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Kelso – Preview 17th April 2023

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.

GRAND NATIONAL hero Corach Rambler is to parade at Kelso prior to this afternoon’s Bicentenary meeting at the borders venue less than 48 hours after his exploits at Aintree on Saturday.


He will be joined by another special guest, HRH The Princess Royal, who will unveil a stone plaque in the winners’ enclosure to mark two centuries of racing on the present site just outside the town.


Kelso managing director Jonathan Garratt said: “This meeting falls exactly two-years and one day after the inaugural fixture on the Berrymoss course. The original grandstand, which is still in use today, was commissioned by the fifth Duke of Roxburghe and designed by the renowned Yorkshire-based architect John Carr.


“Our congratulations go to Lucinda Russell and all her team for winning the Grand National again for Scotland. I’m sure our racegoers will love the chance to see Corach Rambler after his brilliant win at the weekend.”


Bavington Bob is all set for another crack at the 0-135 feature race, the £15,000, the Reg and Betty Tweedie Handicap Chase, which was won twelve months ago by Ann Hamilton’s Northumberland raider.


“We’re hoping for another big run,” said Hamilton’s husband Ian, who owns the eight-year-old. “His last few races at Kelso and Newcastle haven’t been so good but he was a decent second at Kelso in mid-January.


“He’s back on 130, which was the mark he won off last year so that is a good thing. They got a bit strung out that day and he won by nine-lengths!”


There is a Grand National connection with the Weatherbys Hamilton Buccleuch Cup Maiden Hunters’ Chase as it was won in the past by subsequent Aintree hero Merryman in what was the first BBC televised National in 1960.


Merryman carried the colours of Edinburgh owner Miss Winifred Wallace and he won the 1958 Buccleuch Cup by 20-lengths before landing the Aintree Foxhunters’ Chase and Scottish National the following year.


This year’s renewal has attracted five runners including Torngat, who has won two of his seven point to points, with the most recent victory coming at Overton just over three weeks ago.