Kelso and another at Ayr, both with Sean Quinlan riding.

Hold the Note, an eight-year-old bay gelding ridden by Nichol and trained by Ewan Whillans, finished fourth and last in that race.

The day’s opener, the 2.12pm William Hill Bookmakers Novices’ Hurdle, was won by 8/11 favourite Cirque Royal, trained in Northern Ireland by Gerald Quinn and ridden by Noel McParlan, with Kelso trainer Sandy Thomson’s Foxhollow coming in fourth and Forster’s Zihuatanejo following two places behind.

Next up was the 2.47pm Schloss Roxburghe Hotel Handicap Chase, won by 13/8 favourite Exit to Where, trained by Iain Jardine at Carrutherstown, near Dumfries, and with Derek Fox as jockey. Flamboyant Joyaux, trained by Spittal-on-Rule’s Paul Robson was runner-up and Forster’s Ashjan finished fourth.

Brandy McQueen, trained by Camptown's Gary Rutherford and Harriet Graham, being ridden to victory at Kelso by Hawick jockey Craig Nichol (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The £10,406 top prize for the day’s £20,000 feature race, the 3.33pm Elliot Henderson Group Handicap Hurdle, went to 9/2 Irish raider Rich Belief, ridden by Donagh Meyler and trained by Karl Thornton.

Steely Addition won the second last of the day’s seven races, the 5.07pm Borders Distillery Corinthian Spirit Grass-roots Hunters’ Chase Seies Final, for County Durham trainer Chris Dawson and his jockey brother John, and 8/11 favourite Come On Du Berlais was first past the post in the concluding 5.40pm See You in September Mares’ Open National Hunt Flat Race for Irish trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Sean Bowen.

See also …

Danny McMenamin finished runner-up on Flamboyant Joyaux, trained by Paul Robson at Spittal-on-Rule, in the second race of the day at Kelso (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Sunday's fifth race at Kelso was won by Hidden Commander, trained by Selkirk's Stuart Coltherd (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Race-goers Neve Deeks and Heather McLeod with Hawick jockey Craig Nichol at Kelso on Sunday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)