by Dom Bradshaw

A large crowd of both enthusiasts and those just there for the day out were treated to sunshine, huge fields and a nine race card at yesterday’s Pytchley meeting at Guilsborough.

Proceedings got under way when Rowan Cope landed the nine-runner members race on Red Rebel, coming home comfortably clear of Lottie The Lotus (Jimmy Tarry). The winner, who is well handled by Rowan, is in good heart at present and was getting his head in front for the third time this season. I’ll be very surprised if there’s not even more to come from him yet.
The runner up ran up to her best but appeared to be given a little too much to do by South Midlands' favourite pentagenarian, the genial Jimmy Tarry, and it would be very interesting to see what she can achieve under a more forceful ride.
Weavers Choice (Andrew Sansome) was a never dangerous third and Hostetler gave Thomas Messenger a decent hack round back in fourth.
The frail but able Starlight Fool (Dickie Barrett) was still in contention until appearing to break down. He was pulled up and dismounted before three out and sadly, this would appear to be the end of the road for the 13-year-old.

The progressive King Sirius (James Diment) comfortably stepped up in class, taking the Confined in the style of a decent horse. The 8-year-old son of Royal Vulcan has now won his last three on the bounce (maiden, restricted & confined) and looks possible rules material.
Blackchesters (Ashley Bealby) put last week’s disappointing run in the Novice Hunter Chase at Aintree well behind him, running on to finish a good second. He has the scope to win a race of this kind.
Topical Tip finished a good third for his novice rider, Emma Boone, and if the partnership can stay together in one
piece, they should be able to take a small race.
Second favourite Seabrook Lad (Dickie Barrett) was slightly disappointing in fourth and is capable of better.
Nautical Lad, a good winner of a Brocklesby restricted earlier in the season was given an easy time in rear by Joe Docker before pulling up early on the second circuit. Keep an eye on this one.

The Caroline Bailey yard, who'd previously taken the members' race, added both Open races to their tally of winners. The first came courtesy of Imperial Dawn, who moved onto five wins for the season, taking the Ladies Open under a strong ride from Amy Stennett. On his day, he’s one of the top Ladies horses around and there's more contests to be taken by him before the season is out.
Lady Emerald (Rosie Goodwin) looked a danger until an indifferent jump at the last put paid to her chances. She must have a chance of scoring in this grade, if able to avoid the big guns, namely Upham Lord & Imperial Dawn.
South East raider Storm Castle (Julie Wickens) ran in snatches, but stayed on well to finish third. He should be able to pick up the winning thread when campaigned nearer to home.
The writing was on the wall a long way from home for the well-fancied Dictum (Susie Samworth) who was a major flop back in sixth. He’s surely better than this and providing that all's well, he may be able to bounce back from this poor run. 

The wonderful Copper Thistle (Richard Hunnisett) was a fitting winner of the Dick Saunders Memorial Mens Open, in memory of the trainer’s late father. This was possibly his easiest task to date this season, demolishing a sub-standard field and coming home without breaking sweat to score his fourth win of the season. Like stable mate Imperial Dawn, he’s not finished winning yet!
Remilan (Dominic Parravani) showed his first sign of form for a long time, but will need a weak race if he’s to get is head in front.
Second favourite Fawsley Manor (Jimmy tarry) stopped quickly and was pulled up and would appear to have gone wrong.

A Bailey four-timer was thwarted in the restricted, when the favourite Find Me Another (Rowan Cope) failed to catch the East Anglian raider Tod’s Brother (Nibby Bloom), from the Merriam yard. Although his previous form figures of “PP1/PP” hardly looked inspiring, this one wasn’t without a chance and those who delved into the MacKenzie & Selby form of two seasons ago, “beat little but accomplished the task in good style, and seems sure to have scope for further improvement” were rewarded with the generous odds of 20/1 (this reporter is pleased to say that he did!). A well-built individual, he beat a decent field here and definitely has more scope for improvement. He can rise in class.
The runner up, Find Me Another, lost little in defeat and a restricted looks a certainty.
Third placed Cumberland Youth (Paul Briley) ran well considering that this was his first attempt in higher company since winning his maiden and may be able to take a restricted.

Both divisions of the maiden were divided again on the day. The first part of division one went to Mark Rimell on the previously unraced five-year-old Montemoss, who stayed on stoutly from the weakening front running Wot About Me (Richard Armson) to come home a very comfortable twelve or so lengths clear. The winner is a half brother to the Grand National fourth Kingsmark and maiden winner Crackrattle and staying races will be the order of the day for him. This was a very good performance for a five-year-old and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Rimell wasn't now tempted to send him to Doncaster May sales prior to a career under National Hunt rules.
The runner up races too freely at the moment, despite the worthy efforts of Richard Armson and if he can learn to settle better, then he’ll have a chance of scoring.
Colonel Carats (Nick Docker) was a distant third and will need a bad race if he’s to win. 

Part two of division one went to Fred Hutsby on American Style, who always had the measure of the nearest pursuer Lottery Lil (Tim Lane), coming home eight lengths to the good.
The winner, a 10-year-old son of Lord Americo, did this nicely enough, but it’s hard to gauge what he actually beat. In this writer’s humble opinion, he will have to improve again to take a restricted, though this doesn’t mean that he won’t!
The runner up was always held and looks a little one paced, as does the third, Kilworth Manor (Jimmy Tarry).
The ones to note here are the previously unraced pair, 6-year-old Jack Lynch (Matthew Mackley), a half brother to restricted winner Fisherman Jack, who wasn’t knocked about and 5-year-old Tooley Park who jumped sketchily until pulling up when out of contention. Both will benefit from this run.

Court Alert, a good second to Mullensgrove at Newton Bromswold earlier in the season, came home twenty lengths clear of his nearest pursuer to take part one of the second division of the maiden. This was an impressive performance and he has the scope to take a restricted.
Teeton Athletic stayed on for Rachel Barrow to finish second and Ben Pollock aboard Treble Vision was a back in third.
The heavily backed  Bow Rocky (Dickie Barrett, 10/1 to 3/1) attempted to made most of the running, but went out as though the tank was at empty between the second and third last. He finished a very tired fourth and looks a non-stayer, which is a pity as he jumps really well and looks a picture in the paddock.
Joe Docker gave debutant Ginger Moss a spin around for a circuit before pulling up. He’ll come on for this educational run.

The final race, part two of the second division of the maiden went to the well-supported favourite Rathbarry Lad (Andrew Sansome), who stepped up on his good third at Dingley to win as he pleased. Only a five-year-old (by Phardante), his owner Judy Wilson and trainer Bill Warner look to have found yet another really nice type. One to keep on the right side on and is without doubt, “one for the notebook”.
Wicked Way (David Barlow) stayed on to take a remote, but eye-catching second and may be able to take a small race.
Eleven-year-old Bright Vulcan (Mark Handley) finished third.
La Di Dah Lad (Kent Lock) looked to be booked for second place until weakening rapidly, eventually finishing fourth, but may have gone lame. He’s well related, being a half brother to winning chaser Bit Of A Snob, and can take a maiden if all is well with him.

As far as I'm concern, this is what life is about… all in all, a well organised meeting, great racing and an altogether pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon…and at £15 a car, far better value that a ticket for the FA Cup Semi Finals!