by Dom Bradshaw

It was a ladies day at Thorpe on Sunday with a double for trainer Laura Pomfret, courtesy of her two mares, Araminta and Intrepid Gal.

The well supported Araminta (backed in from 25-1 in places), who looked as fit as a greyhound in the paddock, was returning to points after racing under rules last season and showed a nice turn of foot to come home a good winner of the Mens Open under a well timed ride from Tim Lane. The mare jumps and stays and this was a fine effort. She will be scoring again before long.
Favourite Red Rebel (Rowan Cope) tried in vain to make all but had no answer to Aramintaís turn of foot three from home. He didnít look as fit in the paddock as he has on his previous seasonal debuts and will come on for this.
Wild Edric (Alistair Beedles) ran up to his mark back in third and the fast finishing fourth Wibbley Wobbley (Thomas Ellis) should be winning again if his sights are lowered a little.
Major Benefit (Michael Keel), stepping up in grade, was unable to show his true ability, running out on the second circuit. Hopefully, this will not become a habit.

Intrepid Gal completed the Pomfret\Lane double in Division 1 of the Restricted staying on well to deny Whichway Girl (Joe Docker). Again, credit must go to the trainer as, like Araminta, this one was also well turned out in the paddock. The 8-y-o daughter of Terimon isnít the biggest horse in training, but has a likeable attitude and can improve further.
Whichway Girl did little wrong in her first attempt in Restricted company and should be winning soon, as should third placed Ballyhackamore (Ed Walker) who make a pleasing return after a year off the course.
Given Away (Michael Hammond) who had previously shown nothing in this country (won an Irish maiden in 2000) was backed off the boards and was showing up as short as 3-1 at the off. His attempt to make most of the running petered out approaching three out, but he has obviously shown some ability at home and may surprise yet.

Square One (Joe Docker) was another mare to land the spoils finishing alone in the Club Members race, but was rather fortunate and came at the expense of another mare, the odds on favourite Teenage Clover, who had kicked clear and was showing a clean pair of heels to Square One when unseating Rowan Cope, who asked her for a big one two from home.
The winner is a nice sort and may score again, but the one to take away from the race is the unlucky Teenage Clover.
Of the others, Roly Poly (Ed Andrewes) uncharacteristically ran out, Minella Hotel (Gary Hanmer) weakened tamely and appeared not to stay and sadly, Lucky Ross (Matthew Mackley) took a fatal fall.

It was business as usual for last yearís top pointer Upham Lord, who came home as she liked in the Ladies Open under her regular partner, Jill Dawson. Once again, it was his acceleration that made all the difference and once Jill asked him to quicken, it was all over. He is once again going to be difficult to peg back in this grade.
The enigmatic Damp Course (Jelly Nolan) had one of his better days and put in a creditable performance in second, as did No Fiddling (Rachel Reynolds) who dropped himself out at the back before outstaying the rest over the last three fences. He also fits the same category as the runner up!
The once useful Cadougold (Emma James), making his pointing debut, ran in snatches and dropped out quickly and looks best left alone.

The ex Kim Bailey trained Glacial Tabhairne took Division Two of the Restricted getting the better of Mr Pistachio (Mark Wall) after the last under a power packed ride from Thomas Ellis. The winner, a 9-y-o son of Glacial Storm has shown little since arriving from Ireland but did this well enough and can go on from here.
Mr Pistachio, placed in an Aintree hunter chase in 2001, did nothing wrong back in second and should be more than capable of scoring in this grade.
The well-backed Marston Moses (Stuart Morris), a maiden winner at this fixture in 2002, was disappointing, one paced back in third. Having said that, this was his third placing in this grade and surely he must take a Restricted before too long?
Yashdown (Michael Morley) plugged on at one pace to take fourth and hasnít run badly in his two attempts so far in Restricted company. His day may yet come.

There was a tremendous finish in Division One of the Maiden with Waterloo Leader (David Smith) just getting the better of Paddy Bettalot (Micky Harris) and the fast finishing Snowtre (Adrian Wintle).
However, confusion reigned afterwards as a horse that wasnít even involved in the finish, no. 13 - River Ground, was called as the winner, despite no. 21 Ė Waterloo Leader standing in first place in the winnerís enclosure! After much confusion and discussion between spectators and officials, the correct result was called without no. 13 being included in the first four home.
The winner had previously ran well in a Restricted, so this result was not such a surprise, but he will need to step up once again if he is to score in that sphere.
The runner up and third werenít far away at all and both appear to be going the right way. Success shouldnít be far away for either.
Sydney Hobart (Rowan Cope) was once again slightly disappointing back in fourth, but deserves a break and may be better placed at a stayers course.
Big Brazil (Mark Wall) looked all over the winner two from home but weakened to finish behind the first four. This was an encouraging run and he has the build and size to win in this grade, though the application of blinkers for such a lightly raced horse is obviously a concern.
The well-regarded Scarlet Gunner (Gary Hamner) is a nice horse but will have to jump better that he did here to break his duck.
The flat bred Troubleshooter (Matthew Mackley) wasnít knocked about in behind and looked to be given a confidence booster after his Cottenham fall.
Cousin George (Richard Burton) was never put in the race from flag fall and should be watched closely in future.

The final race, Division Two of the Maiden, saw Sissinghurst Flyer (James Owen) just get the better of Halidon Hill (Matthew Mackley).
The winner, who had previously looked a poor sort under rules, showed a nice turn and may win again. Halidon Hill has been placed on numerous occasions and looked vulnerable to a rival who can produce a finish, but does deserve a change of luck.
Brockbuster (Ed Walker) was well back in third and looks a little disappointing.
Tooley Park (Lenny Hicks) is a good stamp of a horse, but once again showed little here and can only improve.