Kelso is a nice small market town in the Scottish Borders area. The town grew up around the Abbey which was built in the early 12th century. The town sits at the point where the Teviot and Tweed rivers merge. I spent some time walking around here and really recommend anyone passing to stop and spend an hour or two here
There are a few places to stay around here but I am going to recommend one in particular and that is The Old Priory. I had a fabulous welcome and the place is beautiful inside. My room was lovely http://www.theoldpriorykelso.com
Similarly there seems to be a fair number of coffee shops and eating places. The chap who owns The Old Priory recommended The Waggon for food and beer the night I arrived and it too was lovely http://www.thewaggon.co.uk
I will come back to this town again, I’m certain of it!!
Kelso Racecourse hosts only National Hunt Racing.
Kelso is a left-handed and slightly undulating track. The Hurdles course is a sharp circuit of 9f and runs inside the chase course making it a furlong shorter. The chase course takes some jumping and reportedly has a particularly high faller rate compared to other courses in the UK.
Clerk of the course: Anthea Morshead
Course telephone number: 01573 224767
Kelso Racecourse is 350 miles from Central London, 258 miles from Birmingham, 340 miles from Bristol, 360 miles from Cardiff, 182 miles from Manchester, 68 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne and 44 miles from Edinburgh.
The course itself is about a mile north of Kelso on the B6461 Ednam Road.
The course post code is TD5 7SX.
Course parking is free.
The nearest railway station is Tweedbank station, 18 miles away and from which there is a connecting bus service organised by the course at a cost of £6 for which details are on their website.
There is just the one enclosure at Kelso (from 2018-19) onwards. There isn’t a strict dress code though the racecourse management try to encourage smart casual.
There is now a brand new parade ring behind the stands from this season and this was officially unveiled (today) by One For Arthur
The views across the course from the stands are really good.
The food and drink facilities here are excellent with something for everyone. Aside from the usual burgers etc which you find at any racecourse, there are some particularly nice spots here such as Rosie’s Bistro and The Charity Tea Room.
I had a couple of scotch pies and a hot chocolate and it was lovely.
During the whole of this little project, I have been blessed with really good weather but all that changed today. I was convinced all the way up to my eventual arrival at the racecourse that they just wouldn’t race given the ferocity of the winds. But they did though omitted a number of obstacles on safety grounds.
On the basis that I had a long drive in really bad weather following this evenings meeting, I decided to stay for just the first four races and had a bet in two. The ground was in great condition, described officially as good to firm. Both fences and both hurdles in the home straight were omitted.
The second race on this evenings card was a 0-110 Handicap Chase for 4y0+ over an extended 2m5f. The Iain Jardine trained Trongate had made a reasonable debut over the bigger obstacles at Perth a month ago finishing 2nd to Cubomania from the all powerfull Gordon Elliott yard in Ireland and beaten 2.5 lengths. A big positive for me today was that he was ridden by Brian Hughes for the first time and also that I saw nothing in the opposition to scare me greatly. Most of his previous runs had been under different claimers. He didn’t let me down, driven out in the final furlong to win by 2.5 lengths.
That was me done for the night and I just watched the last two before a near three hour dive over to Carluke. The opening day of the Gold Cup meeting at Ayr awaits me tomorrow.