AXE VALE HARRIERS
SUNDAY 28 APRIL 2002
The Axe Vale Harriers annual point-to-point meeting took
place on Sunday, 28th April, at Stafford Cross, near Seaton.
Highlights of the day were a double for Jamie Snowden, a first-ever
winner for 41-year-old rider Guy Galpin and a winning reappearance by the
Bateman family's Ross Cottage.
The opening Hunt race went to odds-on Thinking Twice, who led
throughout the last circuit and forged clear from two out.
Thinking Twice is owned in partnership by Ottery St Mary farmer
Graham Brown, Dawlish kitchen-fitter Mick Spenceley and former Exeter
racecourse head groundsman Joe Chaffey, and was a third career win for
30-year-old farmer Martin Sweetland, whose father, Michael, trains the
horse at Dunkeswell, near Honiton.
Jackson Hill, suited by the overnight rain, forged well clear
in the straight to take the Confined in impressive style under Alex
Charles-Jones. Jackson Hill
is trained at Milborne Wick near Sherborne by Jonathan Sprake for brother
Tim, who rode the horse to win a 1995 Doncaster Maiden and 1996 Salisbury
Handicap and was given the horse as a hunter by previous owner, Lady
The Mixed Open went to Franklins Best and Nick Mitchell, who
took up the running before two out for a comfortable 10 lengths success.
Franklin's Best, one of three horses owned and trained by
Askerswell farmer Graham Foot, will now be aimed at the Cotley meeting on
Monday 6th May.
Ross Cottage, appearing for the first time since suffering a
tendon injury at the 2000 Mendip Farmers, forged well clear in the
straight to take the Intermediate race by a distance.
Ross Cottage, trained at Over Stowey by Tim and Julie Long for
Bridgwater-based Paul Bateman and his family, was providing Ledbury rider
Geoff Barfoot-Saunt with his 10th winner of the season.
The Countryside Alliance Novice Riders race went to Frank
Byrne, who was in the van throughout and fought back to lead at the last
after being overtaken three out by odds-on favourite Rimpton Boy.
Frank Byrne is owned by Isle of Wight based 77-year-old Hazel
Goody, who bought the horse out of Jim Old's stable last year, and was a
second career win for 22-year-old Sturminster Newton rider, Stewart Hayes.
There was a close finish to Division One of the Restricted
when Sea Spirit, ridden patiently by Tabitha Cave to get the trip, just
held the challenge of Spuddler's Dream and Christian Williams.
Sea Spirit is trained at Chard by Emma Kelley, who leases the horse
from breeder Lizzie Elliott. Guy
Galpin, 41, kitchen designer and South Somerset District Councillor, rode
his first ever winner when William Lionheart led two out to take Division
Two. Guy bought William
Lionheart at Ascot two months ago in partnership with Jill Dowson of
Butleigh. The horse is
trained by Guy's wife Jane at their home at Bratton Seymour, near
Sandhurst Officer Cadet Jamie Snowden, winner of this year's Grand Military Gold Cup, rode the winners of the two Divisions of the 56&7yo Open Maiden race. In Division One, Nearly Easter benefited from front-running tactics to hold the challenge of Doran's Luck. Nearly Easter is owned by Milborne Port breeder Margot Perry, whose son, Charles, won the Grand Military Gold Cup on Willow King in 1966. Jamie completed his double in Division Two when Withycombe, benefiting from the application of a visor, was the only finisher from the 13 starters. Withycombe is trained at Forton, near Chard, by Philip Greenwood for Jamie's parents, Ian and Suss Snowden, who bought the horse from breeder Andrew Wardall a year ago.