SUNDAY 4 APRIL 2004
by Peter Mansell
Photos by Graham Fisher
Baimbridge defied his critics with another wonderful training performance
when April Treasure landed the Maiden during Sundays Cotswold Point to Point
9-year-old mare was purchased at last years Ascot Sales “because I liked
the look of her” but she has been so headstrong that victory looked no
more than a remote hope. As he has done so many times in the past, the
Berkeley trainer was able to unlock her potential and she was given a superb
ride by Geoff Barfoot Saunt.
April Treasure jumped well throughout the three-mile contest and the race was over once Barfoot Saunt sent his mount to the front at the 12th. They spread-eagled the field from this point and she stormed clear for an emphatic win in the colours of Twyning based owner Stan Warner.
Mason and Love at Dawn followed up their recent Garnons success by taking
the Intermediate for his parents Alex and Christine Mason, who bred both
rider and horse at their home at Ablington near Bibury.
Nick Phillips and Campden Carrig attempted to make every post a winning one, but had to give way to Love at Dawn at the start of the second circuit. Masons mount had jumped superbly up throughout but the combination hardly rose at fence 15 but the 10-year-old lost little momentum and they maintained a clear advantage until Campden Carrig came with a renewed challenge between the final two fences. Love at Dawn simply lengthened his stride from this point and extended his advantage on the run to the line, to provide the 17-year-old Fairford schoolboy with his third win of the current campaign.
Act in Time has proved a wonderful servant to Slad trainer Tom George but the 12-year-old has found winning difficult under National Hunt Rules in recent seasons, although he did show signs of returning to form at Sandown recently. That fact was borne out when Act in Time justified favouritism in the Members but Tim Edwards had to pull out all the stops to see off the challenge of his chief market rival Parahandy.
April Treasures owner Stan Warner was unlucky not to land the Land Rover sponsored Mens Open with Teme Willow who held a two-length advantage over his rivals as they approached the penultimate. Jumping has never been the 13-year-olds forte however and he made a racing losing error at this fence. With long time leader Phar from Chance also struggling, Hook Norton farrier Andy Martin swept by on Freedom Fighter to land the prize for Banbury owner Rosemary Gasson.
The two market leaders dominated the Ladies Open but punters got it wrong on this occasion, because the favourite Prince Dundee was always struggling to maintain contact with Caldamus. The two horses were in the air together at the last but Rilly Goschen’s mount outstayed his rival on the run to the line.