The final two days of flapping of what can only be described as a very difficult season due to the wet weather took place at a blustery Moor at the weekend.
Saturday saw Hawick Horse Racing Association hold a five-race card with 30 runners competing. Although the ground was still very tacky, it was the best horses had ran on since May.
The first race, run over one mile, comprised six runners, and young Sean Huggan took the bull by the horns on The Freeman, quickening nicely with six furlongs to run, followed by Highfield Prince, Acannacanoe and One For The Road. And as they entered the final furlong The Freeman went well clear to win by five lengths from One For The Road and Acannacanoe.
Next up was the 1¼-mile race with five runners, and Hitman Hatton set a good early pace from Man Friday and warm favourite Mr Cool, with the evergreen Andrew Fairley holding up eventual winner Titanium. Going down the back straight Hitman Hatton was still in front, but Titanium had all the moves covered to win going away with Hitman Hatton holding on well from Mr Cool. Although, after a stewards’ enquiry, Mr Cool was disqualified after a discrepancy over the passport. Well done to the committee for taking action.
The big race of the day, the Peter Pan Handicap, run over seven furlongs, and kindly sponsored to the tune of £2,000 by David Harrison, was probably the best race of the season in terms of quality horses with nine going to post. A very level break saw the first-time blinkered Tri-Star go two lengths clear in the first furlong, followed by Back on Top, Take A Risk, Pop Star, Big Mac and Isobar. The positions remained almost the same and as they approached the two- furlong pole Tri-Star quickened again to win with plenty in hand from Popstar and Isobar.
The six-furlong race saw seven runners, and it was Burnie Brae who set a fierce pace and was seven lengths clear as they passed the second pole, with challenges coming from Eye Candy and the Irish raider Come Home. With Burnie Brae stopping fast, the strong-finishing Come Home won well from Kalahari Desert in second, and Full of Magic in third.
The final race of the day attracted only three runners, with newcomer Causeway Coast a very warm favourite. However, it was the outsider of the three, The Gambler, who set a steady pace under champion jockey Greg Fairley. But as the pace quickened, Woodhall Tarasbay went three lengths clear, before Fairley stoked up The Gambler in the final furlong to win by three lengths from Woodhall Tarasbay, with Causeway Coast third.
Sunday saw yet more fine racing as the Mosstroopers Club held its meeting which had been cancelled in June.
The six-furlong race was first up and the five runners were led from the off by Back On Top, from Take A Risk and Full Of Magic. Going down the back straight.Take A Risk began to reel in Back On Top and as they approached the final furlong Take A Risk held on from Back On Top and Full Of Magic .
The Mosstroopers Handicap, run over one mile, saw Come Home going for a weekend double and starting as favourite. Hitman Hatton set a nice pace with his five rivals in hot pursuit, and going down the back, Acannacanoe and Come Home looked the main players, with The Freeman also travelling well. But it was Come Home who finished the strongest to win by four lengths from The Freeman and the much-improved Burnie Brae in third.
Nine runners entered the 1¼-mile race, and with plenty horses looking to make the running, it was Big Mac who led from newcomer Maybeastar, Highfield Prince, My Bet, Causeway Coast and Man Friday. With two furlongs left to run, Maybeastar was asked to go on for Greg Fairley and she did so gamely from the fast-finishing Mr Cool, with Man Friday back in third.
The final race of the day, run over seven furlongs, comprised a field of only three, with the crowd being treated to the closest finish of the weekend, with Eye Candy setting a steady pace up front from One For The Road and Isobar. The positions didn’t change much as Eye Candy kept on in a ding-dong battle to hold on by a head from Isobar and One For The Road in third.