Kelso Races draws a close to its National Hunt season with its largest day of the year – John Smiths Ladies Day on Sunday, May 27. A competitive seven race card has attracted a great entry to celebrate the end of the season, with gates opening at 12pm,
The course has also scheduled a range of complimentary events to run throughout the day, commencing at 12pm with 200 free goody bags available to the first 200 ladies through the gates, plus the Best Dressed Lady and Best Dressed couple which is kindly sponsored by A Hume Country Clothing.
The first race off at 2.15pm is sponsored by Matt and Claire who trade as Matt and Blackjack Racing. Makbullet, trained in Northumberland by Michael Smith, bids for a Kelso hat-trick having struck in similar races in March and April. James Ewart may give a debut to his ex-Irish pointer Croc An Aifrean who is by top sire Milan.
The feature race of the day off at 3.30pm is the John Smiths Handicap Steeple Chase, run for The Wilfred & Patricia Crawford memorial trophy. Alan Mactaggart’s Royal Mackintosh has gained all his wins at Carlisle and the veteran was foiled a run at his local track by the recent abandonment. Or De Grugy has four Kelso wins to his name and is due to run for the first time since Sue Bradburne retired and join forces with Nick Alexander
The Kings Own Scottish Borders (KOSB) are the racecourse’s longest standing sponsors and have generously continued to support the Novice Handicap Chase. Saddle Pack has already won two chases at Carlisle and Hexham this spring for Jimmy Walton and the gelding could make his Kelso debut under the trainer’s stepdaughter Catherine. Carters Rest is trained near Hawick by Iain ‘Scobie’ Jardine and he has been in the frame in his last two starts over fences so far.
Margaret and Dennis Coppola have been tremendous supporters of the Border track .The third race on the card a Novice Hurdle, is sponsored in the name of their three grandchildren. Alan Swinbank loves having runners at the Borders track and Proud Times arrives here fresh from a run on the Flat at Hamilton Park. Charlie Bucket, trained on the outskirts of Hawick by Donald Whillans ran one of his best races when a close second here in late December.
Adam Pringle of Border Facilities from Harlow Hill near Alnwick, has generously sponsored the Novice Handicap Hurdle off at 4.25pm. Pas Trop Tard, trained in Cumbria by Maurice Barnes, stayed on nicely over course and distance recently on his comeback from a few months off. Lucinda Russell enjoyed a terrific time last season and ex-Philip Hobbs-trained Outrageous Request looks like he could be a future money-spinner for the months ahead.
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards are long term sponsors at Kelso and are once again supporting the Open Hunter Chase. Itzacliche has plenty of decent form in handicap and hunter chase company for Greystoke-based Joey Richards. Rose Dobbin-trained Sierra Victor has winning form under Rules and he could make his hunter chase debut for the M S Borders Racing Club
The final seventh race on the card is kindly sponsored by Colin and Diane Robertson to mark a family celebration. Jedburgh’s Harriet Graham is a busy girl with her clerking duties at Perth and Musselburgh and she could have her trainer’s hat on with Glorybelucky. Edinburgh-born Karen Mclintock has always done well with her bumper horses and she introduces a nicely-bred newcomer in the shape of Mason David Brown.
For the second year running, Ladies Day will play host the an Injured Jockeys Fund Ladies Only Charity Flat race- a fundraiser for the “House that Jack Built”. The race has been kindly sponsored by Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson.