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13th March 2005
by Arthur Thompson

On a clear but cold day, the crowds turned out in force for the Holderness meeting, set in the grounds of Dalton Park. The course is mostly flat, but there is a long stiff climb into the back straight. The going was good.

Six went to post. From flag fall, it was clear that Where Eagles Dare wasn’t going to win with two hair raising jumps then he took hold of the bit and came through the field to take up the running, going some 15 lengths clear, but just as quickly, he was back behind the other five! The others raced together with John Rich looking good. Mark Walford had Nordic Crest covered up and The Graduate was at the rear. Where Eagles Dare fell four out, where Simon Walker brought The Graduate through to head John Rich and Nordic Crest. Two out, all three were in a line and under strong driving from the jockeys, but it was The Graduate who found the best turn of foot on the run in to deny the challenge of Nordic Crest (second) and John Rich (third).

Mares Open Maiden
With Nigel Tutty on the sidelines after his crashing fall last week at Charm Park, Phillip Kinsella took the rides on Nigel’s horses, the first being Dracaena. In the ring, it was Jo Foster’s Oso Tilley who was attracting the money. Lady Lola went off at a tearaway pace and coming around into the home straight, this headstrong sister to Supreme Hill pushed out Black Rainbow as the pair came to the third. Once the pace settled, Milliners Guide and Kismet took them along with Oso Tilley in mid division and Rising Talisker, under Rachel Clark, making a forward move from the rear. It was nip and tuck along the straight, but a fine last jump saw Rising Talisiker go to the front with Oso Tilley a half-length behind. With Jo Foster in drive position, Oso Tilley pushed Rising Talisker all the way to the line with Rachel Clark’s mount getting landing the spoils. Dracaena ran well for his new rider and should take a race this year.

Mens Open
The in form Ben Woodhouse was aboard his fathers Mr Mahdlo, who had been beaten by Mister Friday at Charm Park a week earlier. Black Cheque attracted some support in the ring but his race was over as early as it began with David Coates exiting at the second. Supercharmer (Chris Dawson) led them out into the country for the last time and with the field tightly bunched five from home, Oliver Greenall made his move on Shackleton. At the finish, it was close between Shackleton and Mr Mahdlo, but the judge’s decision went the way of Woodhouse, who now has eight wins under his belt this season. Mr Pendleberry (Nicky Tinkler) ran his usual game race to take third with Step Lively (Wayne Burnell), fourth.

Ladies Open
The classy Texas Ranger went off favourite but never really looked like winning. San Francisco, a winner at Netherby last month, was putting in a great display of jumping, making it from fence to fence. Over The Beck was a faller at the first ditch and in rear was 15-year-old Silver Groom, who looked a picture. The race really got going with four to jump when Serena Brotherton brought her own horse Ledgendry Line through to take it up at the last and win by ten lengths with Midlands raider Bloomfield Storm filling the runner up spot. Silver Groom came with a late run to finish fourth and looked to be enjoying himself and he may still be able to pick up a small race somewhere this season and I hope I’m there to see it.

Hattie went clear soon after the start and at one point looked that she may not be caught, but Lynne Ward and Wilfie Wild had other ideas and went in pursuit of Hattie three from home. “Wilfie”, who was a good second to Vics Fane at Charm Park last week, took this race at the last with Snizort (Freya Hartley) taking second and Aunt Gladys (Guy Brewer) third. Nampara Cove ran in patches and looked rather one paced after his good second to Auntie Kathleen at Witton Castle last month. The Singing Nun ran her best race to date and may improve given time.

Open Maiden Div 1
After been forced out in the Mares Maiden, Black Rainbow went to post in this race and at one stage looked as though she may take this race, but she found the winner Kiora Bay (David Thomas) and Duggleby (second) just too good on this occasion. Jey Jey Keen caught my eye and looks the sort that may pick up a race soon or later.

Open Maiden Div 2
Magic Route (Tina Jackson) took this from Senza Scrupoli, who was given a cracking ride from Chris Dawson… watch for this partnership over the coming weeks, I’m sure they will be winning. Noggler is also one to look out for he wasn’t knocked about and should come on for the race. Each time Bobby Buttons runs, I back him. This time my ticket was in the bin a long way from the finish… I’m sure his day will come, hopefully when his odds are 33/1!

Once again, for the second meeting running, the P.A was poor. It could not be heard in the back straight, where a lot of people were standing.

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