GOLDEN oldies Ravethebrave and Consigliere rolled back the years to shine in a treble for Aston Rowant trainer Alan Hill at the Kimblewick Hunt point-to-point meeting at Kimble, near Aylesbury.
The 14-year-old Ravethebrave might light of the soft ground to coast home 15 lengths clear of En Passe in the opening AD Pharma Consulting Ltd Nine-Year-Olds And Over Countryside Alliance Club Members' Conditions Race under Izzie Marshall. And the teenage rider went on to complete her first double aboard the front-running 15-year-old Consigliere, who recorded a 25-lengths verdict over George Fernbeck in a match for the closing Cub Cadet Kimblewick Hunt Members', Subscribers & Farmers' Race.
In between, Hill saddled Pride Of Parish to run out an impressive winner of the 2m 4f Elliott of London Men's Open with Johnny Bailey on board. Pride Of Parish flew the flag for Hill's younger brigade, sweeping into the lead round the home turn before a spring-heeled leap at the last saw him storm ten lengths clear of Toowoomba. The eight-year-old is owned by the Sunday Night Partnership headed by the trainer, who felt his charge had been helped by the reapplication of a tongue-tie. Bailey said, "He felt very impressive. He winged the last and I didn't look behind me, but nothing was catching me."
Hill said of Ravethebrave, who, like Consigliere, runs in his colours and was recording his first win since May 2015, "We never thought coming here today he would do that. He has done a lot of work, but he is a family pet. Izzie had a couple of lovely rides on him last year when she was chasing the national novices' title and gets on well with him, but I am gobsmacked." Marshall, who had sent her mount into the lead four fences from home, added, "I was expecting him to be very strong because he just loves his racing and he was. I was just so surprised that everyone came off the bridle and he didn't."
Consigliere put in an exemplary round of jumping, and Hill commented, "It's Izzie's first double on a 14 and a 15-year-old and I don't think she will ever have a horse jump as well as that in a race. That was great." Marshall, 18, added of Consigliere, "He is awesome. It's really nice of Alan to let me ride him. I didn't think I would ride a horse like that. He is a real schoolmaster."
Hill was also delighted to see Sedgemoor Express run so well on his first start for almost three years, before having to settle for the runners-up spot behind Dabinett Moon in the Skinner's Pet Foods Ladies' Open. Sent off the the 1-4 favourite, Chipping Norton trainer Fran Marriott's ten-year-old mare was made to fight for a 15th career success, only mastering Hill's charge on the approach to the last fence before recording a four-lengths verdict. Winning rider Claire Hardwick said, "It is actually awesome to have another good horse give her a run for her money. What a training performance by Alan and Lawney to have a horse that had been off for so long run that well. She had to work hard, but she is tough and tenacious and knows how to win." Marriott, who owns Dabinett Moon with her husband Christopher, now plans to run her prolific winner at Mollington on April 14.
Will Marshall celebrated his first winner on Subtitle after surviving scares at the final two fences in the Richardsons PPORA Club Members' Conditions Race for Novice Riders. Marshall sat tight as the 12-year-old, trained by Joan Johnston at Hinton-in-the-Hedges, near Brackley, pecked at the second-last and then blundered at the final obstacle before holding off Orange Nassau by three lengths. The 19-year-old rider, from Burton Constable, near Hull, was enjoying success on his 24th ride between the flags, having missed a couple of months this season after breaking his right wrist in a fall in November. Marshall, who works for Dan Skelton at Alcester, said, "At the last he put down a bit, but he still managed to stand up.
Harry Skelton's a big friend of mine and has got me where I am today. He spends a lot of time helping me and I'd like to thank them for everything they do for me." Johnston, meanwhile, was grateful for the use of neighbouring trainer Chris Loggin's facilities, "It's a huge thank-you to the Loggins," she said. "They let us trash their farm working on the grass all the time. They are just amazing and never complain about it." Harpenden owner Denys Moylan was thrilled to see Subtitle follow up his recent Kingston Blount win, "This horse is a tremendous galloper and he loves the soft ground," he said. "He is a battleship of a horse."
Fortune favoured Lake Balaton, who gave Martin Wanless's Ettington stables, near Stratford, a first winner of the season in a dramatic finish to the Chandler Garvey Restricted Race. The nine-year-old looked set for third place as Dan's Wee Man went clear on the run-in only to jink to his left in the final 50 yards and unseat Guy Disney while at the same time badly hampering Western Movie, which allowed Zak Baker's mount to claim the spoils by half a length, "It's my jammiest winner of the season," said Baker, "I think Guy's horse must have seen something in the crowd and he wiped the second out." Lake Balaton is owned by the trainer in partnership with his wife, Jane, who added: "We didn't decide to come here until 9am this morning. We were going to go to Paxford and run him in the members, but that was called off. He is my pride and joy. He is the only horse I get nervous about. I have had to nurture him a lot."
Fred Hutsby, who is based at Wellesbourne in Warwickshire, saddled Ain't No Limits to cruise home a distance clear of Behomebymidnight in the 2m 4f Hildreths Garden Centre Four, Five And Six-Year-Olds Open Maiden under Sam Lee. The trainer's father, Ken, owns the six-year-old, whom he bought out of Charlie Longsdon's yard, "He should have won a hurdle race when he finished third, having jumped the last and almost came down, but that suited me down to the ground because it meant he was still a maiden," he said, "The first time he ran at Larkhill he was beaten three lengths by a horse of Tom Lacey's that was sold for a lot of money. I am pretty confident that he will go on and win us another race." Lee commented, "He has an engine. He did it in the style I wanted him to. I would not have wanted anything to get near him today."