Thomson eyes Ayr shot after Seldom Inn success

Seldom Inn appeared to love the mud at Kelso on Saturday and won the Premier Chase prize.
Seldom Inn appeared to love the mud at Kelso on Saturday and won the Premier Chase prize.

Greenlaw trainer Sandy Thomson scooped one of Kelso’s major prizes when Seldom Inn posted a comfortable success in the £33,000 Premier Chase on Saturday.

The victory also provided winning jockey Brian Hughes with the third leg of a 346-1 four-timer.

An entry in the Scottish National at Ayr is now on the cards.

“I’ve always thought he was a decent horse but he has his own way of jumping and he wasn’t suited by us having to make a late change of jockey last time as Brian Hughes and Danny Cook know him best,” explained Thomson.

“The soft ground doesn’t really suit him, but they went so slowly today that it didn’t matter.

“He’s a horse that does best fresh and we might wait until Ayr next month.

“We’ll give him an entry in the Scottish National and there’s a novices’ handicap on the same day.”

Kelso owner John Stenhouse celebrated another victory at his local track when Reivers Lad posted a second successive success to land the opening Terry Frame Joiners novices’ hurdle race.

Reivers Lad – held in high regard by Cumbrian trainer Nicky Richards – produced another impressive display, leading from pillar to post, to take the spoils by eight lengths.

“He is an exciting horse and he’s won even better than we could have expected,” enthused the winning owner. “I can’t wait for him to go chasing next year.”

The win also provided a victorious comeback for jockey Brian Harding, who has been sidelined through injury since the beginning of the year, after a crashing fall at Musselburgh.

Brian Hughes was the man to follow thereafter, beginning his victory trail riding Clan Legend to head the Cyril Alexander Memorial novice chase.

It was a fitting win for Leslie trainer Nick Alexander, whose family sponsor the race.

“We won this with Jet Master and I’m delighted to have won it again,” he said. “Clan Legend loves the ground and the tongue strap we fitted him with for the first time was a big help.

“It’s also very very special to win father’s memorial race 25 years after he died with the last foal out of the last horse he bred,” he added.

Hughes then rode Mount Mews to a runaway victory in the feature £38,000 totescoop6 Premier novices’ hurdle race.

“He would be up there with some of the best ones I’ve had,” said Malton trainer Malcom Jefferson.

“He’s not a flashy type but he’s just the sort of horse I like.

“He will go to Aintree now for the Grade 2 novices’ hurdle we won with Cyrus Darius two years ago,” he concluded.

After completing his hat-trick on Seldom Inn, Brian Hughes made it four on the trot, riding The Orange Rogue to head the Premier Traffic Management handicap chase.

The win also provided Nick Alexander with a training double.

“I think the ground is the key to him,” said Nick, “though I was also a little worried about the course.

“I thought he would be better suited to Newcastle and Ayr where he could get into a nice rhythm, but clearly it wasn’t a problem.”

Hawick jockey Blair Campbell won the concluding Carnacrack handicap hurdle race aboard Sammy B, for Milnathort trainer Lucinda Russell.

“I told the trainer and jockey that Sammy B wouldn’t like the ground. I’m delighted to be proved wrong,” said Lucinda.

Racing returns to Kelso – crowned Event of the Year at the LiveBorders Celebration of Sport awards the previous evening – for the Party in the Paddock fixture on Saturday, March 25. Results:

2.15 – REIVERS LAD (B Harding) 5-6 fav; 2, Slanelough 50-1; 3, Lastin’ Memories 100-1. Seven ran. N Richards, Penrith.

2.50 – CLAN LEGEND (B Hughes) 100-30; 2, Master Jake 3-1; 3, Forest des Aigles 9-2. Five ran. N Alexander, Leslie.

3.25 – MOUNT MEWS (B Hughes) 11-8 fav; 2, Chalonnial 4-1. Four ran, two finished. M Jefferson, Malton.

4.00 – SELDOM INN (B Hughes) 8-1; 2, Tenor Nivernais 4-6 fav; 3, Le Mercurey 2-1. Five ran. S Thomson, Lambden.

4.35 – THE ORANGE ROGUE (B Hughes) 11-4fav; Rosquero 25-1, Achill Road Boy 7-2. Eight ran. N Alexander.

5.10 – SAMMY B (B Campbell) 15-8jt fav; 2, Late Date 5-1 ; 3, Court Baloo 11-1. Seven ran. L Russell, Milnathort.