Bob's Dream takes the ladies' fancy at Kelso Races
BOB'S Dream recorded his third course success before a bumper crowd at Kelso's Ladies' Day meeting on Sunday.
In the colours of Hawick farmer Rob Kyle, and trained on the outskirts of the town by Willie Amos, the gelding held on by a nose in a nail-biting finish.
East Lothian jockey Campbell Gillies always had the eight-year-old handily placed in a competitive KOSB novices' handicap chase, but was pursued up the run-in by Cariretau, ridden by Clovenfords jockey Ryan Mania.
"We expected a good run," admitted Amos, "but you're there to be shot down with top weight.
"We'll probably take him to Perth next for a 135-rated handicap," he added.
There was a second Hawick success when the Alistair Whillans-trained Storm Brig took the concluding George F White Ladies Away Day bumper.
Also carrying top weight, the five-year-old was following up a victorious course debut last March and had since finished a good third at Ayr last time.
The only previous winner in the line-up, he came home ahead of winning pointer Sunnyside.
The victory provided the second leg of a double for jockey Brian Hughes, who had earlier ridden the winner of the opening Border Facilities novices' hurdle race.
Hughes partnered Pyracantha in the colours of Ian Clark a director of Doncaster-based Linroyale Potatoes, who was celebrating his first ever win as an owner.
The Alan Swinbank-trained five-year-old won a bumper in November, and seemed to appreciate the drying ground at the Borders track.
Quatro Pierji made the running in a race dominated by the market leaders, but Pyracantha drew clear from the last for a comfortable success under Brian Hughes.
Soft Spoken Guy had no problems with the longer trip and headed the Third Time Lucky staying novices' hurdle race in convincing style, ahead of market rival Carelaverock.
Minouchka made the running in the feature Bedmax handicap chase, finishing third behind Reel Charmer and Rambling Minster, bred by the late Kenneth Oliver.
George Charlton's Reel Charmer produced a game effort, wearing down the top weight – in first-time blinkers - to clinch victory by a neck.
Richie McGrath dictated the pace on Stopped Out in the Duncan Sinclair Memorial novices' handicap hurdle race, and the grey won unchallenged.
Another grey in victorious form was Silver Sedge, ridden by Hawick jockey Jonathon Bewley to win the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards hunter chase.
Just a neck behind was the ever-consistent Anshan Spirit, who has been placed in the race four times.
Racing was preceded by two good pony races – part of the Charles Owen series for aspiring jockeys.
The 138 cm five-furlong race was won by 13-year-old George Innes-Kerr from Kelso riding Clonross Star, with Tom Hamilton (14) from Hawick runner-up on Simply Simon and Lorcan Murtagh in third on Finbarr.
The 148cm six-furlong race went to 12-year-old Henry Morshead – son of Kelso's clerk of the course Anthea – riding Over to Kerry.
Second was Thomas Greenwood (16) on Springs, with 14-year-old Jack Brown third on Surf the Turf.
Racing returns to Kelso on Wednesday, April 28, for an evening meeting beginning at 5.55pm.
2.20 – PYRACANTHA (B Hughes) 3-1; 2, Quatro Pierji 7-2; 3, Quacity 14-1. 14 ran. G Swinbank, Richmond.
2.50 – BOB'S DREAM (C Gillies) 11-4 fav; 2, Carrietau 14-1; 3, St Killian's Run 9-2. 12 ran. W Amos, Hawick.
3.20 – SOFT SPOKEN GUY (M McAlister) 11-10 fav; 2, Caerlaverock 11-4; 3,Almond Court 28-1. 14 ran. M Barnes, Brampton.
3.50 – REEL CHARMER (Mr A Findlay) 8-1; 2, Rambling Minster 15-2; 3, Minouchka 25-1. 12 ran. G Charlton, Stocksfield.
4.20 – STOPPED OUT (R McGrath) 6-1; 2, Top It All 9-1; 3, Solis 22-1 . 13 ran. Mrs K Walton, Middleham.
4.50 – SILVER SEDGE (J Bewley) 4-1; 2, Anshan Spirit 4-1; 3, High Five 12-1. Eight ran. Mrs A Hamilton, Newcastle.
5.20 – STORM BRIG (B Hughes) 4-1; 2, Sunnyside 7-1; 3, Attaglance 9-1. 13 ran. A Whillans, Hawick.