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Kelso – Report 16th January 2022

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.

BIG RIVER continued his love affair with Kelso on Sunday as he registered victory number eight from just eleven appearances at the borders track.

He joined Whaat Fettle and Davy Lad as the modern era record holders at Kelso when storming up the hill to land his latest success in the Chairman’s Cup Handicap Chase under Derek Fox.

Trainer Lucinda Russell said: “Our expectations today were so low due to the fences being omitted because of the bright sun, but he just pricked his ears rounding the bottom corner and off he galloped. He’s an amazing horse as in the past his troubles have included arterial fibrillation, pins in his legs and he’s been lame but he really loves coming to Kelso.

“He may be twelve but he just seems to be blooming. There is another race for him here this season but we are kind of aiming him at the Midlands National at Uttoxeter now where he should get the soft ground he needs.”

Dumfriesshire trainer Daragh Bourke, without a winner with 27 previous runners over a period of 136 days, came off the cold list after Evita Du Mesnil scored under Kevin Brogan in the Handicap Hurdle.

Donald Whillans-trained Stainsby Girl, partnered by Craig Nichol, was a gusty winner of the £15,000 Kelso Betting Ring Bookmakers Handicap Hurdle while Stuart Coltherd struck in the concluding conditional jockeys’ handicap chase with To The Limit.

And Soft Risk, trained by Nicky Richards, is set to return to Kelso for the £50,000 Grade 2 bet365 Premier Novices’ Hurdle on March 5th after extending his unbeaten record under Rules to four for Brian Hughes in the William Hill Bookmaker’ Novices’ Hurdle