Doddie hoping to be a winner at Kelso
Rugby legend Doddie Weir is due at his local track to cheer on his horse in the feature race at Kelso today (Sunday).
Behindthelines runs in the colours of London Scots For Doddie in the £20,000 Children’s Immunology Trust Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.
The former Melrose, Scotland and Lions star, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease three years ago, stole the show at the recent BBC Sports Personality of the Year Show in Aberdeen when receiving the Helen Rollason Award.
In 2018, a group of London Scottish members started the syndicate which saw them purchase Behindthelines with a view to donating all subsequent prize money won by him to raise funds to investigate causes and potential cures for MND.
So far, the gelding has won well over £5000 in win and place cash and he will be having just his second run over fences for the Grand National-winning combination of trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Derek Fox.
Lucinda said: “It will be great to have Doddie enjoying a day out to see Behindthelines making his comeback. He’s been off for over a year and hasn’t raced since pulling up on his chase debut at Perth in September 2018.
“He has won over hurdles and been second or third on his other three starts, so he’s been great at raising awareness for Doddie’s foundation.”
Behindthelines faces eight rivals, including likely favourite Venetia Williams-trained Cuban Pete, who has solid form in two runs over fences at Lingfield and Hereford.
Another with a chance is Duc De Grissay, whose Borders jockey, Ryan Mania, rode a double at the previous Kelso meeting a fortnight ago.
Venetia Williams will also fancy her chances of landing the 2m 1f handicap chase with Commis D’Office, also partnered by Charlie Deutsch.
The main danger appears to be Keith Dalgleish’s Goldencard, twice winner over hurdles this autumn and narrowly pipped on his chase debut at Sedgefield.
Scotland’s last race of the year may remain in the tartan hands of Nick Alexander and amateur pilot son Kit.
The Kinneston duo are represented by Calivigny who won on this card 12 months ago and is on a hat-trick, following wins at Ayr and Sedgefield.