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Kelso – Report 16th February 2024

Gordon Brown – Race Reporter

Gordon has a wealth of experience of racing through his background in the written and broadcast media. His current principle role is reporting and supporting the scene in Scotland on Racing TV and relaying the latest news with Scottish angles.

CRACKING RHAPSODY could be set for a return to Kelso next month after his nail-biting triumph in the Church House Investment Management Handicap Hurdle on Friday.

A half-brother to stable companion Cracking Destiny, the Henry Brooke-ridden 11-4 joint-favourite pipped Jungle Jack by a neck in the finish of the day.

“He’s entered in the Morebattle Hurdle and that is an option if he can get in the final line-up because it is a fiercely competitive and valuable race,” said winning trainer Ewan Whillans. “We bought him because he was closely related to ‘Destiny’ and if he turns out to be half as good he’ll be doing alright.”

Nab Wood, a popular 7-4 favourite, romped home in the opening Full Circle Series At Punchestown Festival Handicap Hurdle.

Trained by Nicky Richards and partnered by Sean Quinlan, he was also impressive over course and distance in novice company before this handicap debut.

Bradley Harris was motionless throughout as Alnilam impressed for Anthony Charlton in the Johnston Smillie Novices’ Hurdle.

A 260,000gns yearling, he was trained by Charlie Appleby before joining his current connections.

Sandy Thomson and Ryan Mania teamed up for a double courtesy of Empire Steel and Dedicated Hero while Langholm handler James Ewart struck with Escapeandevade.