by Alison Morris

A glorious spring day, blazing sunshine and a sensible entrance fee! No favourites obliged at Howick, but we were treated to some close finishes and exciting racing.

It was a good day for Evan Williams with his first winner the impressive Sparkling Spring in the Mixed Open. One to watch from this race was Primatticcio, staying on strongly for Lucy Rowsell at the end. He is targeted at an Ascot hunter chase this week, and should go well. 

The members went to Arm and a Leg, well ridden by Andrew Price, by tying up badly in the home straight. The course at Howick has been altered in recent years and it was noted that had the original run out into the second field remained  the winner may not have made it all the way to the line.

The restricted produced an exciting three-way finish with James Tudor driving Kandles Korner out to beat Mo's Keliro in a race for the line.

The confined went to Questionnaire under David Stephens, who had not been over optimistic about his chances after Kilgobbins disappointing run in the members. Each way backers had a treat in the race provided by Merry Chieftain and James Tudor, who took second spot at a tasty 25-1!!

The two maidens were age split races and the 5.6&7 yr old saw another dash for the line with Tim Vaughan and Buckland Boy just heading Evan Williams and Beauchamp Observer, who, on this performance will find his way into the winners spot very soon. (Yours truly backed the wrong one of the two..cheers Tim!!)  

The eight year old version saw Evan reclaim his spot in number one on Shuil Alpha, with the favourite Highbury and Andrew Price being outbatttled on the run to the last. Sadly Highbury seems to be plagues with seconditis!

The saddest sight of the day was the horse ambulance bringing home the stricken Kinnefad King, who had taken a crashing fall at the top of the course. Anyone who was there the day he had hobbled out of the paddock at Pentreclwydau a few years ago, will have been amazed that he made it back to the course at all. It was a testament to the care and attention he has received and the devotion of his owner that he did. Hopefully his injury (which apparently is a recurrence of that old wound) is not life threatening; but I think it is fair to say that we will not see him on a track again.