A TAXI driver who grew up just yards from Musselburgh Racecourse has toasted his first winner there... as a horse owner.

James Scott was surrounded by friends at the racecourse on Saturday afternoon as Bashful crossed the line to win the Glynn Carroll Handicap Hurdle.

However, 42-year-old James, who now lives in Prestonpans, revealed he could barely watch the closing stages.

He said: “The minute he turned round the back straight, I knew he was winning.

“He has always got to jump those hurdles, though.

“It does not matter how good he is going, he has still got to jump.

“I walked away until he jumped the last two hurdles and I heard the crowd shouting.”

Bashful, who is trained in Dumfries, had started the race as second favourite at 3-1, behind Superbolt, who was 15-8 in the race, which got under way at 4.35pm.

James, who grew up in the Goosegreen area of Musselburgh, described it as “like a perfect day” as friends were there to cheer on Bashful to the line in the 1m 7f 124y race.

His victory ahead of Lively Citizen by three-and-a-half lengths capped an impressive start to the year for James, who owns JTS Cars.

East Lothian Courier: James Scott was celebrating a first ever win at Musselburgh Racecourse as Bashful won a race on SaturdayJames Scott was celebrating a first ever win at Musselburgh Racecourse as Bashful won a race on Saturday

He said: “I have had Bashful for about four weeks.

“I have been in the racing game for the last five years and I have got eight horses.

“I acquired Bashful about four weeks ago and took him on.

“He is my very first winner ever!

“Everybody in Musselburgh could not believe that it was my first winner.

“I own him with a boy from Manchester called Dave Lycett.”

Trained by Dumfries-based Iain Jardine, it was jockey Conor O’Farrell, whose silks were green and pink, who was on board for the win at Musselburgh.Bashful will now go forward to the Go North finals at the county racecourse on April 5 and the chance to win a £30,000 prize.

And the win was made even more special for James, who was joined at the racecourse by wife Tasmin.

Father-of-four James said: “I am a massive Hibs fan.

“I have always had horses running in green.

“My wife did not want just green, so we added pink in as well.”