SELKIRK jockey, Sam Coltherd, celebrated his biggest career success to date when riding Captain Redbeard, trained by his father Stuart, to land the prestigious £25,000 Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock, on December 23.

“It’s definitely the biggest win of my career,” said the 19-year-old conditional, who is currently based at Sue Smith’s West Yorkshire yard at High Eldwick.

“This was my eighth victory on him – six under Rules and two in point-to-points. He’s a brilliant horse,” he enthused after the win.

The 14-1 win proved a real family affair – the gelding is owned and trained by Stuart, was ridden by son Sam, and led up by elder daughter Amy. “I thought Sam handled the race really well and the horse put in an immaculate round of jumping,” said Stuart, who also farms Clarilaw.

“I think he is the first Scottish-trained winner since Earls Brig lifted the trophy for Billy Hamilton in 1985, so it’s a red-letter day for the yard,” he added. “He was unlucky in the Grand Sefton a couple of weeks ago – a horse fell in front of him when he was going well.

“He’s been bouncing since Aintree and he’s done it well enough,” he continued, after his charge scooped a first prize pot of £15,640.

The Corbett family were in winning form at Newcastle the same afternoon, when Morning with Ivan, trained by Susan and ridden by son, James, landed the two-mile handicap hurdle race.

If the Cap Fits completed a victorious hat-trick when winning on Boxing Day for St Boswells owners, Paul and Clare Rooney. Having won on his two previous starts over hurdles, the gelding defied a double penalty to score comfortably in the two-mile novice hurdle race, at Kempton.

Hawick-based trainer, Donald Whillans and jockey son, Callum, were in winning form at Sedgefield the same afternoon, where Eternally Yours posted a decisive win in the concluding mares' bumper.

Scottish connections made a clean sweep at Ayr’s pre-Christmas fixture on December 22, accounting for every one of the card’s seven races.

Lough Derg Jewel gave Galashiels owner, April Strang-Steel, just cause for early festive celebrations after landing the feature race of the afternoon. The Donald McCain-trained gelding carried the colours of his Blainslie-based owner to victory in the 2½-mile novice handicap chase, scoring by three-and-a-quarter lengths. He had previously won over course and distance on his chasing debut.

Langholm trainer, James Ewart, completed a double at the meeting. He won the penultimate two-mile handicap hurdle race with Charmant, and then took the concluding bumper with 12-1 chance, Sao Maxence.

The latter was hooded for his debut and got the better of Derriana Spirit by two-and-a-quarter lengths, with his stablemate, Bullion, which was 12 lengths behind in third.

The Scottish victory trail began with Greenlaw trainer, Sandy Thomson, who won the opening two-mile maiden hurdle race with Mcgowan’s Pass. “We’re absolutely delighted,” said Sandy of the former winning pointer.

“Henry [Brooke] jumped off him and said he hasn’t sat on such a nice novice in a long time." Producing a more fluent display than his hurdling debut, he added: “He’s jumped well and done what we hoped he would.”

Coylton-based yard owner, Mike Smith, enjoyed a success at his local track after saddling Trongate to win the 2½-mile handicap hurdle race.

The consistent five-year-old – placed four times at Ayr in five starts there -produced a gutsy performance in the hands of Langholm jockey Dale Irving, to get off the mark at his ninth attempt.

Another Coylton-based trainer in winning form at the fixture was Ian Duncan, who sent out Lochwell from his Sandhill Farm stable to head the three-mile handicap chase. This winner is another who clearly likes the track and was maintaining an unbeaten record there having recorded all of her wins.

The 7-1 chance also gave Henry Brooke the second leg of a double, having earlier ridden Mcgowan’s Pass to take the opener, and the jockey was praised for his efforts by winning trainer Ian Duncan.

“Henry gets on well with her – he’s a good rider,” he said. “The step up in trip suited her and the testing conditions were in her favour.

“It’s a big, galloping track and she likes to come off a strong pace so it suits her really well,” he concluded.

Uncle Alastair justified odds of evens favourite to head the 2½-mile novice hurdle race, and battled gamely to take the spoils.

Hawick-based jockey, Craig Nichol, also sported the Rooney colours to victory aboard the Nicky Richards-trained gelding.

Langholm jockey, Jamie Gormley, rode a winner on the all-weather track at Southwell, on December 21, when Coiste Bodhar came in at 7-1 in the five-furlong handicap. The six-year-old clearly likes the track, having already recorded three wins there.

“He had a good year last year and it’s been about getting back to the right level since,” explained his winning trainer, Scott Dixon.

The Babworth-based handler was also full of praise for the victorious Dumfries-shire jockey. “It’s a welcome winner for us and Jamie’s given him a tremendous ride,” he said.

“I suspect they’ve gone a bit quick and we’ve helped force it,” he added.