GRAND National winning trainer, Lucinda Russell, began 2018 in victorious form and continued a successful New Year with a double at Musselburgh, on January 3.

The Milnathort-based handler headed the opening maiden hurdle race with 8-1 chance, The Road Home, which cruised home for a comfortable 10-length success.

“Like my winner here on New Year’s Day, he didn’t like the ground when he ran at Wetherby last time,” explained Lucinda, who admitted she had fancied her other runner, Kelpies Myth more.

She described The Road Home as ‘a nice prospect and a chaser for the future.’

Stablemate Jump for Dough later won the three-mile handicap hurdle race in the hands of Selkirk jockey, Thomas Willmott. “We were going to go for an amateurs’ race at Kelso, but that was abandoned and that’s turned out well as he’s probably better suited to this track anyway,” said Lucinda.

“That was the third win for Thomas (Wilmott) and he gave the horse a good ride,” she added.

Mixboy won the feature Kilmany Cup in a nail-biting finish to the two-mile handicap chase. Keith Dalgeish’s charge got the verdict by a nose in a photo-finish for St Boswells owners, Paul and Clare Rooney.

“That was heart-in-the-mouth stuff and Brian [Hughes[ did well to get him home,” conceded the Carluke trainer’s brother, Kevin.

“We had him running on the Flat this summer simply because we thought there were a few races to be won with him and it was nothing to do with improving his confidence after his fall. We were delighted with him today,” he concluded.

Sandy Thomson’s Greenlaw stable is also in cracking form, and he added a further success to his tally when Nendrum made all for a 24-length win in the two-mile handicap hurdle race.

Ridden by Hawick jockey, Jamie Hamilton, Nendrum carries the colours of East Lothian owner, Margaret Coppola. “It’s all coming together and we have been trying to get him to settle,” explained Sandy. “He is a bit of a nutter and very headstrong.”

The Berwickshire trainer credited Nendrum’s lad, successful ex-Flapping jockey Michael Williams, with the horse’s improvement.

“He has done a great job with him at home,” continued Sandy. “He is so much better going right-handed and we might bring him back to Musselburgh for his next race but we’ll have to see what the handicapper does,” he added.

The concluding bumper went to the father and son team of Donald and Callum Whillans from Hawick with Paper Promise. This mare is owned by Eileen Smith, from Hawick.

“We were a little worried as she was taking on geldings but this is a horse with a professional attitude,” explained the trainer’s other son, Garry.

“She’s a full sister to Paper Roses and is a nice prospect. She will be going over hurdles and we’ll probably start schooling her soon,” he concluded.

On the all-weather at Southwell, Bruce Lynn was another Hawick jockey in winning form, when he rode Shine Baby Shine to land the amateur riders’ handicap.

Also on the Flat, Hawick jockey Jason Hart, rode Breaking Free to win the seven-furlong handicap at Wolverhampton.

On January 4, Oriental Lilly posted a 7-1 win in the five-furlong sprint on the all-weather at Newcastle for Renfrewshire trainer Jim Goldie.

Keith Dalgleish secured his second win in two days when Acker Bilk scored a 4-1 victory in the middle distance handicap at Wolverhampton.

On Welsh National Day at Chepstow on January 6, Good Boy Bobby headed the concluding bumper for Borders owners, the Rooneys.