HAWICK jockey Wilson Renwick completed a victorious double at Kelso’s final meeting of the season on Sunday, when high fashion was at its finest for the ever-popular Ladies’ Day fixture.
Renwick began the afternoon in winning fashion when accounting for the opening SSAFA Forces Help Novices’ Hurdle race, when Stronghaven touched down in front at the final flight and stayed on strongly to hold the Andrew Crook-trained hurdling debutant Rangefinder.
The winner, bought for 70,000 euros, was having his third outing to date for Co Durham trainer Howard Johnson. Renwick’s second success came in the Reece, Ben and Jessica Coppola Novices’ Hurdle race aboard the Rose Dobbin-trained Another Dimension.
Purchased at the Cheltenham Sales last month for £24,000 after winning his second outing over hurdles at Huntingdon in March, the five-year-old made virtually every yard of the running.
There was a further Hawick success when What A Steel took the Peter K. Dale Novices’ Handicap Hurdle for trainer Alistair Whillans, in the hands of his son, Ewan.
The seven-year-old shed his maiden tag at the 12th time of asking with a game display.
Badger Foot has proved a force to reckon with on the point-to-point circuit, notching up five consecutive wins, and he scored for the sixth time to land the feature Jacques Handicap Chase for the course’s leading trainer Lucinda Russell. Bought for 10,000 guineas last year by the Milnathort trainer’s father, Peter, he got the better of Harry Flashman, trained at Hawick by Donald Whillans, with Justwhateverulike from Sandy Forster’s Yetholm yard in third.
“He’s been a revelation in point-to-points, winning his last five races, all with different jockeys,” said Lucinda.
Grand National winning jockey Graham Lee also has a great record at the Borders track, leading the jockeys’ table, and he added another victory to his tally when riding Peachey Moment to win a competitive KOSB Novices’ Handicap Chase.
Nicky Richards’ winner followed up his Perth success, in an exciting finish with Sheriff Hall – the two having gone a long way clear of the rest of the field.
Abragante had opened his account in hunter chases at Sedgefield 12 days earlier, and followed up that success to head the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Challenge Cup Hunter Chase for Rosewell-based Doreen Monteith and East Lothian jockey Mikey Ennis.
The concluding John Smith’s No Nonsense bumper was won by the grey Anitopia from Linda Perratt’s Strathclyde stable.
Racing was preceded by two hotly-contested pony races, with victory in both going south of the border.
The 138cm race was won by 13-year-old Lucy Mager, from Weston-super-Mare, riding her chestnut mare Angelic. Chestnut mares also filled the second and third slots, Emma Smith, 15, finishing runner-up on Stambrook Marquesa, and 12-year-old William Hill third on Clonross Star.
Fifteen-year-old Ned Curtis – son of Lambourn trainer Roger – headed the 148cm race, riding Little Pea, with another trainer’s son, Lorcan Murtagh, second on Miss Tiny. Alex French, 16, finished third on Fields of Gold.