by Alan Burbridge

On arrival at Barbury Castle, there was a large contingent of horseboxes, suggesting there would be a good number of runners. The first race saw 18 runners go to post. Only 4 runners managed to complete the course, with Whatashock and Nick Mitchell the clear-cut winners. Nick sent Whatashock on early in the back straight. He had pulled a long way clear, when the horse decided to try and uproot the last fence; Nick survived that anxious moment, to guide the horse to victory. Trigger Again filled the second spot, which provided trainer Mary Tory the first two home.

The Novice riders division 1 was divided, part 1 going to Hags Way ridden by Lorna Brooke. They collared Down, at the second last, to go on and win by a couple of lengths. Part 2 saw victory go to the Ben King ridden Garethson.

The mixed open race resulted in a thrilling finish between County Derry and Epsilo De La Ronce, with County Derry outstaying his rival over the final two fences. County Derry was an improving horse last season and it seems the improvement has continued into this season, definitely one to follow.

The novice riders division 2 was also divided into two parts. The first part resulted in a three-way wall across the last, with Frank Byrne just prevailing from Native Cove and Parahandy. The finish would have probably been even more exciting had Storm Forecast not blundered and fell four fences from home, when still travelling strongly. The second part produced a dour staying performance from Whispering Pines, who outstayed the David Pipe trained Stacky Light.

The PPORA club members division 1 saw Phil York and Noah produce a good turn of foot to defeat Ok So. The second division produced a victory for Offshore, who took up the running turning for home and was always holding Half Moon Spinney.

With the continual wind and rain, I left the meeting early, which is why the review has no mention of the concluding restricted race. A final complement should be paid, to the organisers of this meeting, who provided a first class race card.