Leading media figures are coming up for the event, including Simon Ellen, Chairman of Racing UK his Chief Executive, Richard Fitzgerald and Adrian Ford, CEO of Turf TV known for his tremendous work at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal. They are all involved in sponsorship of the evening race meeting.
The feature race of the day is the Peter K Dale Novice Chase staged for the Haddington Jubilee Cup. Peter Dale, the sole proprietor of Peter K Dale Ltd, first sponsored at Kelso in 2007 and has long been a keen National Hunt supporter. Peter rode and worked for David “ The Duke” Nicholson and his father Frenchie. Peter rode approximately 30 winners under rules before turning his attention to establishing his business in the Borders, designing and erecting industrial and agricultural buildings throughout the United Kingdom to the North of Scotland, providing a personal, efficient and cost effective service.
Peter and Philippa will be on hand to judge the best turned out and present wining connections with mementos after what promises to be a very competitive event. Degas Art, trained by Lucinda Russell, has enjoyed a fabulous year and has won four times since joining his new connections last spring - his owners include Scotland football coach Craig Levein and Kelso racecourse announcer Ronald Barber. Nigel Twiston-Davies has entered Viking Blonde who was fancied prior to pulling up in the recent bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.
The Edinburgh based company, Hunter Property Fund Management sponsor the second race on the card. Mark Hunter, proprietor of the company established this very successful property firm which manages property in America and also across Europe. High profile members from the Edinburgh office will be present throughout the preliminaries of their race and make the winning presentations to connections. Malcolm Jefferson had two winners at the Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals and the Malton trainer expects to run Scales for prominent owner Trevor Hemmings. Talking Sence, trained at Selkirk by Stuart Coltherd, is making a quick reappearance after just getting pipped at the recent Perth Festival.
The penultimate meeting of the season will be Kelso Racecourse’s second fixture with new Media partners, Racing UK and Turf TV. Senior Executive of Turf TV, Adrian Ford is travelling up to take part in an Injured Jockeys Fund Charity Golf competition and attend the evening race meeting. Easement has not been beaten far on his last two visits to Kelso for Bonchester Bridge-based handler George Bewley. Alan Mactaggart’s popular Denholm raider Royal Mackintosh may have gained all four career wins at Carlisle but he has still ran a couple of cracking races at his local track.
A new sponsor to Kelso are Walker Love, the debt recovery and enforcement service who have kindly agreed to sponsor the Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle Race. This highly respected and very experience debt recovery
firm operate out of Dublin Street in Edinburgh and are celebrating 25 years of working in the Scottish Borders. Dorothy Lowe, a Partner in the firm is heading up their representation and will be making winning presentations after the race. Lucy Alexander gets on well with Barry Murtagh’s Stanley Bridge and the combination won four races together last season. Scriptwriter, formerly with Howard Johnson and previously Saeed Bin Suroor, is starting to find some form for Appleby handler Evelyn Slack who has booked East Lothian pilot Zander Voy for the ride.
Another new sponsor to Kelso are the International Accountants, AVER Corporate Advisory Services Ltd. Bill Cleghorn who operates for the International company, here in the UK and in America from their York Place office in Edinburgh will be attending with his wife and are keen National Hunt enthusiasts who attend the Border track when business commitments allow. Likely top-weight is Mickytaker who will be running for the first time since joining Martin Todhunter from the Alan King yard. Lindsayfield Lodge represents Tyneside trainer Robert Johnson and both his chase wins have come at Kelso.
The concluding Open Hunter Chase off at 8.45 is kindly sponsored by the NFU Mutual Financial Services Division. Ken Johnston who heads the party from Alnwick has used the racecourse to entertain corporate clients for many years and has kindly stepped in to sponsor a competitive Open Hunter. Itzacliche has won four times under rules for Joey Richards and is trained by her father Nicky. Beau Traveller has run two cracking races in similar company this spring at Kelso, notably when just failing to land a gamble for Yorkshire trainer Bianca Dunk in last month’s Buccleuch Cup.
Ladies Day on Sunday 27th May is the next final meeting of the season where all hospitality is sold out for this popular event.
Louise Grey who heads the marketing team at the racecourse commented “ We are delighted that Ladies Day hospitality has sold out in record time. Advanced ticket sales are well ahead of last year so we are anticipating a great crowd”
“We aim to improve Ladies Day year on year and are extremely lucky to have the support of Sir Alex Ferguson, who has kindly sponsored the Injured Jockeys Fund - Ladies Only Charity race, that will take place at the end of the card on Sunday 27th May, a great way to round off the season at Kelso”
There are still two weeks to go until Ladies Day and although there will be tickets available at the gate on the day, advanced booking discounts on tickets purchased in advance are still available.