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Kelso – Preview 18th February 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.

EWAN WHILLANS is looking forward to running Hold The Note in the J.A Wilson Contractors Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase at Kelso on Friday.

The meeting is subject to an 8am precautionary inspection due to the adverse weather forecast.

Formerly trained by Mick Channon, the eight-year-old Jeremy gelding will be appearing for the third time for his Hawick trainer after changing hands for £130,000 at Doncaster Sales in May last year.

Whillans said: “He needed the race more than we thought when we ran him in a hurdle at Ayr over New Year and it was a much better effort over fences at Newcastle next time. He came off the bridle turning into the straight but he didn’t fold immediately and only faded at the last.

“He jumped and travelled and we were quite pleased with him. The nice ground at Kelso should suit him and then we can maybe look ahead to the Grimthorpe Chase at Doncaster in March.”

Opposition to Hold The Note in the £15,000 contest includes Ruth Jefferson-trained hot-favourite Sounds Russian, a 16-length winner at Kelso’s last meeting of 2021.

The feature race is the £25,000 Racing’s Best Ratings With Timeform Handicap Chase in which Danny McMenamin rides Pay The Piper for Ann Hamilton.

Sandy Thomson-trained Empire Steel, winner of the novices’ handicap chase on this card twelve months ago, is an interesting entry as he has recently been dropped 4lbs and was going like a winner when falling four out in the Grade 3 Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby on Boxing Day.

Donald Whillans, uncle of Ewan, will fancies his chances of Stainsby Girl in the Get Expert Tips At Handicap Hurdle.

Again ridden by Craig Nichol, the partnership made all over course and distance on Kelso’s opening meeting of the year in mid-January.