Cumberland Farmers at DALSTON
Saturday 11th March 2000
by David Scott (Pointer of the Northumberland Gazette)

Last Saturday the Cumberland Farmers hosted a 10 race card at Dalston. Midweek rain had left the ground described as sticky and the times of the races will probably bear this out.

It was business as usual however as Pauline Robson and Clive Storey both registered doubles. Pauline’s came courtesy of Allrite Pet in the Confined and Tea Box in the PPORA. Allrite Pet came smoothly through to lead at the second last and comfortably held Greenhill Tare Away and Dear Do. The winner did it nicely but was inconsistent last season and it remains to be seen whether this season will be any different. The runner up was prominent throughout and ran a game race but keeps finding one too good and must be frustrating connections. Tea Box won a moderate PPORA comfortably holding Sounds Strong and Majority Major. The winner looks a shadow of his former self and will struggle in better company.

Clive's double was initiated with a hard fought victory aboard Dun Rose in the Restricted. However she really had to dig deep from the last to get the better of Trivial. The pair had the race to themselves from three out and Trivial may just have led at the last but under a strong drive Dun Rose prevailed by a head. I particularly like this mare and feel she would be better served by less testing ground, as she didn’t jump too fluently. The runner up should land a restricetd on this evidence. His double came via Shay Gap, who left last weeks antics well behind when accounting for On Merit and Blackchesters. The winner had unseated Clive when trying to run out at Corbridge but showed a gritty determination in wearing down the leaders at the last. The runner up improved on his debut fall and should land a maiden before the season is out. Blackchesters ran more prominently than of late but got tired and may be another who wants better ground.

Elsewhere on the card Dunnellie under a vigorous Andrew Robson ride held the strong finishing Border Burn in the Members race. The winner was never really travelling well and with a circuit to go looked a most unlikely victor. Perseverance paid off however and the mare stayed on doggedly. Kaz Kalem finished third having looked the winner turning for home but failed to see the trip out in this ground. An easy track and better ground should suit.

The Ladies saw another cracking finish between Balisteros and Riparius. They had the race to themselves from some way out and they rose as one at the last. Balisteros, showing no ill effects from last weeks win, showed the greater resolution and saw off Riparius by a length. They are two good animals and the finish to this was worth the entrance money alone. Both should win more races between the flags although a tilt at another Hunter Chase is on the cards for Balisteros. Wherever he runs his chance must be respected.

Bow Tie showed the benefit of his first run and won the Mens Open in a common canter from Jr-Kay and Strathmore Lodge. Excise Man a dual winner had departed early so we can’t be sure how good the form is but the manner of his victory makes Bow Tie the one to beat in the Mens Division at the moment.

Storm Alive under Val Jackson ran on resolutely despite several challengers on the run in to score in the second division of the Restricted. Hey Chief was second and the injudiciously ridden Flaming Sunrise finished third. The last named looks to need a strong pilot and with one would have won. When riding arrangements are changed this one should be backed.

The second division of the Maiden went to Yorkshire challenger Go Nomadic who led from a long way out and despite looking as if he would be swallowed up kept finding more and held off the strong finishing Anotherhandyman and Divet Hill. For the second time in two weeks the runner up was asked an impossible question and if ridden nearer the pace will score soon. Divet Hill needs three miles.

The concluding race went to Mystical Music who came with a wet sail to collar long time leader Inglebrig Lad in the last 50 yards. The runner up was 20 lengths clear turning in and even though tired still looked the winner at the last however the tank was empty and he was going up and down in the same spot in the last 100 yards. The winner ran on very well and will appreciate another mile as will the third Test Of Loyalty who also ran on strongly while the winner may have to be ridden with greater restraint to see out a 3-mile trip.