By Gordon Brown
HARRY THE VIKING and Rachael McDonald landed a dramatic £50,000 Persimmon Home Scottish Borders National at Kelso on Sunday.
The pair won the marathon chase when it was last staged in 2016 as last year’s renewal fell victim to the weather while trainer Sandy Thomson was winning the contest for the fourth time running having also picked it up in 2014 and 2015 with Neptune Equester.
Sent off at 16/1, Harry The Viking led at the fourth last before gamely seeing off the persistent challenge of well-backed 100/30 favourite And top-weight Calett Mad.
A proud Greenlaw-based Thomson said: “‘Harry’ is going to be 14 in three weeks time and he’s not finished yet! He is an amazing horse and he just keeps on surprising us. Full credit to Rachael as well as they get on so well together.”
McDonald added: “He’s a real star and I couldn’t be more pleased for him. As always he’s given me everything and he really sticks his neck and tries so hard for you.
“He just jumps from fence to fence and it’s brilliant to win this again. He got a heroes welcome from the crowd when we came back to the winners’ enclosure and he thoroughly deserved it.”
Devon trainer Jane Williams was successful with her first runner at Kelso as son Chester, also on his maiden trip to the borders venue, won the opening New Jumps Season On Racing UK “National Hunt” Auction Maiden Hurdle with evens favourite Romeo Brown.
Chester Williams said: “This horse was really just coming up for company to Abusson in the Borders National. It was his debut over hurdles and he could be quite a decent prospect as his bumper form is quite smart. It’s a lovely track and been really well looked after – we’ve enjoyed our trip and it’s just a shame it’s so far away!”
For more information contact Gordon Brown on 07850 258063 for Scottish Racing