KELSO preview By Gordon Brown
A field of 15 will be tackling the extended four mile trip and 24 fences in the feature race on a tremendous-looking Festive Family Raceday and the locally-based trainer is represented by Caventara.
The gelding jumped like a buck when an all-the-way scorer at Kelso last month, a success that gave Ryan Mania his first win since he returned from a five-year absence from the saddle The fixture was lost to the weather in 2017 and Thomson won the marathon highlight in 2014 & 2015 with Neptune Equester and in 2016 & twelve months ago with 14-year-old Harry The Viking. He said: “I’m delighted to be going back for the fifth time with a horse who has a live chance. He’s certainly bred for the race as his mother L’Aventure won it ten years ago. “He has the right weight and the right ground so those are two big pluses in his favour.
We are very happy with him so hopefully he will go close.”
Dr Richard Newland was the winning trainer in 2013 with Royale Knight and he saddles No Hassle Hoff partnered by Sam Twiston-Davies. Maurice Barnes-trained Bafana is on a real roll and he bids to extended his winning sequence to four under Ross Chapman.
And five-time Kelso score Big River is back at his favourite venue for Lucinda Russell and Derek Fox.
A quality supporting card sees four-time course winner Aye Right make his debut over fences in the £40,000 Paris Pike Novices’ Chase.
Trained at Jedburgh by Harriet Graham, he carries the colours of Kelso racecourse director Geoff Adam.
Two For Gold, from the Kim Bailey yard, could be the main threat as he won nicely on his fencing bow at Carlisle early last month.
It promises to be a great day out with something for everyone and Father Christmas will on hand to greet young racegoers.