HORSE RACING: Red Tanber recorded his fifth chasing success this term with a victory at his local Kelso track on Saturday.
Trained at Hawick by Bruce Mactaggart, the home-bred gelding has enjoyed four wins at Musselburgh, and was recording his first success at Kelso, in the hands of regular pilot Lucy Alexander.
Out of the same mare as Ingletonian, Red Tanber was an orphan foal, raised by a piebald foster mare from Ireland.
After his victory in the Bedmax handicap chase (for the Hamilton Memorial Trophy), the chestnut may now head for Cheltenham, where he holds an entry in the Jewson Novice Chase.
“It’s not often a small yard has a horse to go to Cheltenham, so we may take our chance,” explained Bruce.
Red Tanber rallied up the run-in to hold off the challenge of Freddie Brown, in the colours of racecourse chairman Johnny Jeffreys, for a five-length success.
Milnathort trainer Lucinda Russell and jockey Peter Buchanan completed a double at the meeting, with Degas Art and Tap Night.
Degas Art headed the Cyril Alexander Memorial novice chase to record his first success over fences, defeating stablemate and chasing debutant Kai Broon.
The winner is also Cheltenham bound, to contest the festival’s Pulteney Land Investments novice handicap chase.
“That’s brilliant, we’re really pleased,” said Lucinda, who an hour later was back in the winner’s enclosure with Tap Night.
The gelding, owned by jockey Peter Buchanan’s sister, Jane, won the Totepool Premier novice hurdle race by two lengths from Tony McCoy and 7-4 fav Captain Conan.
“It’s been a real team effort,” said Lucinda. “Peter does a lot of work with him at home and we discuss the training with him too.
“We’ll see how he comes out of this and then decide if he goes to Cheltenham.”
Bury Parade, trained at Jedburgh by Robert Bewley, finished third.
Northumberland-based Michael Smith celebrated his second win from two runners within a week, when Makbullet took the opening Terry Frame Joiners novice hurdle race.
The grey got up by threequarters-of-a-length to get the better of long-time leader Jet Master, with Samstown, having his second start over hurdles, in third.
“I’ll give him a break and not run him too often, then I’ll get the best out of him,” said Michael. He’s a nice horse.”
Champion jockey Tony McCoy rode the first leg of a double to land the feature totepool.com Premier Chase on the Nicky Henderson-trained Master of the Hall.
“Everything went to plan, said the winning jockey. “He travelled well and I didn’t want to hit the front too soon. The gaps came at the right time.”
Abbeybraney finished third for Hawick trainer George Bewley and Galashiels jockey Ryan Mania, with Grand National winner Ballabriggs in fourth, on his first outing since his 2011 Aintree victory.
McCoy completed his double in the concluding Bet totepool text tote to 89660 handicap hurdle race on the Nicky Richards-trained Sundown Trail.
The race was not without its drama when long-time leader Mini Beck came down at the fourth last, bringing down Political Paddy and Shan Blue.
Ayrshire-based Ian Duncan landed the Canal Challenge hunter chase with 20-1 chance Inverlochy Lad, well ridden by Jonathon Creswell.
Racing returns to Kelso later this month for the Party in the Paddock meeting on Saturday, March 24.