A large crowd gathered for Kelso’s final fixture of the season on Saturday, although the joy of the festive season was tinged with sadness as news spread of a fatal road accident involving a mini-bus party of racegoers less than ten miles from the track.

The accident claimed the life of Ross Jones Barker, while more than 20 other men were taken to hospital for treatment.

Jonathan Garratt, Managing Director of the racecourse, said, “Our sadness deepens as more facts emerge regarding the fatal vehicle accident, which will impact on a wide community extending to many of those who regularly attend Kelso races.

“We will work with the individuals involved, at the appropriate time, to find a suitable way of paying our respects and helping those affected. In the meantime, we hold them all in our thoughts.”

Scottish trainers dominated on the track with doubles for Sandy Thomson, Nick Alexander and Lucinda Russell. Thomson won the £20,000 feature race, the Children's Immunology Trust Novices' Chase, with Shades Of Midnight ridden by Brian Hughes.

The 8/13 favourite was only pipped by Paisley Park, subsequent Grade 1 winner, over hurdles recently. Thomson said: "That was job done today and I've no idea whether he'll run next over hurdles or fences." Thomson sealed a double in the lucky last with the Liam Quinlan-ridden Dimple.

Nick Alexander scored with Calivigny and Elvis Mail, both partnered by daughter Lucy. Alexander is enjoying a hot streak and the Kinneston handler said: "The horses are running really well and it was great to win the big race at Wetherby on Boxing Day with Lake View Lad. We've not been doing much differently and only changed the feed because it was cheaper!"

Langholm's James Ewart saw Charmant follow up his Sedgefield success with the minimum of fuss and the six-year-old grey will take some stopping on his hat-track attempt.

Lucinda Russell experienced a day full of emotion, when two winners provided scant consolation for losing two horses. Russell struck with Mighty Thunder and Alizee de Janeiro, but lost Charlie’s Lass after the mare broke down approaching the third hurdle in the fifth race and Scales of Justice who suffered a fatal fall in the final race of the day.

Amateur jockey Cameron Wadge, who was riding Scales of Justice, was taken to the Borders General Hospital where it later materialised that he had suffered two fractured vertebrae and an internal haematoma.

His condition is stable although he remained under observation. Derek Fox who has not long returned from surgery, enjoyed his first win since when Alizee de Janeiro impressed in the mare's hurdle.

The mare carries the colours of Debs Thomson, one of The Golf Widows responsible for 2017 Grand National hero One For Arthur.

The first Kelso fixture of 2019 takes place on Sunday, January 13.