Horse racing: March meeting on the cards at Kelso

This photograph was taking by Jim Dodds from Kelso of Kelso Race Course.
This photograph was taking by Jim Dodds from Kelso of Kelso Race Course.

Hot on the heels of Premier Hurdle Day, comes a new March fixture at Kelso racecourse when the Belhaven Brewery sponsored card comes under orders on Monday.

Wilson Wishart of Braehead Commercial Finance, Edinburgh sponsor the opener where Scotland’s leading jumps trainer, Lucinda Russell – who saddled a double on Sunday - plans to introduce newcomer Ryalex, a winning Irish point to pointer.

Livingston based Wine Importers Ltd sponsor the feature race – the £14,000 Champagne Joseph Perrier Handicap Chase. Managing Director Billy Bell and his wife Lorna will judge the best turned out and make the presentations to the winning connections. Nick Alexander plans to run Jet Master, victorious in two of his four chase starts at the track. Aye Well – placed in two previous Kelso starts - may represent in-form Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd.

The Belhaven Brewery novices’ handicap chase should attract a good field -Lucinda Russell has pencilled in Present Flight, who has been in terrific form all season. His two trips to Kelso in 2015-16 have resulted in a win in October and a good second in late December. Nick Alexander’s Wicklow Lad is expected to make a comeback after injury and his last run was in a hunters’ chase at Kelso 13 months ago.

John Anderson, who works tirelessly to promote the Berwick Speedway, whose season starts at Easter, kindly sponsors the novices’ hurdle race.

Mark Hay, proprietor of Cheers Bars who specialise in outside bars and the Queen’s Head in Kelso, oversees the racecourse’s Pavilion Bar and sponsors the handicap hurdle. Captain Redbeard has won two of his four outings this year including at Carlisle recently, when the first leg of a first career double for amateur rider Sam Coltherd. The 17-year-old son of Selkirk trainer Stuart Coltherd hopes to turn professional after competing in the Fox Hunters’ Chase at Aintree’s Grand National fixture next month.

Robin Lees, of the Newcastle Arms in Coldstream, sponsors the 3m2f handicap hurdle. Robin also owns a chain of hotels and pubs across the Borders and is a great supporter of the Borders track. Landecker bids for his fourth course strike for Kinneston trainer Nick Alexander. He won three times over hurdles in 2014 for Lucy Alexander, who hopes to be back in action soon after a recent fall.

Racing starts at 2pm, with gates open at noon.