WELL done to Katie Scott for scoring at Catterick’s final Flat meeting of the year with Rockley Point who was gaining his second win of 2020.
The gelding was led up by Katie’s father Murray as she has had her arm in a sling for four weeks following surgery on a troublesome shoulder injury.
Murray may have got himself a regular job as it was the first time he had led a horse up for his daughter and so the team will be keen to keep the 100 per cent strike-rate going!
And, although Katie will be back behind the wheel of her car in a couple of weeks, returning to the saddle on the gallops is looking a bit further into the future.
Otherwise there is a fair bit of cheer at her Millhaugh Stable between Galashiels and Selkirk as Elite Icon wasn’t beaten far under top-weight in a handicap hurdle at Ayr and the yard has a new sponsor in the shape of Midlothian company A1 Framing.
Good to see Ayr’s national hunt season up and running so it was fascinating to roll back the years and delve into the opening jumps fixture at the Craigie course on October 10th, 1950.
On a miserable wet afternoon on ground officially described as ‘Sticky’ the very first race was the Inauguration Cup, a handicap chase over 3m 125yds.
The spoils, by a length and a half, went to 100-8 (odds of just over 12-1) chance Prince Of Goldwell under champion amateur rider Clive Straker, the son of the winning owner/trainer Major Ian Straker.
Pulling up at before the 16th fence in the same race was Ken Oliver-ridden Sanvina, a mare carrying a whopping 12st 3lb following the partnership’s memorial Scottish Grand National triumph a few months earlier at now-defunct Bogside.
It was quite a day for the Strakers as Ian also saddled novice hurdle victor Wet Bob while his cousin Major Arthur Straker won the handicap hurdle with The Player, partnered by Ian’s other son J J!
Incidentally Arthur’s son was the late Major Ivan Straker, a former chairman of the Western Meeting Club and Ayr and whose colours were carried to victory by Paris Pike in the 2000 SGN.
Racing in Scotland this week sees Musselburgh begin the new 2020-21 jumps campaign.
The card opens at 12.50pm with The Visit racingtv.com Novices’ Hurdle and there are several qualifiers throughout the day for the Northern Lights Series which sees the finals staged at Musselburgh and Carlisle in the spring.
Chris Dennis, in his role as BHA course inspector, is the man to have checked everything was in order for the changeover of tracks and he was also the jockey on board 9-1 chance Tot, the very first winner of a jumps race at the East Lothian venue 33 years ago.
The combination landed the 100 Pipers Handicap Hurdle in front of a crowd of 4,500 on January 5th, 1987 when the course, then called Edinburgh, staged its inaugural national hunt fixture.
Kelso’s autumn campaign is already well up and running and the borders course race again on Saturday when the feature event is the £13,600 Belhaven Best Wishing Well Handicap Chase over nearly 2m 6f.
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