by Pete Mansell

Dick Baimbridge and Alison Dare are an almost unbeatable combination over the Berkeley course at Woodford and that proved the case on Saturday, when Teme Willow outclassed his rivals in the Members.

The 11-year-old jumped violently to the right at the very first fence and this trait continued throughout the race, but experience gained in a 20-year race-riding career is likely to prove beneficial on these occasion and it was one which Miss Dare coped with admirably and none of their rivals were capable of taking advantage of the situation. This partnership had the measure of their rivals approaching the penultimate and had little difficulty retaining that advantage on the run to the line.

The Berkeley trainer excels with horses of this type and has the ability to make "silk purses from sow's ears". Previous connections had struggled to win a race with Teme Willow but the 11-year-old gelding has a 100 percent record since joining Baimbridge's Hill Farm stables.

Well Ted provided further evidence of Baimbridge's training ability with a smooth success in the Mens Open. Geoff Barfoot Saunt was content to bide his time before moving up to dispute the lead at the 14th . There was only going to be one winner from this point and Well Ted coasted home for an easy win in the colours of Graham Fisher and his partners.

Fergal O'Brien is head lad at Nigel Twiston Davies yard at Naunton while Ellie Hill carries out similar duties at Simon Sherwoods Bromyard stables. Experience gained at these two establishments has obviously been put to good use because O'Brien sent out Look in the Mirror to score an easy win in the Ladies while Hill did likewise with Raise a Gale in the Mares Race.

Look in the Mirror had a fantastic season last year, which culminated in a win in the prestigious Horse and Hound Cup. He has failed to reach those heights so far this season but is coming back to his best, judging by this performance where he outclassed a competitive field and O'Brien is now favouring a tilt at the Gerrard Final at Exeter Racecourse on 15th May.

Ellie Hill had trained her first winner when Raise A Gale was successful at Andoversford a few weeks ago and the 8-year-old mare now provided a first winning ride for the Bromyard based 26-year-old.

Bringsty Farrier Mike Roberts and Knightwick trainer Many Tatlow bypassed their own meeting at Upper Sapey on Sunday to allow Pear Tree Percy is take part in the Intermediate and that proved a wise decision after the 9-year-olds success under Ray Rogers.

Richard Burton suffered a dislocated shoulder following a fall from Fountain Street in this race and this injury has effectively ended his Title challenge  

Richard Burton returns with a 
dislocated shoulder
photo by Graham Fisher

Alex and Chris Masons home bred Love at Dawn proved too strong for his rivals in Division II of the Maiden, while Dorset rider Michael Miller landed a double with Milcroft Regatta taking the Restricted before Harrys Dream's success in Division I of the Maiden.