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Easter Saturday 26th March 2005
by Mal Davies
photos by Graham Fisher

Nick Oliver stole the honours at a very well attended United Pack meeting at Brampton Bryan on Easter Saturday. He conjured up an inspired ride to boot Marilyn Scudamore’s GREENWICH home in the Mens’ Open, when the eleven year old looked out of it after the second last. Handy throughout, Greenwich was taken on for the lead by Pertemps Profile on the back straight on the final circuit, and Mark Jackson’s mount asserted and looked booked for his first Pointing win. Oliver however, found a few drops of petrol at the bottom of the tank and drove his horse home for an unlikely one and a half length victory. The runner up looks to be a decent recruit to Points, and certainly put up an improved show compared to his Garnons debut.

Mens Open winners Greenwich and Nick Oliver lead the field at halfway

Oliver’s second win came on BELLE MOSS in a very eventful Restricted. Nine went to post but only two returned, the Le Moss mare coming home a distance clear of the only other finisher Novel Idea (Ben Shaw). Phase Three set a very strong gallop, but was a spent force half way round the final circuit. Top Guard fell when holding every chance, and Justadream was another in with a shout when he rooted five out and was eventually pulled up by Tim Stephenson between the final two as if something was amiss. Withybrook Lass was another running a fine race when she came down.

Belle Moss is out on her own in the Restricted to complete Nick Oliver's double

Stephenson kicked SKI PASS into a victory which had looked unlikely in the Intermediate, though in truth, he was helped by the leader Handy Boy veering violently left after the last. Still, the winner, who was making it a quick double after his Llanfrynach win, is clearly in good heart. Handy Boy’s day will come again, even if this performance was a tad disappointing after his Whitwick win. Shemardi outstayed Huntersway for third, but the latter caught the eye and may well be coming back to his old form.

Tim Stephenson returns on Ski Pass after winning the Intermediate

The Ladies’ Open was a belting race for the area, with UPTON ADVENTURE making it 2-1 over Galway this season, but by just three parts of a length; Coole Venture was far from disgraced back in third and Barcelona, useful under Rules, was a fair fourth.

Upton Adventure and Emma James (left) just get the better of Galway and Charlotte Stucley in the Ladies Open

Julian Pritchard got one winner nearer his Holy Grail of becoming the winningmost Point rider in the UK when steering the very useful FAMILY BUSINESS to a 7 length success in the Confined. This wasn’t a particularly strong race, as the proximity of course specialist Wild Edric in second testifies, and the winner has room to improve, especially as to his fencing as he got in perilously close to a few; this sort of sloppiness could be his downfall in hotter races than this. The Writer (made mistakes) was a disappointing third ahead of Epic Duel.

Family Business (Julian Pritchard) lands the Confined from Wild Edric

The card was bookended with a couple of maidens; the older horses’ maiden was won in gutsy style by CRAFTY MONKEY (Steve Lloyd). The riding may not have been of the most stylish, but it was certainly effective as Lloyd repelled the challenge of Jerroboam and Rob Hodges. There is not a lot to take out of the race, the runner up apart, given their ages, though there was carnage at the third fence, which ruled out several fancied horses (and ruled out the damaged fence for the rest of the day!)

Crafty Monkey and Steve Lloyd take the 8+ Open Maiden from Jerroboam and Snitton Salvo

The five, six and seven year old maiden fell to a big outside shot in the form of Mark Wall’s THATMAKESTWOOFUS, who won from The Well Lad and the well supported Ballyallen.

The debutant Thatmakestwoofus (Mark Wall) wins plenty of admirers in the Younger Horses Maiden

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