KELSO SADDLES UP FOR SECOND MEETING

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Racing returns to Kelso for its second meeting of the 2011-2012 season tomorrow with the feature race, The EDF/ER Fallogo Rig Handicap Chase, being screened live on Channel 4 together with racing from Cheltenham and Catterick.

Racing is preceded by the third running of the BBA Pantomime Horse Race being held at 1.50pm to raise funds for the BGH Macmillan Cancer Centre. R.P. Adam Ltd has kindly sponsored the race for the second year in a row which features 15 “horses” taking part in the sprint down the final furlong of the border track.

The first race, off at 2.10pm, is sponsored by Edinburgh City Football Club who have been long-standing supporters of the Border track, which has a massive entry of 43. Donald McCain is represented by five horses, including winning point-to-pointer Bound For Glory. Hawick’s Alistair Whillans is double-handed with Gleann Na Ndochais and Crosstek, who was fourth in a bumper at Hexham last Saturday. Stuart Coltherd has pencilled in Kelso Specialists Tartan Snows half-sister Snow Easy for her debut at the border track.

The main supporting contest on the card is the Clifford and Martin Firth Memorial Novice Chase. Run over two miles, six-and-a-half furlongs, the race is sponsored by the Firth family from Morecambe, Lancashire, for the very much sought after Marshall Trophy.

James Ewart could hold the key to this as the Langholm trainer has pencilled in Vosges, Bishops Heir and Beneficial Reform, the latter of whom was due to run at Hexham last weekend until travel problems intervened. Malcolm Jefferson has his horses in good order and he has already booked Harry Haynes for recent Perth scorer The Panama Kid.

The feature race on the card, broadcast at 3.25pm, is the EDF-ER Fallago Rig Handicap Chase, kindly supported by French energy giants EDF energy renewables.

Garleton, now with Maurice Barnes, has course and distance winning form in 2009 and Alexander Voy is set to try for his fifth win on the 10-year-old. Harry Flashman, trained near Hawick by Donald Whillans, has gained his three chase wins at Hexham, but boasts winning hurdle form at his local track.

In their seventh consecutive year of sponsorship, James and Fiona Doyle have been hugely loyal supporters of Kelso Racecourse and stage a race in memory of James’s father, Peter. The fourth race in the card off at 3.45pm has attracted a large field. Willie Amos, based at Broadhaugh just south of Hawick, is starting to get going this autumn and he has pencilled in Also Jo for this plus Border Flora in the last. Lucy Alexander rode her first winner since turning professional at Carlisle recently has been ‘jocked up’ on several horses, including Sydney Cover for her father Nick in this.

Kevin and Ann Oliver of Haltwhistle sponsor the fifth race on the card – a novice hurdle. This is to celebrate the first birthday of Cooper Burton, their grandchild. Sandy Thomson, whose yard is at Lambden near Greenlaw, has entered his home-bred mare Little Fifi in this and Any Given Moment in the last race. Ferdy Muphy may unveil an interesting newcomer in the shape of Jaws, who also holds an entry in the 2.10pm.

Brian Boyd of First Choice Fire Protection Services has generously stepped in to sponsor the final Novice Handicap Chase of the day. Jedburgh trainer Harriet Graham will be hoping Soul Magic can make it five-in-a-row after four successive wins at Cartmel between June and August. Well Oiled, a close third at Kelso’s opening card of the autumn, is the only entry on the card for Kirk Yetholm’s Sandy Forster.

The card is rounded off with a race run as part of the Racing Excellence Initiative. It sees an entry for Overyou who won for Elliott Cooper at Hexham last Saturday. The former jockey also has King Benny in this from his yard just south of Carlisle.

Lucinda Russell has one of the north’s biggest jumping strings and she could give Tanzanite Bay her handicap debut in this. Carters Rest, trained near Hawick by Iain ‘Scobie’ Jardine, is also set to run. Formerly a conditional rider with Len Lungo, Iain has been in the winners’ enclosure this summer on the flat.