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The first race on the programme, the George Harrow Memorial Novices Hurdle Race, has gone to the favourite for the past three renewals and always features some classy individuals. In addition to the Injured Jockeys Fund there will be opportunities to support the armed forces charity SSAFA, who will be taking over the charity tea room, as well as World Horse Welfare for whom Bruce Farms have sponsored the second race. Lucinda Russell has made a habit of winning the Ian Anderson Memorial Handicap Chase, having taken two of the last three runnings.
The first of seven races gets under way at The feature race of the day has proved a useful stepping stone, in recent years, for emerging equine talent. Lake View Lad, who was third last year, is a leading fancy for next month's Grand National for Scottish trainer Nick Alexander, while the winner The Last Samuri went on to finish runner-up in the following year's Aintree marathon. Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and owned by Dundee United football club director Jimmy Fyffe, the huge-framed novice chaser is progressing rapidly and looks like a star in the making. Trained by Lucinda Russell, Alizee De Janeiro has already won three races at Kelso this season and is likely to head off to stud later in the year.
Any progeny will be expected to become hot favourites at the Borders track! Trainer Sandy Thomson could hold the key once again, as the Greenlaw trainer is triple-handed with Arthurs Secret, Seemorelights and Buckled. Last year's second Donna's Diamond could be in the line-up once again for Chris Grant in the black and white stripe colours of North East owner David Armstrong.
Mount Mews, who won the Premier Hurdle at Kelso when trained by Malcolm Jefferson, is entered for both of the valuable hurdle races on the programme. Now trained by Donald McCain, the Trevor Hemmings owned gelding declined to race when getting over-excited at Cheltenham where he looked fit and potentially well-treated by the handicapper. Named to commemorate the influential couple, both of whom became Patrons to the racecourse in their own right, the race offers Caraline an opportunity for back-to-back wins after her strike for Middleham trainer Micky Hammond last year.
Captain Redbeard's Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd said: "He's in tip-top form and it's a good race on our doorstep. He beat Definitly Red nicely at Kelso last time and the plan is to go at his stage. We will make a decision nearer the time as he is ground dependant and a better horse when the going is soft.
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One For Arthur is trained by Lucinda Russell who said: "Unlike on his way to winning the National, nothing has gone smoothly this time. The home team could face some stiff opposition from the South including the Paul Nicholls-trained Black Corton, a prolific winner normally ridden by Bryony Frost, who holds a Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National entry. Nicholls won the event in with Le Prezien.
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Twice a late withdrawal recently, this could be the ideal opening for a horse who completed a hat-trick last spring. Nicky Richards' Glittering Love has a more recent winning sequence as he struck for the third successive time at Ayr in early February. The gates open at The British Horseracing Authority allowed racing to resume, following a 6 day break after an equine influenza outbreak, just in time for Morebattle Hurdle Day at Kelso.
While many racing stables were not quite cleared to have runners in time, leading to smaller fields than usual, the quality of the horses on display was not in question. We only got the all clear to run due to the equine flu outbreak at tea time last night so it was touch and go.
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His target again is the Grand National and he might be a wee bit well in with 9st 13lb now! He may have one more run before Aintree, possibly back here in the Premier Chase. Despite the upset, Definitely Red looks likely to go to Cheltenham next month where his stamina is likely to deployed to better effect. His jumping was pretty good even if he was a little untidy at the last and he felt great. The British Horseracing Authority has given the go ahead for racing to go ahead, following a six day shut-down due to Equine Influenza, just in time for Morebattle Hurdle Day at Kelso Racecourse.
The seven race programme has attracted a bumper entry of horses including Definitely Red in the Malcolm Jefferson Memorial Steeplechase. Trained by Brian Ellison, Definitely Red is unbeaten in the highest company this season and is being targeted at the Cheltenham Gold Cup next month. Big River is entered once again. Jefferson, who died just over a year ago, is sadly missed by the northern racing fraternity.
Big River is being aimed at the race once again. A trial for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, the race was first staged in and was made popular by Jinxy Jack who gained four wins in-a-row for the late Gordon Richards between and The first race gets underway at 1.
Two years ago the feature race was won by the Irish raider Angus Milan, trained by Noel Kelly, in front of a massive crowd. The course now stages the highest quality jumps programme of any track in Scotland and makes the eighth best contribution to prize money of all the jumps courses in Britain. In April the ITV racing team broadcast live from the racecourse for the first time in 40 years, when the big race winners included Keyboard Gangster from the Hawick based yard of Donald Whillans. It is really satisfying to see local trainers winning the money as we have such a lot of talent in the Borders.
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The first of the seven races is due off at There will be musical entertainment after racing in the Paddock-side marquee. In order to provide fresh ground for the big race, the steeplechase fences have been moved sideways during the four week gap since the last race-meeting.
The obstacles have been refurbished with fresh birch and the running-rail realigned. Racehorse owner Jim Beaumont is hoping to lift the trophy for the fourth time in succession, having been successful with Neptune Equester in and , as well as Harry The Viking in A jazz band will greet visitors at the entrance with traditional festive tunes.
The first race is due off at Recent rain and autumnal weather has helped racehorse trainers to hone the fitness of the horses in their charge, while the ground at Kelso is officially described as Good. Grand National hero One For Arthur was a winner on this programme two years ago and the races staged at this October fixture frequently attract horses that go on to win major races later in the season. The Lucinda Russell trained Big River won the novice chase on the programme and could be destined for Aintree glory himself — so the races are well worth watching and the winners noting.
An interesting raider, and chasing debutante from the south, could be Mahler's First from the Devon yard of Victor Dartnall. Inverurie-based Jackie Stephen is Britain's most northerly trainer and she is double-handed with Captain Kurt and Starozov. Dual Kelso bumper winner Tokaramore, bred in Berwickshire by Ailie Tullie, puts her unbeaten course record on the line as she samples her first taste of a handicap hurdle.
Irish trainer John McConnell, who saddled a double at Kelso's opening meeting of the autumn, has pencilled in his two-time winning hurdler Roi De Dubai. Ascot De Bruyere, trained by James Ewart, was the horse that supplied now-retired Brian Harding with his final winner when successful at Kelso in March Wyfield Rose, owned by borders-based John and Liz Elliot and trained by Dianne Sayer, has already scored this Autumn when making all at Sedgefield early last month. The four-furlong dash, staged for the first time in , features fourteen riders listed below — each of whom has represented their town this year during the Ridings.
The race celebrates the broad equestrian culture that exists throughout the Scottish Borders and provides the focal point for one of the largest social gatherings of the Border Ridings Season. As usual, horses will be allocated at random and the race will take place at 1. The 2 mile race is sponsored by Ray and Anita Green, on behalf of the charity, and they have a likely runner in the shape of Upsilon Bleu, trained by the Otterburn based Pauline Robson. The race represents one of the first significant skirmishes of the core National Hunt season and has become a traditional starting point for the Grade 1 winning chaser Simply Ned, who has won the race twice and been second twice in the last four renewals.
The first race, the Radio Borders Handicap Hurdle, also features the first and second from last year among a strong field of seventeen entries. Hitman Fred could be an interesting runner for Rose Dobbin. The race has been named for Alistair, who retires from Andersons Butchers this year and will present the mementoes to the winning connections after the race.
The Queens Head Hotel, located just off the square in Kelso, is a popular staging post for trainers and stable staff who are staying over the night before a raceday and owner Mark Hay has become a regular sponsor at the local track. Irish trainer John McConnell is also a qualified vet and he has close recent Clonmel runner-up, Montys Angel, earmarked for the race. The Border Principals Race is due off at 1.