Will Biddick rode a Holnicote double aboard Ghizao and Bathwick Scanno to reach his half-century of winners for the season. He is the fifth man ever to achieve the feat. Ghizao made virtually all the running and easily outpointed his two rivals in the Mixed Open, which was run in a cloudburst. On this form the 11-year-old, now unbeaten in his last two starts after a wayward start to the season, will be an impressive flagbearer for his owner-trainer's inaugural Jack Barber Racing Club in 2015/16.
Will stole the Confined on the Teresa Clark-trained Bathwick Scanno, who was never in danger after scooting clear of his toiling rivals with a circuit to race. "I expected to reach 50 winners today, but I wasn't sure it would be aboard Bathwick Scanno," smiled the three-time national champion, whose mixed afternoon included riding three odds-on beaten favourites.
Darren Edwards also achieved a major milestone by reaching the 200 career winner mark, including 23 wins under Rules, with a double aboard Crackacan and Cracking Habit. The former held off Barber-Biddick hotpot Athreeothree after leading over the last. "He's finished in the frame in all of his seven previous completions, including a Larkhill race where we felt he should have got the verdict, so he deserved this," said Julie Pocock, who trains Crackacan for her partner, Andrew Pope, sister-in-law Wendy Pocock, Sue Knox and Eva Davis. Cracking Habit benefited from Earthpower's last fence blunder before holding off Golden Squirell on the flat. The winner is owned and trained by Sarah Prouse, whose familiar yellow and black colours have long been a feature of local point-to-pointing.
Nettlecombe owner-trainer Liz Scott enjoyed a double – her first – with Katie's Massini (2m-4f Maiden) and Took My Eye (PPORA Club Members for Novice Riders). Katie's Massini, a private purchase via Michael Oliver, led over the last under Darren Andrews before readily holding off four-year-old debutant Overland Flyer. Sam Ellicott, 21, who works for Bilbrook trainer Philip Hobbs, opened his account aboard Took My Eye, who led sole rival Beside The Fire throughout to double his Holnicote tally after his 2014 Minehead Harriers & West Somerset Hunt race success.
Cinevator and Harriet Skinner set a furious pace throughout the Hunt race and easily held off 2-5F Steel Brush who never threatened to get on terms.
Hunt Members (3 ran)
1. Cinevator (IRE) (Miss H Skinner, 2-1); 2. Steel Brush (IRE) (M Hampton, 2-5F); 3. Lord Lescribaa (FR) (Miss B Childs, 7-1). 6min 33s. 10l, dist. (Kayley Woollacott)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (6 ran)
1. Katie's Massini (IRE) (D Andrews, 2-1); 2. Overland Flyer (IRE) (W Biddick, 1-2F); 3. Darkgesture (IRE) (J Newman, 4-1). 5min 40s. 3l, 5l. (Elizabeth Scott)
Mixed Open (3 ran)
1. Ghizao (GER) (W Biddick, 1-6F); 2. Eslin Bridge (IRE) (G Hiscock, 5-1); 3. Overclear (Miss V Gravett, 8-1). 6min 47s. 10l, 12l. (Jack Barber)
Open Maiden (7 ran)
1. Crackacan (D Edwards, 6-4); 2. Athreeothree (IRE) (W Biddick, 4-7F); 3. Derniere Dance (FR) (D Noonan, 25-1). 6min 54s. 1l, 3l. (Julie Pocock)
PPORA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) (2 ran)
1. Took My Eye (IRE) (S Ellicott, 1-2F); 2. Beside The Fire (E Doggrell, 6-4). 7min 32s. ½l. (Elizabeth Scott)
Confined (6 ran)
1. Bathwick Scanno (IRE) (W Biddick, 5-1); 2. Infamous Grouse (IRE) (D Edwards, 2-1); 3. Whenharrymetsally (IRE) (M Hampton, 1-2F). 6min 35s. Dist, 3l. (Teresa Clark)
Restricted (6 ran)
1. Cracking Habit (D Edwards, 5-2); 2. Golden Squirell (IRE) (Robert Hawker, 5-2); 3. Earthpower (IRE) (W Biddick, 4-7F). 6min 43s. Hd, ½l. (Sarah Prouse)