Berwickshire at FRIAR'S HAUGH
Sunday 27th February 2000
by John Bulman

Not a bad day up at Kelso (Friars Haugh) on Sunday for the Berwickshire meeting, considering the appalling weather overnight and in the morning. The ground was predictably soft and the second fence was missed out for the last few races.

The formbook more or less went out of the window, as this was by far the most testing ground of the season. Highland Monarch (pu) and Kingennie (remote 3rd) were both well-beaten favourites who didn't seem to act on the ground and can do better given faster conditions.

Parade Racer (Andrew Richardson) look to be a useful combination and took the confined in fine style, easily beating Midsummer Glen (again) and old timer Whispering Steel who ran a cracking race for Mark Bradburne to get third. A win for this one time top class horse would be great to see. Keep on the right side of Parade racer, he looks capable of winning more races. (Highland Monarch well-beaten favourite - never travelling and did not jump well).

Love Actinium took the restricted for Wilson Renwick, winning well enough from Border Glory (M. Bradburne) and Kings Token (J.Walton). It would be fair to say this was not the most competitive restricted of the season and favourite Geordies Express crashed out early on the 2nd circuit before landing a blow.
Trivial was noted staying on strongly into 5th and Dalston (March 11th) could be his target.

Closest finish of the day was seen in the Ladies open, Nova Nita (Val Jackson) getting up under a typically strong, late run, to deny Little Santa (Kirstie Hargreave) victory. Again it remains to be seen how well the form will stand up later in the season. Although Little Santa is obviously a much improved horse over the last season or so. Kingennie, the well-backed favourite was disappointing, never really getting competitive and a well held 3rd.

Rainbow Times was favourite for the Mens open and Clive Storey looked confident as he took up the running 3 out. He hadn't accounted for Jimmy Walton and Excise Man, however and the pair jumped past Rainbow Times at the second last to record their second Mens open victory of the season.

Wills Perk, a 5-year-old Executive Perk mare, was a very impressive winner of the maiden div.1 under owner/rider Tom Oates. Trained by Kate Anderson, I believe this one is highly rated and should certainly win more points if his future does not lie under rules.
Nice races were run by several horses, Christie Mouse, Setting Sail and the tenderly ridden Running Mute all looked capable of winning a maiden in time.

The second division of the maiden was won by the consistent Hooky's Treat under Mark Bradburne. It was a just reward for the mare's consistency.
Second and third placed, Lady Alice (Luke Morgan) and Gallant Major (Andrew Robson) should pick up a maiden some where.
Senso was the unlucky horse in the race. Given a fine ride by Caroline Cox, the horse was well clear when slipping up at what effectively was the run to the second last. Clearly his horse should win soon if all is well.

The final division of the Maiden saw Dun Rose win very well indeed from Bold Navigator (Maxine Bremner). The daughter of the very useful hunter chaser Dun Gay Lass quickened up impressively between the second last and last fences to win very cosily. The winner should progress further while Bold Navigator was running second for the second time and must surely win a race before too long.

Next meeting - The Tynedale at Corbridge 4/3/00. First race 12.30