Ryan Mania is due to make his first appearance in front of his home crowd at Kelso on Monday since his epic Grand National win on Auruoras Encore.
Sadly the horse hadn’t made enough of a recovery to complete the Grand National/ Scottish Grand National double but Ryan is sure to have a good book of rides for a competitive days racing with the first race off at 2.10pm.
The feature race of the day is the Jedforest Deer Park Novice Handicap Chase, sponsored by John and Lorna Irving who do such a tremendously good job in managing the Mervinslaw Estate and the Jedforest Deer Park- which is a very popular tourist attraction, and a really good family day out. Itzacliche, a winner of a Kelso Hunter Chase last May, has been off since the autumn and is likely to make his comeback in this for his owner-rider Joey Richards
The other feature race a 3m 2f Handicap Chase, is a surprise birthday celebration and is sure to produce a cracking contest. Ladbroke’s supremo Nick Rust, has very generously sponsored this race to honour his father Johns 80th birthday. John and his wife Carole will be present to judge the best turned out and make the winning presentations.
Peter and Gillian Allan have a superb reputation and are one of the best caterers in the Borders, they have built up a tremendous following at the Racecourse and have generously agreed to sponsor the 2m 6.5f Handicap Hurdle off at 3.10pm. Hawick handler Alison Hamilton could be tempted to go again with Bow School after he looked like winning on his recent comeback after a lengthy lay-off. Two opponents he could face are Nicky Richards pair Merrydown and Mallin Bay
The Racecourse Association are making a very rare visit to Kelso for a regional meeting in Scotland ,and have agreed to sponsor the 2m 1f Handicap Chase. The ROA provide an excellent service to all owners and their insurance scheme is second to none in providing cover in the case of any accident. Alan Guthrie is the local representative and Richard Wayman is the Chief Executive from London and will be on hand to do the presentations. Freddie Brown is a regular in this type of race for Kelso chairman Johnny Jeffreys while Lucy Normile’s Primrose Time ran a cracker over course and distance recently.
Norman Orde who is such a stalwart supporter of the Racecourse, has again stepped in to sponsor the first race on the card off at 2.10pm- The Lyntoun Private Hire Maiden Hurdle. Norman provides the most wonderful personal chauffeuring service in East Lothian. Nicky Richards has been in decent form at Kelso this season and the Greystoke trainer is entering Bishops Gate who should appreciate the better ground after his promising heavy ground debut at Ayr in February. Scotland’s leading Flat trainer Jim Goldie is pencilling in Plus Jamai, a runner at Ayr’s recent Scottish National Festival.
Local Racecourse Director, Robert Miller-Bakewell sponsors the Novice Hunter Chase under the name of his exceptionally well run Eildon Hills Stables of which Joanna Imray is the person in charge. Eildon Hill Stables provides a great service for horse owners in the Melrose area. Iain Jardine’s Hawick raider Buywise was travelling strongly when falling three out in the Buccleuch Cup, while Gala-based Katie Scott said the winner of that race, Moscow Menace, is likely to return to his local in search of more prize money, in what promises to be an open race.
Ian Macleod and Co Ltd are the distillers of Isle of Sky Whisky of which Peter Russell, Lucinda’s father is the Chairman. Isle of Sky Whisky, London Hill Gin and Trawler Rum have been the franchise at the Racecourse for the last five years and these top quality products have given the Racecourse a justifiable reputation for quality. Isle of Sky prizes will be provided for all the winning connections in what promises to be a very competitive 2 m 2 f Handicap Hurdle. Alistair Whillans, who won the bumper at Ayr on Scottish Grand National day, could saddle Funky Munky, now back on a ‘winning’ handicap mark while Jim Goldie in entering Kelso regular Bene Lad. Two other entries are Nicky Richards’ Parc Des Princes and Abbey Garth, who carries the colours of major owner J P McManus.