SUNDAY 18 MAY 2003

by Dom Bradshaw

Yorkshire trained horses were the flavour of the day at yesterday’s Melton Hunt Club fixture at Garthorpe with two prizes going back to “God’s Own Country”! 

The first came in the Ladies Open courtesy of Donnegale, ridden by Jo Foster, who got the better of favourite Kings Boy and Mullengrove (Sarah Phizacklea) by three-quarters-of-a-length twice.
The winner is a bit of a monkey, but can turn in the odd good performance and credit should go to Jo for getting him home on this occasion.
Kings Boy, ridden by novice rider Jacqueline Coward, didn’t get going until after the last and was only just touched off. He can take more races next season.
The hard luck story was Mullensgrove, who dug in his heels and lost thirty-lengths at the start. Sarah Phizacklea performed miracles just to get him in contention and this run has to be classed as unlucky, although it must be noted that this is the second consecutive time that he has dwelt at the start and therefore needs to be treated with some caution.

Guy Brewer is becoming an old hand at these Midlands raids (he won on Step Lively at Dingley the previous Sunday). This time, in the Melton Hunt Club Members Novice Championship, it came care of another Mary Sowersby inmate, John Rich who overhauled the long time leader, Irilut (Sam Waley-Cohen), close to home. This was a gutsy performance by the 7yo who has improved no end this season and further victories should follow.
The same can be said of Irilut who ran his heart out. He too has improved dramatically this season and he should have little problem making the grade in better company next season.
Strewth (Matthew Mackley) ran with credit, a further seven lengths back in third.
The favourite, Kustom Kit Grizzly (Rowan Cope) was never travelling and was pulled up a long way from home.

The final of the PPORA Mares Championship went to the Llangeinor qualified Sohapara (Dai Jones), who annihilated the field. She looks a mare of great potential and will certainly win more races.
The disappointing odds-on favourite, Sylphide (Alex Charles-Jones) was never travelling like a winner and had to give second best to a useful opponent. She has already shown enough this season to suggest that she’ll win again in 2004.
West Somerset qualified Mrs Peggoty (Jim White) finished third.

Ardmayle (Lucy Coney), second in the four-miler at Dingley last Sunday, went one better this time, coming home in front of the well-supported Airoski (Richard Burton) in the Intermediate. Lucy Coney has struck up a good relationship with the 9yo son of Be My Native and they’re sure to win again.
Runner up Airoski lost little in defeat and will take more races.
Durham Dandy (Jo Foster) plugged onto take third and seems to be at his best at this time of year.
Scottish Roots (Gino Carenza) made mistakes and was a spent force a long way from home.

The Club Members Conditional fell to French import Et Light (Andy Barlow), who took the race by the scruff of the neck a long way out to win as he liked, coming home seven lengths clear of Topical Tip (Emma Bonne) and Tom De Savoie (Rowan Cope).
The manner in which the 11yo grey took this contest was impressive to say the least and he should follow up.
Topical Tip (Emma Boone) ran the race their lives to take second close home and the sporting owner\rider deserves a small victory.
Tom De Savoie was never travelling throughout and was a little disappointing back in third.
15yo Mounthenry Star (Julian Pritchard) gave his all but could only finish fourth and his advancing years may be starting to catch him up, though that doesn’t mean that he won’t score on his preferred firm ground before the season’s end.

The galloping grey, Red Rebel (Rowan Cope), ran out a convincing winner of the Mens Open, coming home six lengths to the good of Lestat (Julian Pritchard).
On this evidence, there’s little reason to believe that the son of Scallywag has finished winning just yet.
Lestat showed a return to form here and if remaining problem free, he can take a small race.
Who is Equiname (Stuart Morris) was disappointing, finishing a distant third.

Division One of the 2m5f maiden went to Patrick Millington on Bell Rock, benefiting from the exit of the leader Agua Ardente (Rowan Cope) three from home. It’s hard to say which horse would have won if both had remained on their feet, but take nothing away from the winner who did this well, although he will have to improve again now that he’s forced to take on Restricted company over three-miles.
Compensation awaits the unlucky Agua Ardente.
Earl Token (Richard Armson) showed his first sign of form and appreciated the drop in trip here.
Bede (R Fowler) was a fair way behind in third.

Tash McKim gave the well-supported favourite Doctor Spinney a peach of a ride to comfortably take Division Two. On this evidence, the 5yo son of Anshan should have little problem landing a Restricted.
Hypothesis (Mickey Harris) tried to go with the winner, but was always second best. He should be able to land a short maiden.
My Gracie (Stuart Morris) was back in third and may be able to take a small race as should fourth placed Jacks Helen (Tony Williams).