Viking charges to Borders success

A review of the pick of the action from Kelso on Sunday as Harry The Viking ran out a game winner of the Borders National.

Harry The Viking (right): Landed the Borders National

Sandy Thomson and Jim Beaumont recorded a third straight win in Kelso's £40,000 Persimmon Homes Scottish Borders National after Rachel McDonald guided Harry The Viking to a brilliant victory.

For Thomson and Beaumont, who also co-owned 2013 Aintree hero Auroras Encore, it was an emotional success as they lost their two-time winner Neptune Equester at the same track earlier this year.

McDonald, 25, from Selkirk was gaining the biggest success of her career after the partnership was left in the lead following the exit at the first by dual runner-up Scotswell.

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In the end the well-backed 5/1 Berwickshire raider, formerly owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, stormed away to beat Carrigdhoun by five-lengths.

Thomson said: "'Harry' really jumped for Rachel as he did when they were second at Carlisle last time. She has got to where she has the hard way as she has never had a horse of her own and I am so delighted for her.

"When he lost Neptune Equester here in the spring this was always the plan and Jim has been a great supporter of ours so you couldn't make it up that we've won this three times with two relatively cheap horses. He's stayed on really well and looked as if he could go round again – he was actually out hunting just the other day too!"

McDonald added: "It's an amazing feeling. He's travelled great for me and jumped so good – it's unbelievable really."

The 2015 Coral Cup hero Aux Ptits Soins opened his account over fences in the John Wade Group Paris Pike Novices' Chase to continue the great course strike-rate of Paul Nicholls and Sean Bowen.

Brian Hughes, who rode 31 winners in November, took this month's score to four after riding a treble on Malcolm Jefferson pair Mount Mews and Kelka before scoring on Gas Line Boy for Ian Williams.

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