by Lee Glanville

Plenty of runners turned out for a huge crowd at Cherrybrook which was basking in glorious sunshine on Sunday, clerk of the course Adrian Ross having made a huge effort to produce raceable ground after a prolonged dry period.

Smallest fields were in the open races but there was no lack of exitement in the ladiesí open where Phoenix Phlyer, who was bidding for a five-timer, had his colours lowered by  Wag the Brush after an enterprising ride from Tabitha Cave.

Only three runners went to post and Phoenix Phlyer and Charlotte Stucley blazed a trail as usual. Hasten Bak (Lucy Gardner) did their best to track them but Wag The Brush, off the pace for much of the race, came with a late rattle to lead over the last and take a two and a half length victory.

Youth got the better of experience in the menís open when six year old Just The Job Too (Robin McCarthy) got the better of 12-year-old firm ground specialist Hylters Chance (Colin Heard).

Colin Heard had gone one better in the earlier Restricted when Ken and John Heardís Bill Me Up saw off the challenge of Itís the Biz (James Young).

Colinís son Liam is still classed as a novice rider, although his performances in the plate suggest that wonít last long and he made the most of the ride on Bomba Charger to win the Novice Ridersí Confined Hunts Race. He kept his cool throughout and recorded an eight length win over Bridge House Boy and Andy Oliver.

With luck Alan and Jane Walterís Parte Prima will be heading for the Newton Abbot racecourse Intermediate hunter chase final after taking the qualifier here. The horse, partnered by Les Jefford, looked a picture in the paddock and lay just off the pace throughout, Jefford making his move two fences from home. Winter showjumping training paid dividends for the winner, whose fencing is much improved on last season. Second placed Teddy Boy should soon be upgrading after a good effort against decent opponents.

Sarah Gaisford is on form this season and brought Bengal Bullet home with a great run to take the closing confined hunts maiden race, Porterís Lodge (James Young) close up in second.

Eric Wonnacott won the three-runner hunt race with his Wicked Imp (Mark Munrowd).

Hunt race: 1, Wicked Imp, M Munrowd; 2, Yafa, J Cole. Three ran, only two finished, dist, 6.18.

Restricted: 1, Bill Me Up, Colin Heard; 2, Itís the Biz, J Young; 3, Lydford Castle, L Heard. 10 ran, 5l, 8l, 5,58.

Ladies open: 1, Wag The Brush, Miss T Cave; 2, Phoenix Phlyer, Miss C Stucley; 3, Hasten Bak, Miss L Gardner. Three ran, 2 1/2l, dist, 5.48.

Confined Hunts novice ridersí race: 1, Bomba Charger, L Heard; 2, Bridge House Boy, A Oliver; 3, Destin DíEstruval, L Burns.  Six ran, 8l, 4l, 5.58.

Newton abbot Racecourse Intermediate: 1, Parte Prima, L Jefford; 2, Teddy Boy, B Dixon; 3, Sajomi Rona, T Eades. 10 ran, 3l, 5l, 5.59.

Menís Open: 1, Just the Job Too, R McCarthy; 2, Hylters Chance, C Heard. Three ran, only two finished, 7l, 6.25.

Confined Maiden: 1, Bengal Bullet, Miss S Gaisford; 2, Porters Lodge, J Young; 3, Gunners Mistake, C Heard. Seven ran, 3l, 20l, 6.05.