Lie Forrit proved a popular and emotional victor of Kelso’s feature £30,000 Royal Caledonian Hunt Veterans’ handicap chase on Sunday.
The gelding was previously ridden by the late Campbell Gillies, who tragically died in 2012, and carries the colours of his family – grandfather John McNeill, uncle Crawford McNeill and his mother Lesley Gillies.
Lie Forrit – named after a football expression from a Tranent supporter – received a rousing cheer from an enthusiastic crowd who braved the elements to enjoy another cracking afternoon’s sport.
Posting his second win from three outings over fences this season, Lie Forrit produced a gutsy performance to hold the challenge of Sandy Thomson’s Harry the Viking, who was far from disgraced in defeat.
Half-a-hour earlier, the local crowd had further cause for celebration when Shades of Midnight opened his account over timber with an impressive success in the Newcastle Arms Coldstream novices’ hurdle race.
The former bumper winner is trained at Hawick by Donald Whillans for the Borders-based Pottasium Partnership, and was ridden to a two-and-a-quarter length win by his son, Callum.
The five-year-old, who showed his speed when winning a bumper at Hexham, was victorious on just his third start over hurdles.
Snuker provided the third local victory on the trot after heading the Alan Matthews Birthday Bash handicap hurdle race.
The winner, under an inspiring ride by Britain’s champion professional lady jockey, Lucy Alexander, was posting a first win over hurdles for Langholm handler James Ewart.
He ploughed through the mud for a convincing 13-length win, ahead of Kilquiggan, from Sandy Thomson’s in-form Greenlaw stable.
Racing returns to the Border track on Thursday, February 12.
Results on page 65.