Sunday 26th March 2000
by Pat Hancock

The South Wold staged a six race card at this excellent Lincolnshire track which began when Matthew Mackley produced the six year old ex flat performer Fine Times to take the opening 16 runner younger horse Confined Maiden by a length from Simon Walker on Gentleman Charles. The winner, who had previously stayed on to take fourth place behind Handfast Point and subsequent winner O’Flaherty’s in a Market Rasen produced a storming late run to gain the honours in a particularly trappy opener.

The fall of Colonel Carats at the second flight meant that Nick Bell was unable to take the ride on the favourite, Linlathen in the Confined. Guy Brewer, deputising kept his mount handily placed throughout and appeared to have the measure of the veteran Syd Green who capsized at the last leaving David Thomas on the six year old Market Rasen Maiden winner Gymcrak Gorjos to take a highly creditable second place,

In the Ladies Open, the Tim Walford trained Half Each outstayed Fiona Needham on Orswellthatenswell to provide teenager Lucy Watson with her first ever victory at the rewarding odds of 12-1. Race favourite, The Minister who had impressed at Dalton Park earlier in the month, ruined his chances with a series of jumping errors and trailed in a disappointing fifth of six finishers.

The Men’s event produced a fascinating clash when the Andrew Dalton ridden Solba went head to head with the striking Yorkshire trained grey Mr Dick in what was effectively a two horse contest despite confidence in the ex hurdler Khatir. In the event Solba, who was returning to points after pulling up in the Cheltenham Foxhunters was never headed and went on to score by ten lengths from Stephen Swiers mount who reportedly finished lame.

The fifth race on the card, the Restricted saw fourteen go to post including the hugely impressive Market Rasen winner, Key Debate who had reportedly broke a blood vessel and been unsuited by the soft ground when overturned at the course least month. After a slow start, the Tim Walford trained gelding quickly found his stride and established a thirty length lead which must have pleased connections and all those who had been bowled over by his runaway Maiden win. If anything, Key Debate was even more impressive this time, eventually coming home a distance clear from Brocklesby Hunt race winner Splodge and five other last time out Maiden winners in the fastest time of the day to provide both trainer and rider, Guy Brewer with doubles.

The final event, an Open Maiden for horses aged eight and over saw the well supported previous doubtful stayer, Not So Prim leave her uninspiring form figures of ppp/p behind to register a twenty length success from Fiona Needham on The Happy Monarch.