CROOME & WEST WARWICKSHIRE
UPTON ON SEVERN
TUESDAY 2 APRIL 2002
by Pete Mansell
Brother Prim and Caught at Down provided Upton Snodsbury
rider Mark Rodda with a double during Tuesdays Croome and West
Warwickshire meeting at Upton-upon-Severn.
Brother Prim came through to dispute the lead with Brown
Buzzard at the 15th and these two horses had a protracted
battle down the home straight and Rodda needed to pull out all the stops
to hold the runners up challenge. The winner was home bred by Les Taylor
at his Naunton Beauchamp Stud.
Rodda teamed up with Martin Weston's Caught at Dawn in
Division I of the Restricted. Once again Rodda came out on top in a close
finish, producing Caught at Dawn with a well-timed run to catch the long
time leader Conkerdor half way up the run in. Weston acts as Clerk of the
Course at Upton and his 15-year-old son Tom hopes to commence race riding
on the Hindlip trained gelding next year.
Mervyn Jones from Malvern has enjoyed considerable success
with Kingsthorpe (2nd in the Mixed Open) in recent years and he
looks to have acquired a useful replacement in Musical Tassell, who took
the Mares Maiden under Michael Keel.
On the Bone looked the winner approaching the last, but
Musical Tassell sprinted clear of his rival on the flat. The mares
Upton-upon-Severn based trainer Mike Daniells put the improvement in the
mare's performance down to the extensive schooling sessions she has
received at the hands of Geoff Barfoot Saunt. Unfortunately the Ledbury
rider was unable to reap the benefits as he was committed to ride
Frank'ies Fay in this contest.
Julian Pritchard has hit a rich vein of form over Easter and
another double took his three-day tally to seven. Both wins were vintage
Pritchard, who produced Cariad Cymru with a perfectly timed run to land
Division II of the Restricted. Mr Max was one of the first runners to come
under pressure in the Confined but Pritchard persevered and they caught
Bansha House in the last 75 yards.
The Novice Riders Mixed Open resulted in an emphatic win for
the Sam Waley Cohen ridden Down. The 11-year-old led from the 14th
and was left well clear when Gentry ran out at the third from home.
Division I of the 3 mile Maiden produced another close
finish. Shilo and Tina's Adventure had the race to themselves coming to
the last but the latter just got the better of her rival to win by half a
length. The 10-year-old mare is trained by Clive Davies at Kimbolton and
carries the colours of West Midland bookmaker Stan Nixon.
The second Division went to the Giles Smyly trained and Nick
Sutton ridden Rodney Trotter. Favourite backers had cause for alarm as
they started to lose ground down the back straight but Sutton was just
bidding his time and he had his mount back in contention at the
penultimate before sprinting away from his rivals at the finish.
Brooks and Tash McKim took Division I of the 2 1/2 mile Maiden but it was a close call. He looked unbeatable with three to jump but his stride began to shorten at the next and Agua Ardente finished so strongly that he would have got up in another 20 yards.