CROOME AND WEST WARWICKSHIRE
UPTON ON SEVERN
TUESDAY 13 APRIL 2004
by Peter Mansell
Caught at Dawn and Tom Weston have proved an almost
unbeatable combination this season and they recorded their fourth race of
the current campaign with an easy win in the Mixed Open during Tuesdays
Croome and West Warwickshire meeting at Upton-on-Severn.
Odds on favourites to beat twelve rivals, they took the lead
turning for home and sprinted clear from two out to win by 8 lengths. The
10-year-old carries the colours of Upton Clerk of the Course Martin Weston
and the Hindlip Farmer is hoping that he can take his place in the field for
Saturdays Lady Dudley Cup providing he suffers no ill effects from this run.
Stourbridge based owner/trainer Diana Williams and her
daughter Jane have proved an awesome combination this season and their
winning run continued when Sapega scored a hard fought win in the Confined.
Stag Party looked to have stolen this race when he shot 5 lengths clear of
the opposition two fences from home but Miss Williams had her rival in her
sights approaching the last and Sapega stayed on strongly to record his
second win of the season.
Tim Stephenson’s Castlemorton yard is also enjoying a
purple patch at the moment and nobody on the course begrudged Wind on the
Common his success in the 3 mile Maiden because he has been a model of
consistency over the last couple of seasons. This win will provide a welcome
tonic for the rider’s father owner/breeder Mike Stephenson.
Cotton On became the third “family” horse to win during
the afternoon when he took Division I of the 2 ½ mile Maiden for the
Wilesmith family. The horse is owned by the rider’s father Dymock Farmer
Martin Wilesmith, was ridden by his son and is trained by his wife Doreen
and daughter Emma. Killough Hill looked to have this race in safe keeping
but he was unable to maintain his relentless gallop and had nothing in
reserve when Cotton On swept by on the flat.
Suckley owner/trainer John Rudge saw his colours carried to
victory in the Members. Ashwell Boy running his best race for several
seasons led at the last but just failed to withstand Dave Mansells whirlwind
finish on Jalcanto who got up in the final strides.
Adrian Wintle and Julian Pritchard have not enjoyed the best
of luck this season but both riders got their name on the scoresheet at this
Wintle rode a brilliant tactical race on the Helen Hogben
owned and Alison Dare trained Babs Wheal to land the Mares Maiden, producing
the 8-year-old to lead at the final obstacle and staying on well to land the
spoils on the flat.
Babs Wheal jumping was somewhat erratic in early season and
that remark also applies to Sett Aside who won Division II of the 2 ½ mile
Maiden under Julian Pritchard.
The 6-year-old was at the back of the field for the first circuit but made up ground steadily from half way and was just creeping into contention when the two leaders Silk St Bidget and Gumlayloy departed independently at the second from home. Stantons Church held a slight advantage at the last but had to succumb to Sett Asides determined run on the flat.