by Dave Scott

The West Percy staged a successful 7 race card at Ratcheugh last Sunday. The weather threatened to put a real dampener on things but thankfully the rain stopped in time and a decent crowd enjoyed some good racing and some nice performances.

The opening race on the card went to George White’s Colonel Conca. This one was well backed in the ring and when set about his business at the top of the hill he readily quickened clear of The Broken Man and Rum Rebel. The runner up made a lot of the running and was staying on well again at the death. He had ability in Ireland a couple of seasons ago and if in the mood for his inexperienced but improving jockey could land a restricted. The winner is a decent sort and may follow up with his proven fitness.

The Restricted provided the best finish of the day. It looked an open race beforehand and turning for home there were several there with chances. The front running Springwood White, another to attract support in the ring, was still in front on the run to the last but had Boulta and Anbrooka and Bertie O’Toole challenging. The last named took a crashing fall at the last, which looked fatal but fortunately was not so with the horse getting up and walking away some five minutes later. The others fought out a driving finish which saw Boulta head the gallant Springwood White half way up the run-in only for the grey to fight back in the last few yards. Anbrooka stayed on stoutly on the outside and just failed to get involved in the photo. Opinion was divided amongst the crowd on the line on which had won and it was no surprise to hear a dead heat called. Perhaps this was the fairest result as neither horse really deserved to lose.

Boulta was the first leg of a double for Tom Oates who went on to land the first division of the Maiden with Alpacca when accounting for Finest Of Men and Nomadic Star. The second and third are useful types and will win Maidens but the winner looks really good and won well enough despite running green on his racecourse debut. This looks one to follow.

Another jockey in double form was Pauline Robson. She opened her account for the season when easily landing the Ladies race with Balisteros. The old boy is a standing dish in this race and belied his fourteen years to easily land the spoils from the staying on Sea Tarth and Knight Templar. Pauline completed her double in the Confined when King Bavard took advantage of Mozielaw’s departure at the last when this one looked to be delivering a winning challenge. It is easy to be a good jockey in the stands but the tactics in this race really decided it. The winner was always up with the pace while Mozielaw was dropped out in rear and at the bottom of the hill favourite backers were already tearing up their tickets. However Morag Neill set Mozielaw about its business in the straight and was closing hand over fist when she asked for a big one at the last and didn’t get it. Perhaps a more forceful ride earlier would have made the task up the straight so much easier and would have removed the need to ask for everything at the last. That said a good jump would have seen them score.

The Men’s Open was won in good style by Go Nomadic. This one was given an easy lead early on and repelled all challengers up the straight to give Peter Atkinson another winner around Alnwick. Parade Racer looked a massive danger all the way up the straight but a slight mistake at the last cost him any chance of victory, however it must be said Go Nomadic pulled out a little extra anyway. Wayward Buttons ran a blinder for third having looked to hold every chance at the second last and should score soon. Favourite, Son Of Anshan, looked burly beforehand and ran as though in real need of the race and is surely better than this showing. 

The final race on the card fell to Royal Corrouge who ran on too strongly for Magic Performer and The Preacher Man. The last named looked the winner turning in and just didn’t last home. An easier track should see him break his duck. He caught some tartars last season and time may show he caught another one here. The winner had some form in Ireland but it was a decent performance for a five year old around here.

The next meeting is The Jedforest at Friars Haugh on Sunday 2nd Feb.





Colonel Conca

C Gillon

5/4 fav


The Broken Man



Rum Rebel

Dist:  8l, 20l

7 ran



1 =


T Oates


1 =

Springwood White

J Thompson





Dist:  Dead Heat, Neck

18 ran





Miss P Robson

8/11 fav


Sea Tarth



Knight Templar

Dist: 10l, 6l

8 ran





Go Nomadic

P Atkinson



Parade Racer



Wayward Buttons

Dist: 2l, 1l

13 ran




King Bavard

Miss P Robson



Forest Thyne



Dream Of My Life

Dist: 20l, Dist

11 ran



Maiden Div 1



T Oates



Finest Of Men



Nomadic Star

Dist:  2l, 1l

15 ran



Maiden Div 2


Royal Corrouge

R Tate



Magic Performer



The Preacher Man

Dist: 2l, 8l

12 ran