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.
EMPIRE De Maulde is being aimed at the Scottish Grand National after his convincing feature race strike at Kelso.
Ridden by Brian Hughes and sent off at 13/8, he became the sixth winning favourite in seven years to bag the 3m 2f Edinburgh Gin Limited Handicap Chase by three lengths from Big River.
Langholm-based trainer James Ewart said: “It would be nice to bring the Scottish National back to the Borders and he will have a break now before we prepare him for Ayr in April.
“He might not even run over fences before then as he could have a spin or two in hurdle company. He’s a very versatile and classy horse as he has good form over a variety of distances.”
Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox, the trainer and jockey of Big River, were earlier on the mark with £50,000 purchase Corrigeen Rock in the maiden hurdle.
Russell’s assistant Peter Scudsmore said: “We were a little concerned about the trip as he’s bred to stay a lot further than two miles. He will make a lovely chaser in time so we are delighted he has won today.”
Curramore, returning from wind surgery, was given a great ride by Ryan Mania to see off Treasured Company in the two-mile handicap hurdle.
Winning trainer Sandy Thomson said: “Ryan made plenty of use of him and had the rail to help. He’s a horse that should continue to do well during the season and courses like Carlisle should also suit him.”