National joy for amateur

  • Last Updated: December 9 2012, 16:20 GMT

Mortimers Cross landed a game success in the John Smith's Scottish Borders National to give amateur Paul John a big-race winner on his first visit to Kelso.

Mortimers Cross: Won the Scottish Borders National
Mortimers Cross: Won the Scottish Borders National

The 11-year-old, owned and trained by Shropshire permit-holder John Needham, made a lot of the running on his way to a gutsy one-length strike over Captain Americo.

John said: "That's me one winner from one ride here and I made the right decision as I could have ridden at a point to point instead. The dream is one day to turn professional but this old horse has given me a terrific ride and he is so game."

Ludlow-based Needham added: "He's a thoroughly genuine old horse and he never knows when he's beaten. I would love him to get into the Grand National one day but his rating needs to go up a fair bit to get in."

Borders jockey Ryan Mania enjoyed a 59-1 double courtesy of Douglas Julian and Lucematic while Melrose owner Geoff Adam saw his colours carried to victory by Lucinda Russell-trained Rhymers Ha' in the two-mile handicap hurdle.

Rival D'Estruval, trained by Pauline Robson, impressed in the Scotty Brand Paris Pike Novices' Chase under Richie McGrath.

East Lothian owner Ray Green said: "He is best fresh so he wont run again before the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham in March.

Meanwhile Nicky Richards is hoping to be among the winners at Musselburgh today with Peachy Moment one of his stronger fancies in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Handicap Chase.

The Greystoke trainer said: "He ran well at Sandown last time and he's in good form. If he stays this longer trip I think he will take all the beating.

"Houston Dynimo has won on the Flat at Musselburgh but he's not very well handicapped but all my other runners have chances and I run a nice filly in the bumper called Brijomi Queen who should go close."

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