By Gordon Brown
LOCALLY-based Sandy Forster scooped one of the biggest wins of her career when landing the feature race at Kelso on Friday with course specialist Claud And Goldie.
Ridden as he has been on his two previous tracks strikes by Richie McLernon, the Yetholm raider saw off Up Helly Aa King by two lengths in the Edinburgh Gin Limited Handicap Chase.
Forster, a granddaughter of late legendary trainer Ken Oliver, said: “It was his involvement and success with national hunt racing that inspired me to do what I’m doing today. Claud And Goldie is a horse we’ve had him since he was a nine-year-old – he twelve now and this is his third win at Kelso, he’s never won anywhere else.
“Richie said to give him a crack at the Scottish National in April but we might also come back here for the Premier Chase next month even though he’d be wrong at the weights. It’s a good result as we’ve had a lot of snow and we weren’t able to do much with the horses for a few days.”
Empire Steel is also a possible for the Ayr marathon later in the spring after he landed the Timeform Gold At timeform.com Novices’ Chase by a wide margin for Sandy Thomson and Ryan Mania.
Greenlaw-based Thomson said: “We’ve got a strong team of novices and he’s probably just about the best. He’s not done a lot wrong in three races over fences and can only get better with experience.”
There was another Borders winner in the Cheltenham Countdown At timeform.com Handicap Hurdle when Alistair Whillans trained Corrieben Reiver, carrying the colours of John and Liz Elliot, stormed home by 24-lengths to give jockey Craig Nichol a 27th birthday success.
Whillans said: “He’s been off due to a ‘leg’ since winning his novice hurdle at Ayr in October 2019 and he’s been ready to run for a while but the weather has intervened.”
Grant Cockburn rode out his claim as Nicki Alexander-trained Ryedale Racer sprung an 80-1 upset (£88.60 on the Tote!) in the 2m 6f handicap hurdle.
Dan and Harry Skelton teamed up for a short-priced double with Rockstar Ronnie and Eclair D’Ainay
For more information contact Gordon Brown on 07850 258063 for Scottish Racing.