THE wait was worth it for Morebattle Hurdle Day at Kelso.

Following the British Horseracing Authority's six-day break after an equine influenza outbreak, racing resumed last week at the Borders track.

While many racing stables were not quite cleared to have runners in time, leading to smaller fields than usual, the quality of the horses on display was not in question.

Captain Redbeard, sent off at 9/2, upset sole rival and red hot favourite Definitely Red in the £25,000 Malcolm Jefferson Memorial Chase at Kelso on Thursday.

Having sat in behind the front-running 1/6 favourite for much of the race, Sam Coltherd kicked for home from the second last and the pair saw off the North’s main hope for the Cheltenham Gold Cup by two lengths.

Winning Selkirk-based trainer Stuart Coltherd said: “That was the plan and Sam rode him to perfection sitting on the tail of Danny Cook on the favourite.

"We didn’t want the race to develop into a battle and Captain Redbeard has quite a lot of speed for a staying chaser.

“His jumping is better when they go a decent gallop and I’m delighted with that.

"We only got the all clear to run due to the equine flu outbreak at tea time last night so it was touch and go. His target again is the Grand National and he might be a wee bit well in with 9st 13lb now! He may have one more run before Aintree, possibly back here in the Premier Chase.”

Despite the upset, Definitely Red looks likely to go to Cheltenham next month where his stamina is likely to deployed to better effect.

In the meantime, Brian Ellison and owners Julie and Phil Martin gained some compensation when Bordeaux Bill squeaked home at 4/1 in the Brewin Dolphin Handicap Hurdle, a head in front of the Jedburgh trained odds-on favourite Aye Right.

There was a victory for Jedburgh based jockey Callum Bewley aboard Blue Flight in the Timeform Novices Steeplechase.

The 2/1 favourite is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and will be a name for the not-book when contesting the top staying chases in a year or two.

Nicky Henderson's We Have A Dream, sent off a 1/4 and for some a live contender for the Champion Hurdle, was an emphatic six length winner of the £30,000 Timeform Morebattle Hurdle.

Winning jockey Daryl Jacob said: “He did that very nicely and we were always in the ideal place.

"His jumping was pretty good even if he was a little untidy at the last and he felt great. I haven’t spoken to the owners yet regarding Cheltenham, so I’m not sure about the Champion Hurdle as they might not want to be too hard on him this season.”

Henderson was completing a short-priced double as the Lambourn trainer took the opening novices’ hurdle with Nico De Boinville-ridden Dream Du Grand Val.

The next race-meeting at Kelso, on Saturday, March 2, features the £60,000 Premier Chase and the £50 Premier Hurdle Race.