RADNOR & WEST HEREFORDSHIRE
SUNDAY 5 MAY 2002
by Pete Mansell
West Midland based jockeys stole the show at Sundays inaugural Radnor and West Hereford meeting at Cold Harbour with Tim Stephenson riding a treble but there were also successes for Alison Dare, Julian Pritchard, Geoff Barfoot Saunt and Mark Munrowd.
Tim Stephenson is enjoying one of his best ever seasons and
his three successes took him onto the 11-winner mark. Fontaine Again
provided the Castlemorton based jockey with his first success in the
Confined. Julian Pritchard and Kerry Soldier Blue set out to make the
running but Stephenson's mount was never far away and stormed clear of his
rival approaching the last. Clive Hitchings has always thought a lot of
the winner who had lost confidence earlier in his career but he is now
back to his best following his third success of the season for Hanley
Castle trainer Jo Tremain.
There was a close finish in Division I of the Maiden, which
was won by Ron Hancox's and Mike Filbys Make Up Your Mind. The 10-year-old
has suffered leg problems since being brought by connections at Malvern
three years ago, but he showed great courage to win this race by half a
Watergate Boy provided the third leg of the Stephenson
hat-trick. This winner was left clear by the last fence departure of
Dickie Mint, who was still in contention when he ducked out at the final
obstacle when an exciting finish looked on the cards.
Julian Pritchard suffered a frustrating series of minor
placings although he did score a solitary success on Lestat in the
Restricted. Vanessa Rammís 8-year-old had suffered a series of niggling
problems since being pulled up at Garthorpe earlier in the season and
connections were worried that times earlier in the afternoon indicated
that the course would be on the short side for Lestat. Those fears were
unfounded because he was in contention for much of the three-mile contest
and had too much in reserve for the runner up Frangipane over the final
Eastnor resident Geoff Barfoot Saunt maintained his winning
run on Come on George in the final division of the Maiden, while Cradleys
Mark Munrowd scored his first win of the season on Exclusively for
Tarrington trainer Phillip Hodges. The winner was purchased privately by
the trainer's wife Ruth and Donna Lancett from Bill Tuck down in the
Berkeley country and showed a fine turn of foot to beat Crack on Cheryl.
Dick Baimbridge has won many accolades within the sport because of his astounding success with difficult horses that have taxed the patience of their previous owners. Teme Willow falls into this category with just one solitary success in a long racing career. The 11-year-old joined the Berkeley trainer at the beginning of the season and improvement has been dramatic, a fact reflected when Teme Willow won his third race of the season with an impressive Ladies Open victory over Upton Adventure and Indefence.