By Hilary Mactaggart

HAWICK jockey, Callum Bewley, celebrated the New Year with a double.

He rode the Keith Dalgleish-trained Uptown Funk to head the opener at Musselburgh, on January 1, and then landed the feature handicap hurdle race with Sir Chauvelin for Jim Goldie.

Having just his second start for the Carluke yard, Uptown Funk scored by half-a-length to post an 8-1 success for the Belstane Stables.

Owner, Jimmy Fyffe, had been looking for a juvenile hurdler and bought Uptown Funk out of John Gosden’s Newmarket yard for 12,000gns. “He’s one of the cheapest I’ve bought,” he said, “and he did that well. I’m hoping it’s quite decent form and I’m looking forward to him going for something better."

While Keith Dalgleish got Bewley off the mark, the 23-year-old’s second success came at the expense of Dalgleish’s runner, when Sir Chauvelin held the well-fancied Silver Concorde to take the £19,500 prize-pot.

Sir Chauvelin, which clearly likes the East Lothian track, was making it three wins from four runs over jumps there. “It was always the plan to go for this race and it’s great when it comes off,” said the winning Glasgow trainer. “He has plenty of class and his hurdling is good, so we thought it was well worth having a go."

Goldie conceded his only concern had been the ground. “He’ll probably stay over hurdles for the time being and will return to Musselburgh next month for the County Hurdle,” he concluded.

Another Hawick jockey in winning form there was Blair Campbell, who rode Thorpe to a 14-1 win in the 2½-mile handicap hurdle for Grand National-winning trainer, Lucinda Russell.

On a good afternoon for Borders jockeys – accounting for four of the card’s six races – Grant Cockburn, from Jedburgh, rode Smiling Jessica to take the concluding three-mile handicap chase.

After an 8.30 am inspection, Ayr was given the go-ahead on January 2, with predictably heavy ground making for testing conditions. Sandy Thomson has his Greenlaw stable in good form and Caventara posted a first success on just his second run for the Lambden yard.

He seemed to appreciate the longer trip, and ran on gamely to head the opening maiden hurdle race. “I don’t think the heavy ground was the key to his win,” said Sandy, “but it did help.”

Caventara only joined the Thomson stable in October. “He was sent me to by his owner-breeder, Chris Hamman and I was delighted to get him. His dam L’Aventure won the Borders National and this horse is a chaser in the making,” added Sandy.

Local trainer, Ian Duncan, saddled both the winner and runner-up in the three-mile handicap chase. Course specialist Lochnell posted her sixth victory at the track to defeat her Coylton stablemate, Finaghy Ayr.

The winner carries the colours of local owners Alan and Barry MacDonald. “She has taken really well to fences and when Derek Fox came to school her the other day he described her as a little professional,” said the winning trainer.

“The races don’t take too much out of her, so I am not sure we will need to give her a break despite her having had several races recently,” he added. He was also delighted with his other runner Finaghy Ayr.

Sky Full of Stars won the two-mile handicap chase for Langholm trainer, James Ewart. He said his charge loved the track and the ground had proved ideal for him.

On the all-weather at Newcastle, Dubawi Fifty – dropped back in trip and in first-time cheekpieces – clinched the opener for St Boswells owners, Paul and Clare Rooney. He will now contest 'all the major staying handicaps', according to trainer, Karen McLintock.

Lord of the Glen posted a comfortable success in the concluding five-furlong handicap for Jim Goldie.

Ending 2017 in winning form was Fife trainer, Nick Alexander, who saddled Clan Legend to win the 2½-mile handicap chase at Haydock on December 30. The gelding posted a comfortable seven-length success in the hands of his daughter, Lucy.