Nichol at the double in Kelso’s season-opener

Hawick jockey Craig Nichol made a victorious start to Kelso’s new season, completing a double on Wednesday, writes Hilary Mactaggart.

The 21-year-old gave Robin’s Command a well-judged ride to land the feature Straightline Construction handicap chase, adding an impressive success in the concluding Racing UK Scottish Season Ticket maiden bumper on Meet the Legend.

Robin’s Command cruised home to an eight- length victory, recording a third track success for Alnwick trainer Rose Dobbin.

Carluke-based Keith Dalgleish – who hails from Hawick – saddled Meet the Legend to an inspiring win in the bumper. The market leader, bought for £65,000, ran his rivals ragged in the last.

Langholm jockey Dale Irving and trainer James Ewart also proved on form, when Touch of Steel clinched a 9-1 success. In first-time blinkers, the gelding carried the colours of Jedburgh owner Ann Fraser to victory in the 12-strong Principal and Prosper handicap hurdle race.

Waterclock and Brian Harding came to challenge favourite Fingerontheswitch – a first runner at the course for former jockey Neil Mulholland – to clinch the spoils in a thrilling conclusion to the Barbara McLeod maiden hurdle race.

Having a fifth run for Irish trainer Gordon Elliot, former hurdle victor Romany Ryme landed the Farne Salmon & Trout handicap chase.

Previously trained at Hawick by George Bewley, the gelding stayed on gamely to give new handler Gordon Elliot a first victory at the track.

Results: 4.40 – WATERCLOCK (B. Harding) 2-1; 2, Fingerontheswitch 6-4 fav; 3, Professor Plum 13-2. Nine ran. J. O’Keefe, N. Yorks.

5.10 – ROMANY RYME (R. Johnson) 3-1; 2, Solway Bay 9-1; 3, Isthereadifference 11-2. Six ran. G. Elliot, Co. Meath.

5.40 – TOUCH OF STEEL (D. Irving) 9-1; 2, Roll of Thunder 6-1 jt fav; 3, Snowed In 8-1. 12 ran. J. Ewart, Langholm.

6.10 – ROBIN’S COMMAND (C. Nichol) 4-1; 2, Muwalla 7-2; 3, Purple ‘N Gold 3-1 fav. Eight ran. Mrs R. Dobbin, Alnwick.

6.40 – MAKETHEDIFFERENCE (M. Byrne) 6-4 fav; 2, Captain Brown 11-4. Six ran. T. Vaughan, Vale of Glamorgan.

7.10 – MEET THE LEGEND (C. Nichol) 11-4; 2, Dubai Angel 5-1; 3, Mardale 9-4 fav. Eight ran. K. Dalgleish, Carluke.