Second win in five days for Borders jockey Sam Coltherd after comeback from injury
Selkirk jockey Sam Coltherd rode his second winner in the space of five days since returning from injury as Pookie Pekan romped home in the Musselburgh Handicap Chase today, January 3.
That run by the nine-year-old bay gelding, trained by Coltherd’s father Stuart at Clarilawmuir Farm, near Midlem, secured the top prize of the day at the East Lothian course, £5,882.
Sent off at 13/2, Pookie Pekan made virtually all the running in today’s 3pm feature race to beat 6-4 favourite First Account, trained in South Lanarkshire by Keith Dalgleish and ridden by Brian Hughes, by 13 lengths.
That was a second win in less than a week for Coltherd, 23, after being sidelined for three weeks with a dislocated shoulder as he also rode Grand Voyage to victory in the 12.42pm Watch the Replay at Racing TV Handicap Hurdle at Kelso last Wednesday, taking its £5,228 top prize.
He had to undergo treatment at the Borders General Hospital in Melrose and Jack Berry House at Malton in North Yorkshire after falling off Arcandy, trained, like Pookie Pekan and Grand Voyage, by his dad, at Kelso at the start of last month.
Talking after today’s victory, he said: “It was horses like him that I was looking forward to when I was undergoing my rehabilitation at Jack Berry House.
“It was a good performance and the first time he has won at three miles.”
Six-year-old bay gelding Drumbear impressed on his debut over timber in the 1.30pm Betway Maiden Hurdle for Irish trainer John McConnell to give his jockey Simon Torrens a first course success.
“He’s a big horse we have always liked and is a staying chaser in the making,” McConnell said.
“When he learns to drop the bit and settle, he will be even better but he will remain over hurdles this season.”
Kelso trainer Sandy Thomson had to settle for second place in that race with 5-4 favourite Salvino, ridden by his son-in-law Ryan Mania.
Jockey Charlotte Jones, enjoying her best season yet, also opened her Musselburgh account by steering the Steward to victory for Cumbrian trainer Jimmy Moffatt in the 2.30pm Betway Handicap Hurdle.
Selkirk trainer Katie Scott’s 40-1 outsider That’s Your Lottie, ridden by Stephen Mulqueen, was runner-up and Jack Yeats, trained by the elder Coltherd and with Derek Fox in the saddle, finished sixth.
Coltherd Jnr isn’t the only Borders jockey to have tasted success at Musselburgh already in 2022 either, Jedburgh’s Callum Bewley having ridden Pitempton Power, trained in Hawick by Ewan Whillans, to make it two from two over fences in the 1.05pm Betway Novices’ Handicap Chase on Saturday.
The seven-year-old bay gelding’s previous win, also with Bewley riding, was at Carlisle last month.
“He never managed a win over hurdles but he has really taken to fences,” said Bewley.
“This wouldn’t really be his track but he jumps well and he will probably stay at two and a half miles for now.”
Another seven-year-old bay gelding, Coolbane Boy, was a winner for Mania and Thomson later that day, in the 3.25pm Play 4 to Win at Betway Handicap Hurdle, on just his second start since coming over from Ireland to Scotland.