WHAT a fantastic year 2017 has been for Scottish racing, with the most valuable handicaps both over the jumps and on the Flat going to trainers from Scotland.

Iain Jardine has gone from strength to strength since making the move from his former Borders base, near his Hawick hometown, to his current Carrutherstown stable, near Dumfries – the source of many high profile winners for his former boss, Len Lungo.

The ex-jockey and his team recently deservedly scooped the top Flat trainer award at the Northern Racing Magic Moments dinner, in Newcastle, for Nakeeta winning the Ebor – the UK’s richest handicap on the level.

That memorable success at York, in August, contributed towards Nakeeta also doing Scotland proud when he lined up in the £3.5m Melbourne Cup in Australia.

Over the jumps, few will forget the remarkable achievement of Grand National victor, One for Arthur, whose trainer, Lucinda Russell and jockey, Derek Fox, along with Scottish owners Belinda McClung and Deborah Thomson, were honoured with a Special Achievement Award.

He landed a major prize-pot and realised a dream for connections after landing the Aintree marathon.

Carluke trainer, Keith Dalgleish, also achieved a personal best this season when he celebrated a century of winners – the first Scottish-based trainer to achieve such a feat in a calendar year

His former boss, Aberfoyle-born trainer, Mark Johnston, has also enjoyed a personal best for a calendar year – his 24th consecutive year with a three-figure total. Johnston is also a non-executive director at Hamilton Park.

With the arctic weather forcing the abandonment of a number of fixtures this past week, Keith Dalgleish was in winning form on the all-weather at Wolverhampton, on December 13.

He sent Jack Blane from his Belstane Stables to head the six-furlong handicap in the colours of Ronnie Docherty.

Paul and Clare Rooney enjoyed a victory over the jumps at Doncaster on December 15, when the Jonjo O’Neill-trained The Tailgater carried the St Boswells couple’s colours to victory in the handicap chase.

On the all-weather at Newcastle the following afternoon, Renfrewshire trainer, Jim Goldie, saddled Theglasgowwarrior to a 5-1 win in the staying handicap.

Following three inspections, Musselburgh survived the freeze and racing was given the go-ahead on December 18.

A winner on his stable debut for Keith Dalgleish, Silver Concorde retained his unbeaten record for the yard to head the opening novice hurdle race for owners Straightline Bloodstock.

The 2014 Champion Bumper winner is likely to contest handicaps at Cheltenham or Aintree later in the season.

Greenlaw trainer, Sandy Thomson, celebrated a quickfire double at the East Lothian track.

Ballycrystal posted a 14-1 victory in a drama-packed novice hurdle race, where favourite, Some Reign, refused to start and long-time leader Sonic crashed out at the penultimate flight.

The winner was having just his second start under Rules and his second start for Thomson’s Lambden stable.

“Everything fell into place for us with the favourite refusing to start and the leader Sonic falling, but there is a possibility Ballycrystal Court would have caught Sonic anyway,” said the winning trainer.

“We were thrilled with his run last time – he got taken on for the lead and then blew up. We bought him for just 11,000gns and he’s a chaser in the making,” he added.

The Thomson team were back in the winner’s enclosure half-an-hour later when stablemate Buckled was the clear winner of the 2½-mile handicap hurdle race. The 4-1 chance led from pillar to post in the feature race under Selkirk jockey, Rachael McDonald. “It’s been quite a lucky track for me,” said Rachael, who previously posted her first-ever double at the course, and is enjoying her best season to date.

Buckled’s success also gave owner Stacey McQueen an added birthday bonus. “We’ve worked out that Buckled is suited best by not having too much work at home,” explained Sandy. “He’s thriving at the moment and he will return to Musselburgh for the meeting on New Year’s Day,” he added.

Sadly, the Jim Goldie-trained Jonny Delta – a five-times winner at the track – suffered a fatal fall in the race.

Wot A Shot carried the colours of the MS Borders Racing Club and partners to victory in the concluding two-mile handicap hurdle race. Jedburgh-based Rhona Elliot – a successful point-to-point jockey and former licensed trainer, who was diagnosed with MS some 28 years ago – was the brainchild behind the popular racing club, which she formed in 2004.

“It is a syndicate for multiple sclerosis sufferers and has about 40 members,” she explained. “Wot a Shot is our 20th winner and our trainer, Nicky Richards, places the horses so well for us.

“This horse deserved another win as he’s been running well recently,” added Rhona, whose tireless fund-raising work for the charity was deservedly recognised last year with an MBE.

On the Flat, Hawick jockey Bruce Lynn gave the Iain Jardine-trained Archipeligo a great ride, to score by a neck in the opening amateur riders’ handicap on the all-weather at Wolverhampton. The 14-1 chance carries the colours of the Top of the Hill Racing Club.