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This year Balcormo has attracted 76 entries, the highest figure here since 2012, on a six race card starting at 2pm.  The pony racing starts at 1pm with three races, and 18 entries.  

As an added bonus for racegoers, Scotland's leading National Hunt trainer, Lucinda Russell is bringing her Aintree Grand National hero, One For Arthur to parade at the meeting, at 1.30pm.  She will also be there with the winning jockey, Derek Fox.  
 
Many of the highest rated horses are keeping their options open, holding entries in two or three races. The double entries include Allthekingshorses, Always Tipsy, Badger Foot, Great Gusto, Royal Chatelier and Shantou Magic, while For A Finish, Hey Listen, Rossini's Dancer and Viacometti are all entered three times.
The opening Turcan Connell NPPA Club Members Race has 13 entries. Tim Reed's evergreen 14 year old gelding, For A Finish scored impressively at Tranwell under Hexham MP Guy Opperman and only has to carry a 3lb penalty. Of the others, Allthekingshorses (8lb pen) is also entered in a Perth Hunters' Chase on Friday, Badger Foot (6lb pen) will be aiming for a 14th career success under another new novice rider from Lucinda's yard, while soft ground specialist, Royal Chatelier (9lb pen) scored at Dalston and dead-heated with Badger Foot at Friars Haugh.
A competitive-looking Subaru Restricted Race has 8 entries. Fernando's Song missed three seasons after winning an Irish Maiden in March 2013 but has shaped well on both comeback outings at Friars Haugh. Kitty Fisher landed the Buccleuch Mares Maiden last month and again ran well when five lengths 2nd to Takepunishment at Tranwell. Ripstick opened his account over a shorter trip at Overton, while Hey Listen and Simply Lucky's Maiden victories came on very soft ground at Friars Haugh and Dalston respectively.
The Bruce Farms Ladies Open Race (£500 to the winner) has 10 entries, including Molten Brown and Wind Of Hope, who are both entered at Perth on Friday. Former 135-rated hurdler, Hada Men ran at the 2013 Cheltenham and Aintree Festivals; Viacometti is on a hat-trick but has yet to win in this grade, while the evergreen Rossini's Dancer had plenty in hand when taking last month's Lanark & Renfrew equivalent under Charlotte Dun.
The Pentland Landrover Men's Open Race (£500 to the winner) has 14 entries. Always Tipsy is the Northern Area's leading horse this season after completing a four-timer between the flags and it will take something special to halt his winning sequence. Former Highland National hero, Bertie Milan and the useful Wayupinthesky also have the option of running at Perth the previous day, while Buccleuch Cup 3rd Senor Alco, ex-chaser Shantou Magic and the aforementioned trio, For A Finish, Rossini's Dancer and Royal Chatelier add further spice.
The 15 entries for the two and a half mile Rathbones Balcormo Racing Club Members Race are headed by Rossini's Dancer, who would have to carry top weight of 12st 5lb if taking his chance. In receipt of 5lb, the other main main contenders are Always Tipsy, Badger Foot, For A Finish, Great Gusto and Viacometti.
The concluding Rae Grieve Memorial Open Maiden Race has 16 entries. Charlie Snow Angel was only beaten half a length by Levelling over a shorter trip at Tranwell and that form was franked when the winner easily landed a Restricted contest at Easingwold on Sunday. Of the others, Carrickcross Boye and Brown Trix followed home Charlie Snow Angel at Tranwell; ex-hurdler, Free Scorpion shaped well when 4th at Witton Castle last time, while this stayers track should suit Matthew Man. The dark horse is the unraced Uncle Jonty, trained by Joey Richards.
The main action is preceded at 1pm by three pony racing contests, all run over seven furlongs. The Ship Inn,Elie 138cm and under race has 6 entries; The Perth Racecourse 148cm and under race has 7 entries and The Treehouse Sporting Colours Novice Riders Race has 5 entries.
The post code for SatNav users is KY8 5QF.
 
Thanks to Peter Burgon for this excellent insight to the racing at Balcormo 2017 
 
 

2016 went with a swing - big thanks to all the runners who came to entertain a record crowd since the new Committee took over the running of the p2p after the passing of Sir John Gilmour who had managed the course for 40 years previously (see History)

 

2016 Review by Peter Burgon

One of the North's most experienced amateur riders, Jamie Alexander, 51, rolled back the years with the first double of his career on Allthekingshorses and Royal Chatelier in the Fife meeting at Balcormo Mains on Saturday.

Ex-chaser, Allthekingshorses supplemented a recent Friars Haugh victory on his 25th career start in the Pentland Land Rover Mens Open Race. The 10 year old was allowed to dictate the pace on the final circuit and outstayed his rivals to score by two lengths from For A Finish. Alexander said: “He was changing his legs a bit on this quicker ground and only doing just enough to run.”

Royal Chatelier, also trained at Kinneston by older brother, Nick, completed Jamie's double in the Bruce Farms NPPA Club Members Race. Still last of the four runners with a mile to go, the 11 year old edged into contention down the back straight before heading Mr Shahady after the last and drawing clear to win by two lengths. Alexander, who opened his account on Fordstown at Lanark in February 1996, added: ''He was run off his feet in the early stages and is much better on soft or heavy ground. He'll now try to land the £1000 bonus by winning the Bruce Farms Hunters' Chase at Perth on Wednesday 11th May.''

Ross Wilson, 22, was seen at his best on Pharawaydante in the Subaru Restricted Race. He got the eight year old in a great rhythm from the off, bowling along in front and turned the closing stages into a procession, coasting home 25 lengths ahead of Afterclass. Wilson, who is based with Middleham trainer, Karl Burke, said: ''He was a bit disappointing earlier in the season but first-time cheekpieces have made a difference. He enjoyed being able to make the running and found plenty when I kicked for home after four out. I must have driven about 20,000 miles already this season, including today's nine hour round trip, but days like this make it all worthwhile especially when the winner is owned and trained by my uncle, Norman Sanderson.''

Morpeth jockey, Amie Waugh maintained her 100% record at the track on the Victor Thompson-trained gelding, Sharivarry in the Lundin Homes Ladies Open Race. Always going well, her mount swept past Whisperdale at the last to score by three lengths in the best time of the day and is now 4pts ahead of Catchamat in the £500 Northern Area Champion Horse standings. The 10 year old gelding is in the form of life and his recent form figures now read 11221.x

Carrying the well-known blue and red halved colours of Peter Russell, Badger Foot took his career tally to 12 under a polished, front-running ride from 16 year old Connor Wood in the Turcan Connell Fife Foxhounds Members Race. Last year's winner, Milano Magic was unable to get past him when the chips were down and still had four lengths to find at the line. Wood, who has worked for the gelding's Milnathort trainer, Lucinda Russell since July 2015, said: ''He's a joy to ride, jumped superbly, never gave me an anxious moment and found another gear when Milano Magic came upsides after three out.'' He carries about 4 stone of lead in the saddle and certainly won't have any problems doing lighter weights when he gets the chance to ride under Rules in the future.

Penton near Longtown handler, Gemma Anderson has not enjoyed much luck since Robin Will scored at Alnwick in January but Elusive Classic's victory in an incident packed Rathbones Open Maiden Race hinted that better times lie ahead. Tom Hamilton's mount managed to avoid the departures of Time For Vino and Lockiesedge five out and four out respectively, and stayed on best to beat the only other finisher, Burnett's Joint by five lengths. Anderson said: ''He was placed in Irish Points earlier in the season and finished 4th of 14 on his last Irish outing seven weeks ago. I acquired him last month for The Six Thix Partnership through bloodstock agent, Mel Smith. Tom had a job to pull him up after crossing the line and he was hardly blowing. He's still a bit green and a summer out at grass will do him a power of good.''

The meeting featured the Northern Area's first full colour racecard and with a record prize fund of £3200 on offer deserved to have more runners.

Pony Racing by Fiona Drysdale

There is a big difference in the ponies brought forward now compared to 10 years ago when pony racing first started at Balcormo.  The ponies in the Open races looked like very smart little dedicated fit racing ponies.  The Musselburgh Races 138cm Open race went to Elliot Stockwell, a local Crail rider, on Ninfield Millionaire's Splendour.  The most filled race of the whole day was the Perth Racecourse Novice Riders race which went to Robbie Ashe on Millie Butterfly.  The final pony race was the Knight Frank 148cm Open and the two competitors put in a very polished performance on a couple of smart ponies, with Nick Barratt Atkin always edging it for the win on Doppio Movimento.    

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR Bechers up ONE FOR ARTHUR Down

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR (Derek Fox) Wins The Randox Health Grand National at Aintree 8/4/17Grossick PhotographyThe SteadingsRockhallheadCollinDumfriesDG1 4JWTel: 07710461723

ONE FOR ARTHUR Derek+Trophy    

2016 Robbie Ashe receiving the JockeyJan Trophy from Lucy Alexander, leading Lady Jockey 2015/16 National Hunt Season

2016 Robbie Ashe receiving the JockeyJan Trophy from Lucy Alexander, leading Lady Jockey 2015/16 National Hunt Season

The Pentland Rover Mens Open Race at Balcormo Point-to-Point on 23 Apr 2016.  Have One for Me (4th) is leading Supreme Regime (5th) with Oldrik (3rd) just behind, eventual second For a Finish in light blue followed by the winner All the Kings Horses waiting at the rear.

The Pentland Rover Mens Open Race at Balcormo Point-to-Point on 23 Apr 2016. Have One for Me (4th) is leading Supreme Regime (5th) with Oldrik (3rd) just behind, eventual second For a Finish in light blue followed by the winner All the Kings Horses waiting at the rear.