|It was a ladies day at Thorpe
on Sunday with a double for trainer Laura Pomfret, courtesy of her two
mares, Araminta and Intrepid Gal.
The well supported Araminta (backed in from
25-1 in places), who looked as fit as a greyhound in the paddock, was
returning to points after racing under rules last season and showed a nice
turn of foot to come home a good winner of the Mens Open under a well
timed ride from Tim Lane. The mare jumps and stays and this was a fine
effort. She will be scoring again before long.
Favourite Red Rebel (Rowan Cope) tried in vain to make all but had no
answer to Aramintaís turn of foot three from home. He didnít look as
fit in the paddock as he has on his previous seasonal debuts and will come
on for this.
Wild Edric (Alistair Beedles) ran up to his mark back in third and the
fast finishing fourth Wibbley Wobbley (Thomas Ellis) should be winning
again if his sights are lowered a little.
Major Benefit (Michael Keel), stepping up in grade, was unable to show his
true ability, running out on the second circuit. Hopefully, this will not
become a habit.
Intrepid Gal completed the Pomfret\Lane
double in Division 1 of the Restricted staying on well to deny Whichway
Girl (Joe Docker). Again, credit must go to the trainer as, like Araminta,
this one was also well turned out in the paddock. The 8-y-o daughter of
Terimon isnít the biggest horse in training, but has a likeable attitude
and can improve further.
Whichway Girl did little wrong in her first attempt in Restricted company
and should be winning soon, as should third placed Ballyhackamore (Ed
Walker) who make a pleasing return after a year off the course.
Given Away (Michael Hammond) who had previously shown nothing in this
country (won an Irish maiden in 2000) was backed off the boards and was
showing up as short as 3-1 at the off. His attempt to make most of the
running petered out approaching three out, but he has obviously shown some
ability at home and may surprise yet.
Square One (Joe Docker) was another mare to
land the spoils finishing alone in the Club Members race, but was rather
fortunate and came at the expense of another mare, the odds on favourite
Teenage Clover, who had kicked clear and was showing a clean pair of heels
to Square One when unseating Rowan Cope, who asked her for a big one two
The winner is a nice sort and may score again, but the one to take away
from the race is the unlucky Teenage Clover.
Of the others, Roly Poly (Ed Andrewes) uncharacteristically ran out,
Minella Hotel (Gary Hanmer) weakened tamely and appeared not to stay and
sadly, Lucky Ross (Matthew Mackley) took a fatal fall.
It was business as usual for last yearís
top pointer Upham Lord, who came home as she liked in the Ladies Open
under her regular partner, Jill Dawson. Once again, it was his
acceleration that made all the difference and once Jill asked him to
quicken, it was all over. He is once again going to be difficult to peg
back in this grade.
The enigmatic Damp Course (Jelly Nolan) had one of his better days and put
in a creditable performance in second, as did No Fiddling (Rachel
Reynolds) who dropped himself out at the back before outstaying the rest
over the last three fences. He also fits the same category as the runner
The once useful Cadougold (Emma James), making his pointing debut, ran in
snatches and dropped out quickly and looks best left alone.
The ex Kim Bailey trained Glacial Tabhairne
took Division Two of the Restricted getting the better of Mr Pistachio
(Mark Wall) after the last under a power packed ride from Thomas Ellis.
The winner, a 9-y-o son of Glacial Storm has shown little since arriving
from Ireland but did this well enough and can go on from here.
Mr Pistachio, placed in an Aintree hunter chase in 2001, did nothing wrong
back in second and should be more than capable of scoring in this grade.
The well-backed Marston Moses (Stuart Morris), a maiden winner at this
fixture in 2002, was disappointing, one paced back in third. Having said
that, this was his third placing in this grade and surely he must take a
Restricted before too long?
Yashdown (Michael Morley) plugged on at one pace to take fourth and
hasnít run badly in his two attempts so far in Restricted company. His
day may yet come.
There was a tremendous finish in Division
One of the Maiden with Waterloo Leader (David Smith) just getting the
better of Paddy Bettalot (Micky Harris) and the fast finishing Snowtre
However, confusion reigned afterwards as a horse that wasnít even
involved in the finish, no. 13 - River Ground, was called as the winner,
despite no. 21 Ė Waterloo Leader standing in first place in the
winnerís enclosure! After much confusion and discussion between
spectators and officials, the correct result was called without no. 13
being included in the first four home.
The winner had previously ran well in a Restricted, so this result was not
such a surprise, but he will need to step up once again if he is to score
in that sphere.
The runner up and third werenít far away at all and both appear to be
going the right way. Success shouldnít be far away for either.
Sydney Hobart (Rowan Cope) was once again slightly disappointing back in
fourth, but deserves a break and may be better placed at a stayers course.
Big Brazil (Mark Wall) looked all over the winner two from home but
weakened to finish behind the first four. This was an encouraging run and
he has the build and size to win in this grade, though the application of
blinkers for such a lightly raced horse is obviously a concern.
The well-regarded Scarlet Gunner (Gary Hamner) is a nice horse but will
have to jump better that he did here to break his duck.
The flat bred Troubleshooter (Matthew Mackley) wasnít knocked about in
behind and looked to be given a confidence booster after his Cottenham
Cousin George (Richard Burton) was never put in the race from flag fall
and should be watched closely in future.
The final race, Division Two of the Maiden,
saw Sissinghurst Flyer (James Owen) just get the better of Halidon Hill
The winner, who had previously looked a poor sort under rules, showed a
nice turn and may win again. Halidon Hill has been placed on numerous
occasions and looked vulnerable to a rival who can produce a finish, but
does deserve a change of luck.
Brockbuster (Ed Walker) was well back in third and looks a little
Tooley Park (Lenny Hicks) is a good stamp of a horse, but once again
showed little here and can only improve.