Second year of Kelso Christmas meeting

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Monday marks the second year of Kelso’s popular Christmas holiday meeting, when another cracking card comes under orders at 12.15pm, with gates open at 10.15am.

An action-packed afternoon is headed by a race to commemorate Colonel Willie Monteith and his son, Peter, who trained many winners at the track. Sheila Monteith, along with Dennis Coppola, generously provide a £10,000 purse for the winner of a competitive two-mile handicap chase.

Dianne Sayer has her horses in top form and could be represented by Endeavor, who finished third last year. Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd, whose son Sam rode his first winner at Alnwick’s recent point-to-point, is planning to enter Aye Well, a horse placed over course and distance in November.

Robin Lees, owner of a chain of hotels in the Borders, sponsors the mares novice hurdle under the name of The Newcastle Arms in Coldstream.

Malcolm Jefferson landed this 12 months ago with Retrieve The Stick and is keen to try and keep the prize at his Malton yard.

The Children’s Immunology Trust, based at The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, are one of two charities sponsoring at the fixture.

Lucinda Russell landed this race last year with Settledoutofcourt and the Milnathort handler aims to defend the title.

The BARK Woof Miaow Squeak handicap hurdle aims to highlight the tremendous work of the Berwick-based BARK Charity, which rescues and rehomes pets. Quel Elite was second in this last December and might just sneak in off top-weight after his recent strike at Wetherby for his Lake District trainer Jimmy Moffatt.

A new sponsor to Kelso is Lockerbie-based science and solution business, Kilco International Limited, which supports the 2m 5f handicap chase. Ann Hamilton’s Edmund is a likely contender for his Northumberland connections.

The Kelso team will be on hand at the Club Office for anyone wishing to renew their annual membership for 2015. A spokesperson said: “Membership is great value, and costs the same as last year, offering 70 days’ racing and other benefits available to all badge holders.”

Racecourse managing director Richard Landale is delighted to announce that Kelso has secured the first Veterans’ Chase ever to be run in Scotland.

This three-mile class two chase will have a total prize fund of £30,000 and is to be staged at the Borders track on Sunday, January 11. It is open to horses 10 years old and over with a rating of 0-150 and will be sponsored by the Royal Caledonian Hunt at Kelso’s first meeting in the New Year.