HARRY The Viking and Rachael McDonald landed a second dramatic £50,000 Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National, at Kelso Race Course, last Sunday.

The pair tasted success in the race in 2016, while last year’s racing falling victim to the weather. Trainer Sandy Thomson and owner, Jim Beaumont, were winning the contest for the fourth time in succession having also picked it up in 2014 and 2015 with Neptune Equester.

Sent off at 16/1, Harry The Viking led at the fourth last before seeing off the persistent challenge of well-backed 100/30 favourite and top-weight, Calett Mad.

A proud Greenlaw-based Thomson said: “’Harry’ is going to be 14 in three weeks’ time and he’s not finished yet! He is an amazing horse and he just keeps on surprising us. Full credit to Rachael as well, as they get on so well together.”

McDonald added: “He’s a real star and I couldn’t be more pleased for him. As always he’s given me everything and he really sticks his neck and tries so hard for you.

“He just jumps from fence to fence and it’s brilliant to win this again. He got a hero’s welcome from the crowd when we came back to the winners’ enclosure and he thoroughly deserved it.”

Devon trainer, Jane Williams, was successful with her first runner at Kelso as son, Chester – also on his maiden trip to the Borders venue – won the opening maiden hurdle with evens favourite, Romeo Brown.

Chester Williams said: “This horse was really just coming up to accompany Aubusson, who was running in the Borders National. It was his debut over hurdles and he could be quite a decent prospect as his bumper form is quite smart. It’s a lovely track and been really well looked after – we’ve enjoyed our trip and it’s just a shame it’s so far away!”

Cultram Abbey sparked a double on the card for trainer Nicky Richards and jockey, Ryan Day. The 11-year-old chaser, which had been previously been successful in a Hunterchase at the track, took the £30,000 veterans steeplechase. The same trainer and jockey paired up to win the mares’ novices hurdle with Peters Cousin.

  • The next fixture at Kelso takes place on Saturday, December 29 – the first race is due off at 11.45am and the gates open at 10.00am.