by Chris Simpson

For the second Saturday running race goers to the Northern point to point circuit enjoyed an afternoon of uninterrupted sunshine. 

This weeks meeting was held at Friars Haugh, Kelso. This course is one of the most attractive and exciting on the circuit. The back straight runs parallel with the river tweed and provides a great jumping spectacle as the runners negotiate four fences with the river and Floors Castle in the background.

The field then disappears for a few moments as the horses round the hill at the far end of the course. The anticipation while waiting for the horses to reappear adds to the excitement of the race. Well worth a visit if you haven't already been.

As well as the sunshine the crowd enjoyed a fine afternoons racing with some thrilling finishes.

One of the highlights of the day was seeing that grand old stager Balisteros gain the 29th win of his career under Pauline Robson.  This was the third time he has won this particular race.

The meeting began disappointingly for favourite backers when Thatís the Crack unseated Alison Hamilton at the very first fence of the Members race.  The end of the race produced the first close finish of the afternoon as Vicky Simpson produced Kelly Canyon with a finely timed run to collar long time leader Alsina in the shadow of the post and win by a head.

The drama didn't ends there as the third horse to finish, Highland Island, was disqualified because rider Stuart Huggan failed to weigh in.  Highland Island had run a race full of promise on her racecourse debut and compensation shouldn't be long in coming.

The restricted race saw Count Keni jump his rival into submission.  The front-runner first saw off the challenge of the well-backed Finest of Men along the riverside fences and then has to contend with the persistent challenge of Incroyable Mais Vrai over the final three fences.  The geldings bold jumping helped him prevail by 1 1/2 lengths.

The next race saw a protracted duel develop between the favourite Run on Thyne and Chase the Moon, the former had 3/4 length to spare at the line but note should be made of second who ran her best ever race in completing the course for the first time.

Balisteros and Pauline Robson who made virtually all to defeat Pharmistice and Dere Street by 4 lengths and 7 won the Ladies Open.

The Men's Open race saw the closest Finish of the day. A dead heat.  High Expectations under Tristan Davison and Laganside partnered by James Muir were separated by the width of the course as they raced towards the line and the judges couldnít split them.  A dead heat was probably a fair result as although many good judges on the line thought Laganside had won by a neck the bookies were happy to lay him at even money to get the decision.

An outsider Katinka who started at 20/1 won the Confined race in fine style.  Belying her generous odds the mare jumped fast and fluent thru' out and won cosily for Dale Jewett.  They won by 2 lengths from the favourite Don Carlos.  Better things await the winner on the evidence of this display.

Division 1 of the Maiden was won by Dun Victory who came from another parish to collar the long time leader Celtic Sword at the last fence and win going away by 2 lengths.  The second horse Solway Plain attracted support in the market and ran a promising first race in points.  His turn shouldn't be far away.

The final race of the day saw another close finish.  Just Barney Boy who led some way out had to withstand a strong challenge on the run in from Jimmy Walton on Be a Better Boy who just failed to collar the leader. Only a neck separated them at the line.

The next meeting in the Northern Circuit is the Percy at Alnwick.  First race 1.00 p.m.



Members' Race



1st Kelly Canyon

V. Simpson


2nd Alsina

J. Innes


3rd Hey Chief

J. Galbraith


Dist. Hd & 1 length

8 Ran


Highland Island finished 3rd but was disqualified as the rider failed to weigh in.

Race 2

Restricted Race



1st Count Keni

P. Robson


2nd Incroyable Mais Vrai

T. Oates


3rd Yewcroft Boy

L. Kendall


Dist. 1.5 lengths & 20 lengths

7 Ran


Race 3

Point-Point owners' and Riders' Assoc. Club Members



1st Run On Thyne

S. Huggan

4/6 Fav

2nd Chase The Moon

L. Hislop


3rd Should Be Fun

C. Storey


Dist. 3/4 length & Dist.

9 Ran


Race 4

Ladies' Open



1st Balisteros

P. Robson


2nd Pharmistice

N. Sterling

4/5 Fav

3rd Dere Street

R. Davison


Dist. 4 lengths & 7 lengths

5 ran


Race 5

Mens' Open



1st High Expectations

T. Davison

6/4 Fav

1st Laganside

J. Muir


3rd Supreme Day

C. Storey


Dist. Dead Heat &12 lengths

6 ran


Race 6

Confined Race



1st Katinka

D. Jewett


2nd Don Carlos

K. Anderson

Evens Fav

3rd Rainton

N. Sterling


Dist. 2 lengths & 2 lengths

12 Ran


Race 7

Maiden Race Div. 1



1st Dun Victory

T. Oates


2nd Solway Plain

D. Jewett


3rd Celtic Sword

S. Huggan


Dist. 2 lengths & 4 lengths

13 Ran


Race 8

Maiden Race Div. 2



1st Just Barney Boy

G. Thomas


2nd Be A Better Boy

J. Walton

6/4 Fav

3rd Smiths Wynd

K. Anderson


Dist. Nk & 5 lengths

14 Ran