CYRUS DARIUS gained an emotional success in the Timeform Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso on Thursday to supply Ruth Jefferson with her first ever winner as a trainer, having taken over the licence following the death of her father Malcolm earlier this month.

Brian Hughes, successful earlier on aboard Taxmeifyoucan, was always confident on the 5/2 chance who slammed Better Getalong by twelve lengths to win the prestigious event for the second year in a row.

Ruth said: “I’m delighted with that as the horses have all been running well. He’s a lovely big horse and we’re not ruling out going back over fences.

"We’ve no plans but I’d say we'll mix and match it with him hurdling and chasing.”

Big River saw off Shantou Flyer in pleasing style to land the Ivan Straker Memorial Chase by four and a half lengths in the hands of Derek Fox.

Winning trainer Lucinda Russell said: “He loves it round here as that’s five wins from six visits. He’s in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham but I’m not sure if that’s the race for him; he could wait for the valuable novice chase at Uttoxeter soon after.

“I’m delighted to win this race as Major Straker gave me a valuable reference when I applied for a licence some twenty years ago.”

Sir Jack Yeats looks to be Festival-bound, following his victory by the narrowest of margins, in the Office Bar Hawick Hunters’ Steeplechase.

Ridden by James King, the seven year old gelding just got up to beat Cultram Abbey and looks capable of featuring prominently in the Foxhunters Steeplechase at Cheltenham.

Sean Bowen made the long journey from Wales worthwhile, by scoring on Ron’s Dream in the Mares Novices Steeplechase.

Meanwhile local jockeys were to the fore with winners for the Jedburgh born Callum Bewley, aboard Mac N Cheese in the Brewin Dolphin Handicap Hurdle, and Callum Whillans from Hawick aboard Dali Mail in the final event of the day.