TOM Hamilton was the man to follow at Saturday’s rescheduled Jedforest point-to-point, enjoying a 100% strike rate to complete the second four-timer of his career.

His decision to fly over from Ireland, where he is currently based with top Irish trainer, Joseph O’Brien, proved a wise move when all four of his booked rides were winning ones.

“It’s been well worth the flight from Ireland,” enthused Tom. “I don’t mind travelling for winners.” He described the ground at Kelso’s Friars Haugh track as ‘quite tacky’ adding: “They’ve done well to put it on, though, after all the bad weather.

“This is the second time I’ve had a four-timer. I rode four winners at Fife two or three years ago.”

Two of his wins came aboard horses trained at Hawick by his mother, Wendy, while the other two were on horses owned by Northumberland estate agent, George White.

Cave Hunter has an enviable record, boasting a 75% strike rate, and produced another game performance to clinch the men’s open race by half-a-length.

The gelding has won 12 of his 16 starts since being purchased in 2013 by Tweedsmuir farmer, Niel Manning, who credited trainer, Wendy Hamilton, for beating the elements in his fitness programme, after some two feet of snow hit Hawick.

“Wendy has done well as they had a fair bit of snow at Birnieknowe,” said Niel, who is considering a tilt at the Aintree Foxhunters with his 11-year-old.

Tom and Wendy completed a quickfire double when, half-an-hour later, their unbeaten home-bred gelding Diamond Brig scored by four lengths in the restricted race.

The six-year-old is justly held in high regard by his owner/trainer. A brother to winning novice hurdler, Over to Sam, his reappearance since a debut victory at Corbridge last year has been dependent on suitable ground.

“He had a bit of break as the ground was too quick,” explained Wendy, “and then he had a cough just before Alnwick so we had to pull the plug on that. We think a lot of him, so decided just to be patient.”

Tom rode Summoned to land the intermediate race in a thrilling finish, getting the better of Indigo Island by a length.

The seven-year-old is one of three horses owned by George White, and was purchased from the same source as his other winner.

“The season before last he went lame after Morpeth, and we found he had a stress fracture,” explained George, “so he had screws placed in the bone to pull it together.

“We had to give him time off after that, and we’ll keep him point-to-pointing, and maybe run him in a hunter chase.”

Stablemate, Pieceoftheaction, completed the White double and the Hamilton four-timer with a comfortable 12-length success in the 2½-mile maiden race on his stable debut.

“This is the first time he’s run for us,” said George. “I bought him in the autumn in Ireland from the same man as Summoned.”

Charlotte Dun gave Shantou Magic a great ride to head the ladies’ open race in the fastest time of the day.

The gelding carries the colours of Berwickshire owner, Will Ramsay. “That was fantastic,” said Will, who currently has three horses in his yard.

“I want to win another open race with him, and if I can do that, he may go for the Cheltenham foxhunters.”

The ultra-consistent horse, Always Tipsy – victorious in four of his last five points – scored by a head in a thrilling conclusion to the opening Border hunts’ race, in the hands of Kit Alexander. “He’s such a game horse,” said co-owner and trainer Alan Wight, who farms at Cockburnspath.

Glittering Love won the concluding open maiden race under John Dawson, who described the six-year-old as ‘still very green.’

That was echoed by owner, Joey Richards’ partner, Harry Haynes, who added: “He’s going to improve with racing.”

Greystoke trainer, Nicky Richards, bought the winner out of Ireland as a three-year-old, and he previously ran under Rules.


Border Hunts – 1, Always Tipsy (K Alexander) 9-4; 2, Settledoutofcourt (Miss A McClung); 3, Pyjama Game (W Ramsay). Nine ran. 1l; hd. Alan Wight and Judy Cockburn (Alan Wight). Berwickshire.

Intermediate – 1, Summoned (T Hamilton) 4-5; 2, Indigo Island ( Miss E Todd); 3, Kitty Fisher (Miss J Walton). Four ran. 1l; 20l. GF White (Susan Grant) Percy.

Ladies’ open – 1, Shantou Magic (Miss C Dun) 6-1; 2, Clues and Arrows (Miss J Walton); 3, Viacometti (Miss C Crane). Seven ran. 5l; 4l. W Ramsay, Berwickshire.

Men’s open – 1, Cave Hunter (T Hamilton) 2-5; 2, Killer Crow (C Alexander); 3, What’s Left (S Robinson). Four ran. 1/2l; 8l. Niel Manning (Wendy Hamilton) Jedforest.

Restricted – 1, Diamond Brig (T Hamilton) 6-4; 2, Chanceiton (C Wadge); 3, Beyond the Glen (Miss A Waugh). Seven ran. 4l; dist. Mrs Wendy Hamilton, Jedforest.

Two-and-a-half-mile maiden – 1, Pieceoftheaction (T Hamilton) evs; 2, Ask JD (Jo Wright); 3, Left Back (C Robertson). Eight ran. 12l; 2l.G F White (Susan Grant) Percy.

Open maiden – 1, Glittering Love (J Dawson) 5-1; 2, Worcester Pearmain (C Wood); 3, Matthew Man (Miss C Walton). Five ran. 1 1/2l; dist. Miss Joey Richards, Cumberland Farmers.