Raceday Previews & Report

7th July 2017

Sam Morshead’s son Henry is already enjoying life with top trainer Paul Nicholls and I hear a young Scot is about to join him at the powerful Ditcheat stable in Somerset.

Alexander Thorne, who has been based with Lucinda Russell, starts with Nicholls on Monday. The Inverness-born rider, who partnered by first winner at Perth in May last year, has been attracting rave reviews and he is looking forward to a great opportunity.

It was great see the MS Borders Racing Club’s colours in the winners’ enclosure courtesy of Wot A Shot at Perth on Thursday. The club was formed 11 years ago and the Nicky Richards-trained hurdler was their 19th winner.  Quite a feat and a lot of the credit must go to club figurehead Rhona Elliott, a M S sufferer herself and nowadays confined to a wheelchair. A former Northern Area Ladies point to point  hampion, Rhona was at the Holyrood Palace on Tuesday where the Queen presented her with an MBE for services to charity Rhona was in the No 1 berth at Perth to acclaim Wot A Shot as she has been for most of the winners over the past two decades.

Another Rhona, this time by the name of Pindar, was all smiles as she made her debut on the Flat at Hamilton Park on Monday.  The girlfriend of Ryan Nichol, who retired on a winning note at the same venue the previous week, Rhona is now based with Alistair Whillans after spells with Lucinda Russell and Sandy Thomson.  Unfortunately her mount, 40/1 outsider Galilee Chapel, came home last but Rhona rides well and the smart money is on her riding winners before long as she has plenty of experience in hunter chases and point to points.

There was a familiar face among the winners in Bro Park in Sweden on Tuesday night as the world’s newest racecourse staged a special event for the globe’s leading female jockeys.  Bred by Gordon Leckie and formerly trained by Keith Dalgleish, Stonefield Flyer was a nice winner for his latest connections.  Now an eight-year-old he was a smart prospect at one time and won seven times in the UK. For me one of his best
efforts came in defeat when a cracking runner-up to Frederick Engels in the 2011 Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

There is a competitive two-day meeting at Ayr today and tomorrow. Feature on an eight-race today (Sunday) is the £12,000 Totepool racecourse Debit Card Betting Available Handicap over a mile while there are huge entries for tomorrow with leading stables all over the country represented.

Don’t forget to check out our Twitter feed (@ScottishRacing) and www.scottishracing.co.uk for all the latest news.

 

HAMILTON PARK preview – 14th June

By Gordon Brown

 

TRACY WAGGOTT is looking to open her account at Hamilton Park on Wednesday night when the County Durham trainer saddles two runners.

The Spennymoor raiding party is spearheaded by bargain buy Henley who faces nine rivals in the £12,000 Hamilton Audi 2nd Anniversary Celebration Handicap over the minimum trip of 5f.

Miss Waggott, yet to strike at the Lanarkshire venue with her previous nine runners, said: “Henley is really well and has won two of his last three starts this season. He handles soft ground but I’m just hoping it is not sticky and dead.

“He is really quick but there are loads of other pace horses in the race and he doesn’t have to lead. He only cost £3,500 and is a big, strong type of horse that has done really well for us.”

Among the opposition to Henley are Economic Crisis and Bronze Beau, two speedsters that have won twelve races between them at Hamilton Park.

The former, a mare now with Colin Teague, was trained by Alan Berry when successful on seven occasions while the latter was saddled by Kristin Stubbs to gain his fifth course victory less than a fortnight ago.

Also valued at £12,000 is the nine runner Hamilton Audi RS Performance Handicap over 6f.

Michael Dods-trained filly Intense Romance has won three times at Newcastle already this year and bids to lose her maiden tag on turf at just the third attempt under stable apprentice Callum Rodriguez.

 

 

HAMILTON PARK preview – 7th June

By Gordon Brown

 

ALEXANDERKOLLONTAI bids to add to her impressive course record in the feature race at Hamilton Park on Wednesday.

The Alistair Whillans-trained mare, who has been successful on five of her 18 visits to the Lanarkshire venue, faces 13 rivals in the £12,000 Weatherbys Hamiltonian Handicap over an extended 1m 1f.

Whillans’ son and assistant Ewan said: “She has raced and won over a mile but all her winning form at Hamilton has been at 6f. The question mark is the extra furlong but her running style doesn’t use up a lot of energy so she should have a good chance.

“She normally comes good at this time of year and we know she loves the track. Her action always suggested soft ground would suit best but she has also won on quick ground and hopefully the going won’t be tacky.”

Among the opposition to Alexanderkollontai are Carnageo, representing the powerful combination of Richard Fahey and Paul Hanagan and Keith Dalgleish pair Archie’s Advice and Tectonic, both of whom have winning course form.

The opening BB Foodservice Novice Auction Stakes sees six smartly-bred two-year-olds go to post and they include Miss Bar Beach, who was a promising second at 50/1 on her debut at Beverley in April.

 

PERTH REPORT 18th May 2017

By Gordon Brown

CAIUS MARCIUS, ridden by Crain Nichol, was a well backed winner of the feature race in front of a 6,000 plus ladies day crowd at Perth on Thursday.

Sent of 13/8 favourite, the Greystoke raider came home two and three quarter lengths ahead of Verona Opera in the Investec Wealth And Invstment Management Handicap Hurdle.

Winning trainer Nicky Richards said: “There are some nice race for him later this summer here and at Market Rasen. He needs a good even gallop and we may even try at 2m 4f at one stage.

“I was fairly confident today although a few of mine have not been running great as we were getting over a bad batch of hay.”

Stuart Crawford was dreaming of Scottish National success after Brian Hughes brought Baby Bach home in front in the D M Hall Novices’ Chase.

The Irish trainer said: “When we bought him I thought he might make up into a Scottish Grand National horse one day. He’s got a long way to go but you’ve got to dream and it’s a race I’d love to win.”

Crawford sealed a 15/1 double after Richard Johnson landed the toteexacta Pick The 1st And 2nd Race Handicap Chas with Don Franco.

The champion jockey had earlier initiated his own double with success on Enzani in the opening toteplacepot Six Places In Six Races Maiden Hurdle.

 

HAMILTON PARK preview 19th May 2017

By Gordon Brown

SIR CHAUVELIN faces seven rivals as he bids for a slice of history in the PDM Mains To Drains Braveheart Stakes at Hamilton Park on Friday.

Jim Goldie’s gelding tries to land the mile and half handicap for the second year running following his 7/1 victory twelve months ago.

No horse has won the Braveheart Stakes twice and the Renfrewshire trainer said: “It’s a race that has been won by some good and progressive horses and hopefully he can go close again. We actually went close to winning this a couple of times with Hillview Boy as he won it in 2010 and came second two years later.

“He’s in good order and is unbeaten to two visits to the track. Yorkidding was in front of us in the Chester Cup but we had a bad draw and we fancy him turning the form round.”

Also in the line-up is Ed Dunlop’s Amazing Red, a half brother to Red Cadeaux, the winner of this race in 2011 before amassing nearly £5 million in worldwide earnings.

Sam Missile, another runner trained in Newmarket, is a rare Hamilton Park raider for James Fanshawe while Keith Dalgleish is double-handed with Kensington Star and Corton Lad who was third in last year’s race.

 

KELSO REPORT 10th May 2017

by Gordon Brown

Gavin Cromwell made an instant profit on ex-Willie Mullins trained King’s Wharf after the Irish raider and Jack Kennedy strolled home well clear of Avidity in the 2m 1f chase.
It was the first course runner and ride for the winning combination and Cromwell said: “We paid £6,000 for him in at Ascot in March and we’ve won over seven grand here on his first run for us.”
Cromwell, also a farrier to leading lights such as Gordon Elliott, added: “He looks like a good buy and I was planing to come back here again regardless of the result as they give you such a warm welcome.”
Rising teenage star Kennedy added: “It’s a great place and the trip is all the more worthwhile now. The course is lovely and rides very well.”
Borders-born Callum Bewley, last season’s leading northern conditional rider, followed up his recent course win on Sudski Star. Trained at Jedburgh by Harriet Graham, the gelding carries the colours of Kelso director Geoff Adam.
Graham, who got soaked as Sudski Star lashed out at the bucket of water being thrown over him, said: “Looking on the bright side the bucket saved me from being kicked in the stomach! He won well and could come back here later in the month depending on what the handicapper does.”
Iain Jardine, down on the Roodee saddling 10th placed Nakeeta in the Chester Cup, came off the cold list thanks to the success of Heart O Annandale and Ross Chapman in the 3m 2f chase and the partnership completed a short-priced double in the last with Golden Jeffrey.

 

MUSSELBURGH preview 4th May 2017

by Gordon Brown

ROYAL BRAVE bids to follow up his Easter course and distance success in the feature race at Musselburgh on Thursday night.
The Rebecca Bastiman-trained gelding, only unplaced in one of his five previous visits to the East Lothian venue, faces six rivals in the Racing UK Day Pass Just £10 Handicap.
“We were really chuffed when he won last time as his owners sponsored a race on the same card,” the Wetherby trainer said. “He has been in tremendous form and the plan was always to come back to Musselburgh. Even when he hasn’t won he has run some cracking races and fingers crossed he will again.”
Among the opposition to Royal Brave are Paul Midgley’s course and distance winning pair Silvanus and One Boy while top-weight Alsvinder, hooded for the first time, is an interesting contender on his seasonal reappearance for David O’Meara.
The evening season north of the border gets underway with the Racing UK Apprentice Handicap over the same 5f.
Five of the seven runners boast course and distance winning form including Thornaby Princess who gained her two wins at Musselburgh in July and September last year.

 

 

MUSSELBURGH report 15th April 2017

by Gordon Brown

CARBON DATING carried the Partick Thistle colours of Jimmy Long to victory in the first running of the £100,000 totepool Queen’s Cup at Musselburgh.
As his favourite club were losing 2-0 to Rangers at Ibrox, 12/1 chance Carbon Dating was being driven to a length and a half success over Keith Dalgleish’s Maleficent Queen by Tadhg O’Shea.
Glasgow-born Long, whose horses run under the Thistle Bloodstock name and are trained in Ireland by Pat Shanahan, said: “We were aiming for a 1-2 as our other horse The Tartan Spartan was an unlucky third.
“It’s fantastic to win the first-ever Queen’s Cup as it’s a piece of history. Carbon Dating was probably unfortunate not to have won during the winter over in Dubai.
“He’s a mile and a half or mile and three-quarter horse and he is worth a step up in class. We might go for a Group 3 race now at somewhere like Chester.”
Sammy Jo Bell gained a 16/1 success under Cullingworth for her boss Richard Fahey in the totepoolliveinfo.com Royal Mile Handicap.
It was also her first win since a lengthy spell on the sidelines due to a broken pelvis she suffered at Carlisle last spring.
The first, and opener for the new Flat season in Scotland, went to Phillip Makin-ridden Twin Appeal in the toteplacepot Easter Saturday Handicap.
Excellently Poised, co-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, was impressive on his debut in the Conditions Stakes and is two-year-old expected to be good enough for Royal Ascot by trainer Bryan Smart.
Grand National hero One For Arthur was given a warm reception by the crowd when he appeared in the parade riding before racing and punters will also have a chance to see him at Ayr on Scottish Grand National day on Saturday.

 

KELSO report 10th April 2017

By Gordon Brown

IT was five deep around the paddock at Kelso on Monday as racegoers crammed in to catch a glimpse of Randox Grand National hero One For Arthur.
Enjoying his return to the saddle after Saturday’s big race at Aintree was Derek Fox who said: “I’ve never finished a staying race so strongly – it was like passing parked cars! I actually thought I’d hit the front too soon but he stayed on right to the line.
“Lucinda does a great a job with these staying chasers and he was trained to the minute. It was a great feeling to pass the post in front.”
Scotswell gained his third course and distance win when fairly romping away with the Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers Handicap Chase in the hands of Danny Cook.
The evergreen eleven-year-old comes alive at the borders track where he was twice been runner-up in the Scottish Borders National.
Trainer Harriet Graham, who went on to record at 65/1, said: “He’s probably the favourite horse in the yard and we bred him ourselves as well. He loves Kelso – he was second in October to One For Arthur and that form isn’t working out too bad!”
Leonard Kerr, based close to the defunct racecourse at Bogside, near Irvine, owns and trains Brewin Dolphin Buccleuch Cup winner Havana Jack.
“I’m a semi-retired auctioneer so I’m in he process of taking out a permit now I have more time on my hands,” said Kerr.
Havana Jack was partnered by Ryan Nichol whose brother Craig won the previous race for Inverurie handler Jackie Stephen.

 

KELSO report 3rd April 2017

by Gordon Brown

A big week for Jimmy Moffatt and Tom Scudamore got off to the best possible start after the pair were on the mark with Morning Royalty and Grace Tara respectively.
Moffatt was first to strike with Morning Royalty who took the Edinburgh Gin Handicap Chase. The Cartmel trainer, due to be represented by Highland Lodge in Saturday’s Grand National, was doubly delighted as Morning Royalty carries the colours of Eileen Milligan, the first owner he secured when taking over the reins from his father Dudley in 2002.
Moffatt said: “We keep getting it wrong over hurdles but considering he’s not very big he jumps fences great. They’ve gone too quick and the race was run to suit as he stays further.”
Scudamore, the man on board Grand National favourite Vieux Lion Rouge, had to keep Grace Tara, trained by brother Michael, up to her work in the mares’ novices’ hurdle.
The jockey admitted: “She’s had a hard season and wasn’t at her best today.”
Purple Harry, available at 16s in places earlier in the day, made a winning debut over fences for Adam Nicol in the Kelso Annual Members Limited Handicap Chase.
The winner is owned by Howard Thompson (brother of broadcaster Derek Thompson) and trained by his partner Tina Jackson who looks after around a dozen horse at their base in the Saltburn area.
Thompson said: “We also bred him so I’m obviously delighted. Tina does all the work on him at home and he has been schooling very well. He is such a nice horse in every way and has a lovely temperament – in fact I’d say he is more human than some humans!
“It would be lovely to go for the Eider at Newcastle next year and we could have two in it as Joseph Mercer is another possible.”
Total Assets, trained at Morpeth by Simon Waugh, gained her fourth course success in the hands of Jedburgh jockey Callum Bewley in the 3m 2f handicap hurdle.

 

KELSO report 25th March 2017

By Gordon Brown

BIG RIVER gave Lucinda Russell a huge boost at Kelso in the Edinburgh Gin Handicap Hurdle ahead of next month’s £1 million Grand National.
The Arlary House Stables raider carries the black and red colours of Debs Thomson, also the co-owner of live Aintree hope One For Arthur.
Winning 21-year-old Hawick jockey Blair Campbell, gaining his biggest career success in the £23,000 handicap hurdle, said: “He is a dream horse to ride and he loved the ground. It’s been a great month for me and things have been going fantastically well.”
Ten-length runner-up Seeyouatmidnight ran a cracker after an absence of 126 -days on his return to hurdling and Sandy Thomson reported that last year’s Scottish Grand National third is back on schedule for another crack at the Ayr marathon.
There was a sad sequel to the race when six-time Grade 1 winner Reve De Sivola collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack.
And shortly afterwards the retirement was announced of popular Kelso stalwart Knockara Beau, the winner of five races at the borders venue.
Russell completed a double with Forest Des Aigles, a well-backed 11/8 favourite for East Lothian Ray Green
Liam Treadwell, winner of the 2009 Grand National on 100/1 outsider Mon Mome, landed the feature race on Venetia Williams-trained Yala Enki.
“He’s only seven but he could be a National horse for the future. He’s jumped well today and found plenty – he also settled a lot better which helped a lot.”
In a drama-packed 2m 5 novices’ limited handicap chase James Ewart’s Ascot De Bruyere was the only one of the five starters to complete the course under veteran Brian Harding.
There were other wins for Scotland with Harriet Graham-trained Rhymers Stone and Miss Biscotti, a first success for former jockey Gary Rutherford.

 

Kelso preview and Musselburgh report 24 & 25th March 2017.

by Gordon Brown

SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT is the star turn in front of the ITV Racing cameras at Kelso on Saturday as he tackles the £22,500 Edinburgh Gin Handicap Hurdle.
Sandy Thomson’s stable stalwart faces seven rivals including veteran multiple course winner Knockara Beau, Lucinda Russell’s Big River and Shades Of Midnight.
Greenlaw-based Thomson said: “We also had ‘Midnight’ in the chase but we decided to start him back over hurdles. He wasn’t himself in the Betfair Chase so hopefully this will see him back to where we want him and then on to maybe the Scottish or Irish National.”
George Charlton, trainer of Knockara Beau, said: “He’s 14 now but you wouldn’t know it. He loves Kelso and Cheltenham and he’s given us some great day at both courses.”
Lucy Alexander, who fractured her cheekbone in a crashing fall at Musselburgh several weeks ago, rode her first winner since returning at Haydock on Wednesday as The Wise One scored for James Ewart in the 3m handicap hurdle at the East Lothian venue’s final jumps meeting of the season.
“It’s good to be back and it was the cheekbone that took the time to heal,” Alexander said.
Civil Unrest gained the ninth win of his career when holding Dubai Celebrity by just under two lengths in the hands of Steven Fox to initiate a Ewart double in the 2m handicap hurdle.
Ewart said: “He’s been a brilliant horse. It’s great for a small yard like us and his lovely bunch of owners – it’s bread and butter for us both”.
Scottish trainers Iain Jardine and Stuart Coltherd were also on the mark with Pot Committed and Ash Park respectively.

 

KELSO report

By Gordon Brown

MOUNT MEWS booked himself a ticket to Aintree next month after his wide-margin strike in the Grade 2 £38,000 totescoop6 Premier Hurdle at Kelso.
Brian Hughes barely moved a muscle as the 11/8 favourite strolled home 49-lengths clear of sole other finisher Chalonnial.
Winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson said: “Things might have fallen apart a bit for some of the others but he could do no more and he now heads for the same novice hurdle that Cyrus Darius won two years ago.
“He’s not a flashy horse or too big but he’s athletic and I really like him a lot.”
The Listed totepoolliveinfo.com Premier Chase went to 8/1 chance Seldom Inn who was the third leg of a 346/1 four-timer on the day for Brian Hughes.
With market principals Tenor Nivernais and Le Mercurey performing below par, Sandy Thomson’s charge won a shade cosily by 21-lengths.
Thomson said: “He will go to Ayr for either the Scottish National or the novices’ handicap chase. He is a better horse fresh so it would matter if we didn’t see him again until Ayr in April.”
Nick Alexander was also on the mark with Clan Legend in the race staged in memory of his late father and The Orange Rogue.
Veteran Brian Harding made a successful return after two months off when Reivers Lad impressed in the opener for Nicky Richards.

Ends 250 words.

For more information contact Gordon Brown on 07850 258063 for Scottish Racing.

KELSO report from 4th March 2017

By Gordon Brown

MOUNT MEWS booked himself a ticket to Aintree next month after his wide-margin strike in the Grade 2 £38,000 totescoop6 Premier Hurdle at Kelso.
Brian Hughes barely moved a muscle as the 11/8 favourite strolled home 49-lengths clear of sole other finisher Chalonnial.
Winning trainer Malcolm Jefferson said: “Things might have fallen apart a bit for some of the others but he could do no more and he now heads for the same novice hurdle that Cyrus Darius won two years ago.
“He’s not a flashy horse or too big but he’s athletic and I really like him a lot.”
The Listed totepoolliveinfo.com Premier Chase went to 8/1 chance Seldom Inn who was the third leg of a 346/1 four-timer on the day for Brian Hughes.
With market principals Tenor Nivernais and Le Mercurey performing below par, Sandy Thomson’s charge won a shade cosily by 21-lengths.
Thomson said: “He will go to Ayr for either the Scottish National or the novices’ handicap chase. He is a better horse fresh so it would matter if we didn’t see him again until Ayr in April.”
Nick Alexander was also on the mark with Clan Legend in the race staged in memory of his late father and The Orange Rogue.
Veteran Brian Harding made a successful return after two months off when Reivers Lad impressed in the opener for Nicky Richards while Lucinda and Blair Campbell teamed up to land the final race with top-weight Sammy B.

Musselburgh report from 1st March, 2017

By Gordon Brown

WILL KENNEDY produced an amazing recovery to snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat on Dear Sire at Musselburgh on Wednesday.
The jockey finished with both feet out of the irons after his Donald McCain-trained mount stumbled on landing after the last in the toteexacta At betfred.com Maiden Hurdle. Kennedy looked sure to be heading for an unseat but he battled against gravity and hauled himself back into the saddle.
He said: “It was my best ever recovery but it was also partly my fault in the first place. Anything is better than ending up on the ground!”
Rachael McDonald rode the second winner of her professional career when Buckled sprung a 12/1 surprise for borders trainer Sandy Thomson in the totequadpot At betfred.com Handicap Hurdle.
Greenlaw-based Thomson said: “All winners are brilliant but it’s even better when they are slightly unexpected. Rachael is so good as she gets horses jumping and settled.
“Buckled had a heavy fall in a chase here on New Year’s Day and I was delighted to see him get up. We came back over hurdles and this will done his confidence no end of good. He’s just grown up a bit.”
Top Cat Henry is heading back to Aintree in April after winning the Totepool Follow Us On Twitter Open Hunters’ Chase for Nick and Kit Alexander.
Alexander senior said: “He was sixth in last year’s Topham and sixth in the 2015 Grand Sefton over the big fences when with Dr Richard Newland. We bought him with Aintree in mind and this time he will be aimed at the Fox Hunter Chase.”
Alizee De Janeiro was the third Scottish winner on the card when winning the last for Lucinda Russell and Grant Cockburn.

Musselburgh preview for 1st March 2017

By Gordon Brown

LUCINDA RUSSELL is hoping for more of the same from January course and distance winner Pulpitarian at Musselburgh on Wednesday.
Carrying the colours of Two Black Labs, the gelding faces nine rivals in the totequadpot At betfred.com Handicap Hurdle.
Miss Russell said: “He came from America and won three races over there before he joined us. The step up to three miles last time was a big factor and hopefully he will go well again. Good ground is key and he has a touch of class and settles well.”
Among the opposition to Pulpitarian are Philip Kirby’s Fakenham winner Improved and Donald McCain-trained Shantou Tiger who has been runner-up three times in a row over course and distance at the East Lothian venue.
John Leadbetter, the trainer of Scotland’s only Grand National winner – 1979 hero Rubstic – saddles Another Dark Rum in the @totepool Follow Us On Twitter Open Hunters’ Chase.
Another interesting contender is Always Tipsy, the winner of his last three point to points and ridden by Henry Morshead, son of former Perth general manager Sam Morshead.

KELSO preview for 16th February 2017

by Gordon Brown

LAST year’s runner-up One For Harry bids to go one better in the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Thursday.
Nicky Richards’ Greystoke raider faces just three rivals in the £25,000 feature at the Borders track and his opponents include 14-year-old Knockara Beau who chased home subsequent dual Cheltenham scorer Simonsig in 2012.
“We were second to Top Notch last year and we’re giving it another go,” Richards said. “He’s a decent horse when he runs his race and he won at Wetherby last time despite it not being soft enough so the ground should be fine.”
The field is completed by Dan Skelton’s Born Survivor and and Malcolm Jefferson’s 2015 Grade 2 Aintree winner Cyrus Darius.
Richards and Jeffferson are also represented in the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase with Bernadelli and Firth Of The Clyde respectively.
The four-strong line-up features Grand National entries in the shape of Paul Nicholls’ Saphir De Rhea, who chased home Cole Harden in the 2015 World Hurdle, and Maggio carrying the colours of Scottish owners Douglas Pryde and Jim Beaumont, successful with 2013 Aintree hero Auroras Encore.
Rachael McDonald has her first ride as a professional on Sandy Thomson-trained Rowdy Rocher in the Brewin Dolphin Handicap Hurdle.
The 25-year-old said: “I started giving it some thought after winning the Borders National as I could see myself having more rides against pros than in amateur races and hunter chases. Sandy told to to give it a go and with his support, and hopefully a few more trainers, it will work out ok. You never know until you give it a try and I get on well with ‘Rowdy’ as he won a chase and a hurdle for me at Ayr last month.”

 

 

Musselburgh report from 5th February 2017

By Gordon Brown

SAM Twiston-Davies and Paul Nicholls took Musselburgh by storm on Sunday as they teamed up for a treble supplied by Frodon, San Benedeto and El Bandit.
“It’s been a great effort all round as the team sent up eleven horses over the weekend,” Twiston-Davies said. “It’s a major work when the stable is 400 miles way but it’s been very worthwhile as we had two winners yesterday and three more today.”
Frodon and San Benedeto both made all to land the Scottish Future Champions Chase and Scottish Champion Chase respective while El Bandit was also given a positive ride before rallying close home to pip Arthurs Secret in the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle.
After saddling a winner for the Queen on Saturday, Charlie Longsdon recorded a double courtesy of Brian Hughes-ridden pair Tree Of Liberty and Monbeg Charmer.
The former made all in the opening 2m 3f novices’ hurdle while Monbeg Charmer was never headed in the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Lough Derg Spirit was clipped into 20/1 from 33/1 by the sponsors after an excellent jumping performance under Nico De Boinville in the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Winning trainer Nicky Henderson said: “We will sit down and have a think of what to do after this but obviously we are delighted. I was a bit nervous after Burbank was beaten in the first race but this horse is a really slick jumper and it was a good performance.”

 

Musselburgh report/preview – 4th & 5th February 2017

By Gordon Brown
DANCING SHADOW and Noel Fehily stormed to victory in the first running of the Edinburgh National at Musselburgh on Saturday.
A first course runner for Devon trainer Victor Dartnall, the 6/1 winner slammed Gonalston Cloud by two and a half lengths.
Fehily, who also struck on Forth Bridge and Whispering Storm to complete a 279/1 treble, said: “He travelled really nice and quickened well for me off a decent pace. He could be more of a Midlands or Scottish National horse this year and the four miler at Cheltenham is another option for him.”
9/1 shot Forth Bridge, carrying the colours of the Queen, landed the Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial for Charlie Longsdon who said: “He’s a nice horse to have and this it wasn’t that much of a surprise to me. He’s in the Triumph Hurdle and he will also be entered in the Fred Winter Hurdle now.”
Harry Cobden rode out his claim after Diego Du Charmil supplied him with his first course success in the Scottish County Hurdle.
Trained by his boss Paul Nicholls, the Somerset raider beat Dominada by five-lengths.
Cobden said: “That was brilliant and he got the fast gallop he needs. He’s a nice big horse and will make a lovely novice chaser next season.”
Lucinda Russell flew the flag for Scotland when Sammy B took the 3m handicap hurdle in the hands of Derek Fox.
Overland Flyer is one of several interesting prospects on parade at Musselburgh on Sunday as he faces six rivals in the Albert Bartlett Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Paul Nicholls Somerset raider was a most impressive scorer on his timber debut at Taunton and is currently a top-priced 20/1 for the real thing at Cheltenham next month.
His jockey Sam Twiston-Davies said: “I couldn’t believe how far clear we were when I looked round two out. When I gave him a slap he really picked up for me and he should progress again.”
Twiston-Davies and Nicholls also team up with High Secret in the Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle.
Ex-Flat recruit High Secret romped to victory on his hurdles debut at Taunton nine days ago and Nicholls said: “He’s been the most difficult horse I have ever had to get jumping and it was nice to see him win so well.”

 

 

 

Musselburgh Report – Friday 20th January

PROJECT BLUEBOOK followed up his New Year’s Day course and distance success when romping to an impressive victory in the feature race at Musselburgh on Friday.
Ridden by Brian Hughes, the John Quinn-trained gelding beat Mister Kit by an eased down two and a half lengths in the Trial Racing UK For Free Now Handicap Hurdle.
Hughes said: “I’m not getting carried away just yet as there were some well-exposed horses in the race. He did it well enough but only time how strong the form is. He has taken to hurdling well and was a decent horse on the Flat too so we’ll where see he goes from here.”
Project Bluebook is a best-priced 25/1 for both the Triumph Hurdle and Fred Winter Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
Tom O’Brien made a full house when landing the Cosmic Case Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle on Appy Days. The former champion amateur has now ridden a winner at every jumps venue in Britain.
He said: “She has done it really well and we had a clear run the whole way round. It’s nice to win at all the tracks and the last before here was Ayr.”
Lucinda Russell’s good run continued when Pulpitarian shouldered top-weight to victory under Derek Fox in the Racing UK HD Handicap Hurdle.

 

 

 

Kelso Report – Sunday 15th January

SEEMORELIGHTS sprung a 66/1 upset for Sandy Thomson and amateur rider Ryan Nichol in the D G Pryde Ltd Novices’ Hurdle at Kelso on Sunday.
The Greenlaw raider, making his debut over hurdles, beat evens favourite Red Indian by a length and a half and Thomson said: “I didn’t think he should have been as big a price. He was the last lot to go the ring at Doncaster Sales and it was my wife Quona that picked him out.”
Nichol’s champion conditional younger brother Craig was later on the mark with Bernardelli in the Royal Caledonian Hunt Handicap Chase.
The 11/1 chance was the second leg of a 38/1 double for Nicky Richards who landed the opener with Progress Drive ridden by Stephen Mulqueen.
Richards said of his feature race winner: “I think 2m 4f to 2m 6f on soft ground is what he wants and we put the blinkers back on to keep him interested.”
Lucinda Russell saddled another winner when 12-year-old Bescot Springs scored for the ninth time in his 68-race career in the P & G Allan Catering Handicap Hurdle.
Inverness-born Alexander Thorne was gaining his second win on the veteran and Miss Russell said: “Horses like this are a godsend to trainers like me as all our young lads have learned to ride on him.”

 

MUSSELBURGH Report – Tuesday 3 January

Keith Dalgleish saddled his first winners of the year after Dream Flyer and Mixboy supplied him with a double at Musselburgh on Tuesday.
The Carluke trainer enjoyed a terrific 2016 when he sent out a personal-best 93 winners made up of 81 on the Flat and 12 over jumps.
He said: “Last year was great and it’s always nice to aim higher. We like to try and improve the quality as well and, although most of the string are for the Flat, we have about a dozen jumpers too.”
With Brian Harding stood down after getting “winded and bruised” in a previous race fall, Craig Nichol came in for the spare ride on impressive Kilmany Cup Handicap Chase scorer Mixboy.
Dalgleish said: “He’s a horse that needs breaks between his races so there are no plans. We will see how he comes out of this but he did it really well.”
Dream Flyer had earlier jumped for fun under Brian Harding in the Alex Donaldson Memorial Handicap Chase.
Brian Hughes completed a treble for the second day running when scoring on Idder, Fattsota and Beyond The Clouds.
The Irishman, fresh from three winners at Ayr on Monday, rode his first five-timer at Musselburgh in November.
Lucinda Russell and James Ewart made it four on the card for Scottish trainers when striking with Superior Command and Landmarque respectively.

 

 

 

MUSSELBURGH Report – 1st January 2017

SUPERB STORY earned himself a tilt at the Champion Hurdle after shouldering top-weight to victory in the feature race at Musselburgh.
Ridden by Harry Skelton and conceding upwards of 9lbs all round, last season’s County Hurdle hero came home half a length ahead of My Manekineko in the totepool Hogmaneigh Handicap Hurdle.
Winning trainer Dan Skelton said: “That was magic and I am absolutely delighted. He blew up a little towards the finish but he is very good fresh and I kept him fresh after he disappointed at Galway.
“He’ll go straight to Cheltenham now for the Champion Hurdle although we will probably give him an entry in the County Hurdle again. You can’t play jockeys round here so it was better to let him get on with things and the track wouldn’t have suited him ideally.”
Will Kennedy had earlier taken the card by storm when booting home a 314/1 treble on Project Bluebook, Rolling Thunder and Clondaw Kaempfer, the last two trained by Donald McCain.
Brian Ellison-trained Dominada was the easiest winner of the day when storming home by seven lengths in the hands of Megan Carberry in the concluding 2m 3f handicap hurdle.

 Kelso Report – Sunday 4th December 2016

SANDY THOMSON and Jim Beaumont recorded a third straight win in Kelso’s £40,000 Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National after Rachel McDonald guided Harry The Viking to a brilliant victory.
For Thomson and Beaumont, who also co-owned 2013 Aintree hero Auroras Encore, it was an emotional success as they lost two-time winner Neptune Equester at the same track earlier this year.
McDonald, 25, from Selkirk was gaining the biggest success by far of her career after the partnership was left in the lead following the exit at the first by double runner-up Scotswell. In the end the well-backed 5/1 Berwickshire raider, formerly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, stormed away to beat Carrigdhoun by five-lengths.
Thomson said: “‘Harry’ really jumped for Rachel as he did when they were second at Carlisle last time. She has got to where she has the hard way as she has never had a horse of her own and I am so delighted for her.
“When he lost Neptune Equester here in the spring this was always the plan and Jim has been a great supporter of ours so you couldn’t make it up that we’ve won this three times with two relatively cheap horses. He’s stayed on really well and looked as if he could go round again – he was actually out hunting just the other day too!”
McDonald added: “It’s an amazing feeling. He’s travelled great for me and jumped so good – it’s unbelievable really.”
Aux Ptits Soins 2015 Coral Cup hero opened his account over fences in the John Wade Group Paris Pike Novices’ Chase to continue the great course strike-rate of Paul Nicholls and Sean Bowen.
Brian Hughes, who rode 31 winners in November, took this month’s score to four after riding a treble on Malcolm Jefferson pair Mount Mews and Kelka before scoring on Gas Line Boy for Ian Williams.

 

 

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