Dumfriesshire at LOCKERBIE
Sunday 9th April 2000
by David Scott (Pointer of the Northumberland Gazette)

On a cold afternoon with the ground riding fast the Dumfriesshire Hunt staged a competitive seven race card at Lockerbie.

The opening intermediate race saw Clive Storey at his best on Dean Deifir. This one looked cooked at the second last when headed by Boyup Brook. Clive had other ideas however and gained a couple of lengths by securing the inside off the last turn and a great leap at the last finished matters with Dean Deifir running out a winner by a couple of lengths. The runner up, Boyup Brook, will be winning shortly on his favoured top of the ground. Driminamore was a distant third and he will be a weak contest if he is to score. This winner was the first leg of a double for Clive who followed up later in the afternoon on Blyth Brook in the restricted. Under an enterprising ride, taking it up fully a mile from home, this one put the disappointment of his Alnwick run well behind to comfortably hold Border Farmer, well backed but given a lot to do, and Mini Cruise who finally showed a glimpse of form. The second looks capable of winning in the near future.

The Ladies Open attracted only 5 runners and hot favourite Nova Nita, under Val Jackson, secured a facile success. There was no great gallop early on and this allowed Val to exploit Nova Nita’s pace to see off Sharp Thyne, who was always prominent, and Denim Blue who patently failed to stay on this long track.

The Mens Open was won in grand style by Bow Tie and Ranald Morgan who easily saw off Rainbow Times. The winner still looks the best Mens Open horse this year and further success awaits. He has difficulty with regulation fences and should be treated with caution in Hunter Chases. The runner up should also collect again before the season is out. Bow Tie was the first leg of a double for Ranald who collected the second division of the Maiden aboard Harliedalus for the Tim reed stable. The winner, an expensive purchase who has been disappointing so far, was well supported in the ring and scored comfortably from Setting Sail. His task was made considerably easier by the departure three out of Billieburn who was still travelling well at the time and Val Jackson losing the steering on the eventual runner up Setting Sail at about the same time. Billieburn looks nailed on for a maiden if left in the hands of Luke Morgan.

Earlier in the first division Divet Hill was given a first class front running ride by Matthew Clayton. A staying on fifth and then third over too short a trip previously this well supported youngster was in command a long way out and sauntered home from I Say Dancer and Good Profit. The second and third are no great shakes but there was a lot to like about the winner and he should soon be winning his restricted.

Solway Sands providing a first winner for Stephen Hughes won the Hunt race.