SCOTTISH RACING COLUMN By Gordon Brown
The Grade 3 feature, staged over 3m 2f, was known as the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup when Ken Oliver’s Fighting Fit brought the spoils back to the borders in 1979.
Now, from just eight miles away up in the hills overlooking Jedburgh, Harriet Graham is sending her stable star on the same mission and has every right to be hopeful of a similar result.
Aye Right ran a blinder when third to the mighty Cyrname in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby and I reckon a 4lb rise in his rating for that Wetherby run is on the lenient side.
As things stand at the moment he is set to shoulder 11st which is a nice weight is such a competitive handicap.
Racing this week in Scotland takes place behind closed doors on Monday when Musselburgh stages its ‘Saltire Raceday’.
The card is supporting the Scottish Flag Trust with four of the races named in honour of Scotland’s national flag.
East Lothian has long been associated with the Saltire and legend has it the small village of Athelstaneford is the birthplace of the St Andrew’s Cross.
King Angus had led prayers for his outnumbered army before a battle against the Pics in 832AD.
It is said a white cross resembling a saltire was seen against the blue sky and the King pledged that if victory was achieved St Andrew would become the patron saint of Scotland.
Many congratulations to Lee Newman as the 2000 champion appearance scooped the Bahrain International Trophy aboard Simsir.
Ayr-born Lee is now based in Australia and it was great to see him with arms aloft in the winners’ enclosure after his narrow success in such a valuable race.
The 1m 2f turf event carried £500,000 in total prize as Lee’s mount pipped Frankie Dettori-ridden Global Giant and Ryan Moore on Sovereign into second and third respectively.
All the best for the future goes to Dale Irving who announced his sudden retirement from the saddle on the eve of the recent Kelso meeting.
The pride of Langholm was only three winners shy of riding out his claim but he felt it was the right time to quit and focus on a new career as assistant to Cumbria trainer Maurice Barnes.
And finally this week, Saturday November 21st, is the 30th anniversary of the biggest priced winner in the history of British racing.
It was at Kelso in 1990 that Equinoctial, trained in County Durham by Norman Miller, produced an almighty 250-1 shock which stunned the crowd into silence and resulted in huge cheers from the bookmakers!
Let’s hope for more punter-friendly results for Kelso’s next action on December 6th, Scottish Borders National day.