Soon after the competitors in the 25th Scottish Senior Open signed for their scores in the first round at Renaissance Club on Friday evening, they were back under starter’s orders just a few miles along the Firth of Forth at Musselburgh Races.
As part of the celebrations to mark a quarter of a century of the long-running event on the European Senior Tour, the proximity of the two East Lothian locations provided the perfect opportunity to bring two great sporting institutions together in one place.
The question was: could the best putters also become savvy punters when faced with the thoroughbreds of the horse racing world in the ’25 Years of the Scottish Senior Open Nursery Handicap’ for two-year-olds over five furlongs?
It proved to be a tremendous night all round as many of the leading senior players and their partners and friends enjoyed the best view in the house from the Inveresk Suite in the well-appointed Queen’s Stand at Musselburgh.
Prior to the 7.50pm race, four players – Paul Broadhurst, fresh from a brilliant first round 66, joined defending champion Paul Eales, two-time Senior Major winner Roger Chapman and East Lothian-based DJ Russell in the parade ring to select the Best Turned Out horse, which was judged to be Charnock Richard.
Eales spoke eloquently from the rostrum to CCTV to the assembled Friday evening holiday crowds, who were lucky that the rain stayed away for most of the enjoyable evening.
The race was won by Camacho Chief, trained by Michael Dods in Yorkshire and ridden by Paul Mulrennen for the lucky owners.
Afterwards, two living legends, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, both winning Ryder Cup captains, presented the prizes to the winning connections in the unsaddling enclosure, before being interviewed by top Scottish sports broadcaster and racing pundit, Jim Delahunt, in front of an appreciative crowd.
Torrance said: “It was a great night at Musselburgh, where on the inside of the race track golf has been played for 450 years. It’s a place steeped in history and it was a pleasure to see the two sports coming together like this.”
Phil Golding, Andrew Oldcorn, Des Smyth, Eamonn Darcy, Steve McAllister and Carl Mason also tried to keep a short head in front of a bookmakers at Musselburgh, whose race-night team provided a superb service during the evening’s fun.
Eales summed it up: “What a great way to spend a Friday night, enjoying the racing and using the opportunity to make the big crowd aware of our event just down the road.
Hopefully, many of them took the chance to come and watch us in our own environment – the golf course over the weekend.”
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