The Hunt race was won by BRAVE ALERT owned
and trained by Richard Mathias and ridden by Candy Thomas. They held off TREASURE
AGAIN in a driving finish.
The Confined race once again showed that dreams can become
reality as Glyn Slade-Jones recorded his first win in only his fifth ride
when BOLD STATEMENT caught the well supported NOAFF
and Tim Vaughan close home. Glyn, a butcher form Kington, has
made his name as a successful jockey on the Welsh Trotting circuit and
only started riding within the last year. He had 'celebrated' his 40th
birthday the night before the race so victory was the icing on the cake!
BOLD STATEMENTíS trainer
Steve Flook recorded a quick double when LARA'S GREY and Steve Hughes won the Land Rover Men's Open.
Course specialist RED NECK struck for home
four fences out and opened up what appeared to be an unassailable
advantage. However, LARA'S GREY was undaunted and
gradually made inroads into RED NECK'S lead. They jumped
the last fence in unison and Steve Hughes kept LARA'S GREY
going really well to gain victory by half a length. COTTIER
CHIEF stayed on well to be third, beaten 10 lengths. This former
high-class hurdler for Martin Pipe has posed problems for present owner
Paul Riddick, but this was certainly an improved performance.
The dual Garnons Ladies Open winner UPTON ADVENTURE
continued on her winning ways when comfortably taking the Ladies Open from
BALTIC MAGIC and LADY CLIFFORD.
Emma James seemed unconcerned when BALTIC MAGIC opened up
a three length advantage approaching the third last, a quick jump soon
restored UPTON ADVENTURE'S lead and although BALTIC
MAGIC and Emma Tamplin never gave in, they could not quite get
back on terms.
The first division of the Restricted Open saw another
first-time win, for Andrew Hanly aboard SPIRIT PRINCE. Both
SPIRIT PRINCE and particularly the runner up BILL
HAZE appeared more interested in the attractions of the
horse boxes than racing and conceded considerable ground in doing so. BILL
HAZE, who refused at the final fence at Didmarton when in the
lead set out on the final circuit well over a fence behind. However,
with Dai Jones showing his persuasive qualities the gelding ran on well to
take second place without being able to get back in contention with SPIRIT
PRINCE. IT'S A HANDFULL finished third.
Last weeks Howick winner MENSCH followed up
with victory in division 2 of the Restricted Open. William Oakes was
content to keep him at the rear of the five-runner field before making
rapid progress to take the lead four fences from home. From then the
result was never in doubt although GYPSY HAZE and TALYGARN
who filled the minor places kept on well.
The fastest of the Restricted races was the third division,
won by CAPTAIN RON and Steve Lloyd. They caught long time
leader THOMAS THE DOUBTER close home to win by a neck
with LORD PHILIP third. CAPTAIN RON only
failed by a head to win a division of the restricted open here last
season, so perseverance paid off on this occasion.
CAMDEN CARAMEL was
an easy winner of the Maiden, Division One. Once Marc Barber had allowed
him to take the lead from GILLY WEET at the eleventh
fence the result was never in doubt. GILLY WEET in turn
was never troubled to collect second place with DERRING KISS
a distance behind in third.
Division two was won by VALJEAN who
completed a double for the Miles family and rider Andrew Hanly, after
their success with SPIRIT PRINCE, SHERBET FIZZ and
Tim Vaughan the only dangers on the final circuit and although mounting a
spirited challenge from the penultimate fence SHERBET FIZZ was
unable to threaten VALJEAN'S superiority.
Winning rider 21 year old Andrew Hanly opened his account in
his 12th ride on SPIRIT PRINCE and was justifiably
delighted to double up on VALJEAN. He is currently
attached to John Needhams yard at Ludlow and judging by his confidence in
being prepared to make the pace on VALJEAN and his
perseverance with SPIRIT PRINCE he may well be a rider to
This was a most enjoyable day's racing with the crowd
enjoying several close finishes and two riders recording their first wins.
We should spare a thought however, for Patrick Crozier who
made his riding debut aboard HIGHBRIDGE in the Confined
race. They only got as far as the second fence before crashing out through
a wing, Patrick was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Let's
hope we will be able to record his first win in the near future.