Eighth win in 11 races at Kelso for Big River

Big River kept up his winning ways at Kelso Racecourse yesterday, January 16, by notching up his eighth first-place finish in just 11 appearances there.

By Gordon Brown
Monday, 17th January 2022, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 17th January 2022, 12:22 pm
Derek Fox riding Big River, trained by Lucinda Russell, to his eighth win in 11 races at Kelso, beating Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton on Cash to Ash in pink (Photo: Bill McBurnie)
Derek Fox riding Big River, trained by Lucinda Russell, to his eighth win in 11 races at Kelso, beating Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton on Cash to Ash in pink (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

The 12-year-old bay gelding, trained in Perth and Kinross by Lucinda Russell and sent off as 5-2 joint favourite, joins Whaat Fettle and Davy Lad as latter-day record holders at Kelso after his latest success in the 3.10pm Chairman’s Cup Handicap Chase with Derek Fox in the saddle.

Russell said afterwards: “Our expectations today were so low due to the fences being omitted because of the bright sun, but he just pricked his ears rounding the bottom corner and off he galloped.

“He’s an amazing horse as in the past his troubles have included arterial fibrillation, pins in his legs and he’s been lame, but he really loves coming to Kelso.

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Yesterday's 2.40pm Kelso Betting Ring Bookmakers' Handicap Hurdle being won by Stainsby Girl, trained by Donald Whillans and ridden by Craig Nichol (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

“He may be 12 but he just seems to be blooming.

“There is another race for him here this season but we are kind of aiming him at the Midlands National at Uttoxeter now, where he should get the soft ground he needs.”

Cash to Ash, ridden by Hawick jockey Jamie Hamilton and trained in North Yorkshire by Mark Walford, was the second of four finishers in that race vying for its £7,407 top prize.

Dumfries and Galloway trainer Daragh Bourke, without a win in 27 races over 136 days, got lucky at last with Evita Du Mesnil, ridden by Kevin Brogan, in the 1.35pm Visitkelso.com Handicap Hurdle.

Hawick jockey Bruce Lynn finished second in the third and fourth races at Kelso on Sunday (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Kelso trainer Sandy Thomson’s Saryshagann, with his son-in-law Ryan Mania in the saddle, was seventh in that race.

10-3 second favourite Stainsby Girl, trained in Hawick by Donald Whillans and ridden by town jockey Craig Nichol, won the £15,000 Kelso Betting Ring Bookmakers’ Handicap Hurdle at 2.40pm.

Another Borders jockey and trainer pairing, Jedburgh’s Callum Bewley and Hawick’s Ewan Whillans, had to settle for sixth and last place in that race with Battle of Wills.

Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd claimed victory in the last race of the day, the 3.40pm Kelso Annual Members’ Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Chase with To the Limit, however, ridden by Oakley Brown.

Deep Charm finished second in the White Swan Handicap Chase at Kelso on Sunday, ridden by Sam Coltherd and trained by his father Stuart (Photo: Bill McBurnie)

Thomson’s Silver Star Mix, with Edward Austin as jockey, was sixth that time round at 16-1.

Soft Risk, trained by Nicky Richards in Cumbria, is set to return to Kelso for the £50,000 grade-two Bet365 Premier Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday, March 5, after extending his unbeaten record under rules to four for jockey Brian Hughes in the 2.10pm William Hill Bookmakers Novices’ Hurdle.

Hawick jockey Bruce Lynn finished second in that race on Travail D’Orfevre, trained in Fife by Nick Alexander, ahead of Selkirk’s Sam Coltherd on Andante, trained in Northumberland by Sue Corbett, in third and Mania on Well Planted, for East Ayrshire’s Mike Smith, in fifth.

Stuart Coltherd and Ewan Whillans also featured among the nine finishers in that race competing for its top prize of £4,901, the former in seventh with Annies Regatta, ridden by Henry Brooke, and the latter eighth with Ralphy Boy Two, with Bewley in the saddle.

The first of Kelso’s six races on Sunday, the 1.05pm White Swan Handicap Chase, was won by Scottish Accent, trained in County Durham by Rebecca Menzies and ridden by Nathan Moscrop, with Deep Charm, trained by Stuart Coltherd and with son Sam as jockey, second and Pitempton Power, trained by Ewan Whillans and with Bewley riding, fourth.

The next meeting there is on Thursday, February 3, with six races starting at 12.55pm.