by Colin Cross

Going - Good

The Members race was won by COOLE’S ABBOT and Godrey Maundrell who beat STEEL GEM by 5 lengths with MISS MAN a distance away in third.

Fiona Wilson made all the running on TWILIGHT DANCER to land division 1 of the Restricted race and comfortably held the favourite PETE THE PAINTER and LADY PALAMON. Fiona missed most of last season with an ankle injury and it was pleasing to see her successful here.

The second division was also won by a lady rider  when Anna de Lisle Wells on BALLY ALBERT made every post a winning one and won unchallenged to justify favouritism JERROBOAM and DAISY’S CHOICE took minor honours.

The fastest time of the day was recorded by SOHAPARA and Dai Jones in the Confined race, winning by one length from INIS CARA with GILZINE 20 lengths away in third. GILZINE made a mistake three fences from home and would otherwise have been much nearer.

SOHAPARA is expected to improve for her first run of the season according to trainer Jane Matthias and will be aimed at the Dunraven Bowl Hunter Chase at Chepstow in April.

The Men’s Open was won by North Cotswold raider SIR DANTE and Andy Martin in driving finish from QUICKSWOOD and SMILE PLEEZE. SIR DANTE’S owner Simon Claisse, Clerk of the Course at Cheltenham was most complimentary in his comments regarding the ground and hoped that the going form the forthcoming Festival meeting would be as good as Howick’s.

ASHFIELD ORCHESTRA (Isabel Thompsett) was a comfortable winner of the Ladies Open from COWANSTOWN PRINCE and ANDRE LAVAL. Their task was made easier when market leaders BUCKLAND BOY and NIGEL’S BOY fell before halfway.

GIPSY GIRL and Robert Stephens led at halfway and went on to record a facile victory in division one of the Maiden race from MOUNTAIN LILY and DAN’S BLARNEY. More victories would appear to be a distinct possibility for GIPSY GIRL. 

Division two was taken by CALL ME SONIC and Dai Jones from JUST CARAMEL and MILLYS FILLY. RUBY DANTE and SUMERIAN LAD were both in contention when departing in the closing stages and may be worth bearing in mind.