A CHANCE meeting in a pub on New Year’s Day has led to a promising racehorse being named Macmerry Jim.

The two-year-old bay colt is owned by Dundee-based Jimmy Fyffe, who was visiting Macmerry on New Year’s Day last year after watching his horses in action at Musselburgh Racecourse.

An enjoyable day in Macmerry Miners’ Welfare saw Jimmy’s friendship with Jim and Frances Smith blossom and resulted in the naming of the new horse.

Macmerry Jim made his debut in the British Stallion Studs EBF Median Auction Maiden Stakes at Southwell Racecourse, near Nottingham on August 31 and came in second over six furlongs.

Jimmy said: “I bought this horse six or seven weeks ago and was speaking with my wife Sandra and decided to call him Macmerry Jim.

“Jim was nearly in tears.

“He is keeping in touch to see how the horse is doing and I have sent him videos and pictures.

“That was Macmerry Jim’s first run last Monday and he ran a cracker to finish second.

“He is a quality horse.”

Fifty-one-year-old Jimmy has been involved in the horseracing industry for about 30 years and owns nearly 20 horses, while also owning bottle and spirit supplier JF Kegs.

At the beginning of last year, the father-of-two was staying at Adniston Farm, on the edge of Macmerry, on New Year’s Day while watching his horses in action at Musselburgh.

Attempting to find somewhere for dinner was an interaction that would lead to his £50,000 investment in Macmerry Jim.

Jimmy, who is also a director at Dundee United Football Club, said: “We had stopped a taxi and asked the lady in the taxi if there was somewhere myself and my wife and the kids could go for a couple of drinks.

“She said we could go to her social club and we went to Macmerry Miners’ Welfare.

“We went there and, honestly, they could not have made us any more welcome and we had a brilliant night.

“We sat at a table with a guy called Jim Smith and his wife Frances, and we sat with them and a few friends.

“I was speaking to Jim the whole night and realised he followed a lot of horses.

“We were speaking and have become really good friends.”

Father-of-four Jim, who lives on the village’s Brierbush Road, was “highly delighted” with the honour.

The 79-year-old said: “I could not believe it.

“Jimmy has quite a few horses and some right good ones too.”

Jim has been unable to meet his namesake because of the coronavirus restrictions but it is hoped the former miner and B&Q sales adviser will get the chance to attend Musselburgh Racecourse in the near future.

Macmerry Jim, which races in pink and black, is expected to race twice more on the flat this season before returning for the new campaign.

Jimmy has high hopes for the horse and said: “That was his first race and it was an educational race for the horse.

“He finished second and was beaten by half a length but the horse that won is well rated.

“To finish second to that horse and to be six lengths back to the third-placed horse was an excellent result.”