Connor Braces himself for success in the saddle at Kelso

Connor Brace opened his Kelso account in style when landing today’s (Sunday) £20,000 feature race at the Borders track on Iwilldoit.

Sunday, 29th December 2019, 3:40 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th December 2019, 3:41 pm
There was plenty of entertainment as usual at Kelso (ARCHIVE IMAGE by Alan Raeburn)

Sent off at 11-4, the Sam Thomas-trained Cotswolds raider slammed Talkofgold by three and a half lengths in the Children’s Immunology Trust Limited Handicap Chase over 2m 6f.

Brace (18), speaking after his only ride of the day, said: “I know this horse well as I won on him over hurdles at three miles, so I knew he’d stay.

“His jumping was pretty good for his first run over fences and, although he was pressed between the last two, he found again for me. “It’s a long to come but always worth for a nice prize like this.”

Sign up to our daily The Southern Reporter Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Thomas, a former Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning jockey, has earlier initiated a double with Mario De Pail, an impressive timber debut scorer under Charlie Deutsch in the George & Margaret Higgins Festive Celebration Novices’ Hurdle.

Lucy Alexander was all smiles after steering home Clan Legend for her father Nick in the Join Racing TV Now Handicap Chase.

Despite not getting very high at the last, the Kinneston raider saw off Goldencard by three-quarters of a length to gain his third course win.

The winning jockey said: “He was entitled to win off his current mark. This is his ground and, although he hit the final fence, he’s a decent-sized unit and was never in danger of coming down.”

Ross Chapman completed a quickfire double when taking the first two races on Uptown Harry and Animore.

The former made all for Northumberland trainer Jane Walton in the Every Race Live On Racing TV Maiden Hurdle while Iain Jardine’s Animore got the better of Sophie Fatale in the SPG Fire & Security Ltd Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.

Lucinda Russell and Blair Campbell struck with top-weight Bialco in the Racing TV Handicap Hurdle while Kelso’s final action of 2019 saw Alistair Whillans-trained Samstown give Connor Wood his first winner under Rules in the AJA Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase.