Russell’s riding high at Jedforest

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RUSSELL Lindsay celebrated his first point-to-point win at Jedforest on Sunday.

The 18-year-old brought home Alan Brown’s Silk Parasol to land the Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club members’ race for novice riders.

Russell rode out for Hawick handler Donald Whillans, before joining Keith Reveley’s Saltburn yard last August, and was having just his third ride.

He told the Hawick News: “I was really looking forward to the race. I think the owners had high expectations but I wasn’t really nervous.

“The race went well. I led from the front and I didn’t see any other horses the whole time.

“It was a horse I’d ridden last season and she jumped really well. It was a really good buzz to cross the finishing line as the winner.”

Galashiels jockey Kelly Bryson notched her first treble at last year’s Jedforest point-to-point, and returned to the same track on Sunday to repeat the feat.

The current Northern Area ladies champion completed her second hattrick at her local Friars Haugh course, admitting the Kelso course is a favourite.

“It’s great to ride a treble, and even better to do it here,” she said.

Her victory trail began in the opening JRW Group members’ race when Quotica de Poyans defended his 2010 title to take the spoils by a convincing five lengths.

The French-bred gelding is owned by Kelly’s employer, Bonchester-based Phillipa Shirley-Beavan.

“That was a nice confidence restorer,” explained Phillipa, whose charge had enjoyed an unbeaten run until falling on his two previous outings.

The winner is likely to contest a hunter chase at Kelso races February 17 fixture.

Hawick’s Jamie Hamilton was close on the heels of the winner, until Waterford came down five from the finish.

Sixteen-year-old Callum Bewley, who was making his pointing debut, finished runner-up on Windy Hills.

Kelly Bryson and Phillipa Shirley-Beavan joined forces an hour later to record a second success, when Minouchka enjoyed a 10-length win in the Aga ladies’ open – a qualifier for the Cheltenham final in May.

Aggie’s Lad came to the last in front, and looked to have the race in hand, until ducking out and unseating jockey Lucy Alexander.

Minouchka had been retired last season to begin life as a broodmare, and will return to stallion Indian Danehill this year. “The plan is to go back and try again,” said Phillipa, “as she’s such a tough, genuine, mare.”

Kelly completed her hat-trick in the concluding Billy Stenhouse Memorial open maiden race on 2-1 favourite Marksmore.

The eight-year-old carries the colours of Sylvia Scott, whose popular Galashiels-based Quinns restaurant sponsors the winning jockey.

Bought for just £500 from Berwickshire breeder Ailie Tullie, Marksmore is trained at Galashiels by Sylvia and Murray Scott’s daughter, Katie,

“We bought him in the summer, and he’s a lovely horse,” said Katie, who currently has some six horses in her yard.

Fashion designer Drew Holmes from Bolam in Northumberland, enjoyed his first success in the saddle in winning the David Merry restricted race on Stark Raven.

Drew, who works in Gosforth for Nigel Cabourne, recently returned from a fashion week in Florence.

He plans to run the 11-year-old in the Buccleuch Cup at Kelso.

Stark Raven was previously with Yetholm-based Clive Storey, who trained Gunner Jack to win the Brewin Dolphin men’s open race.

The 10-year-old was bought privately last year for Edward Wrigley, a student of religious studies at Edinburgh University “to have some fun.

“We’ll just keep running him and see how he is,” said Clive.

Former National Hunt jockey Iain Jardine saddled Rowan Road to win the Bedmax PPA PPORA mares’ maiden race for Jedburgh owner/breeder Alec Dawson and his daughter Kate Campbell, who now lives in Newmarket.

“We thought quite a lot of her last year, and she has really strengthened up now,” said Iain, who has three pointers in training at his yard outside Hawick.

The Jedforest fixture – the first Scottish meeting of the season – survived two inspections after temperatures plummeted overnight. And despite being bitterly cold, a good crowd supported the meeting.

Racing returns to Friars Haugh on March 19 for the Duke of Buccleuch’s point-to-point.