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Sunday 5th February 2006

by Lucy Johnson

Josh Guerriero’s first ever point-to-point ride was a winning one at Chipley Park on Sunday when Orswell Crest won the mixed open. The 17-year-old has been with Minehead-based National Hunt trainer Philip Hobbs and his wife Sarah, who owns the gelding, for a year and his task was to “get the horse right” before their daughter Diana, 16, takes over. She finished second in the same race on her debut on Wave Rock and then notched the first win of what looks a promising career when Saint Romble took the PPORA race.

Sent off the 5/4 favourite, Diana pushed the nine-year-old into the lead at the last fence and went on to score by ten lengths despite giving seven pounds to second placed Bak On Board. Interestingly, Diana’s older sister Catherine, who is currently learning to become a ski instructor in Canada, won the same race last year on the same horse.

Orswell Crest’s trainer Marie McGuiness scored the second double of her career when Long Night easily won the third of three maidens under Devon and Cornwall’s area champion Richard Woollacott.

Marie has run an overflow and pre-training yard for Philip Hobbs at Stockland Lovell Manor in Somerset for the last nine years while her husband Leighton worked for Hobbs for ten years before joining Marie. For the past two seasons they have trained point-to-pointers.

Another on double form was Bristol University vet student Isobel Tompsett who landed divisions one and two of the maiden on Frenni Girl and Ghost Buster.

Peter Lowe’s six-year-old Frenni Girl finished a distance ahead of Rickham Glory in the first division and Ghost Buster was the sole finisher in the second division. This was the second winner for Maggie Stephens who trains the gelding for her husband Jerry in South Wales. Bought “very cheaply” from Doncaster last year, his task looked easy after his three opponents fell, unseated and refused.

Trowbridge-based owner/trainer Michael Blake has always had faith in Soul King’s ability and the 11-year-old duly delivered in the intermediate under Charlotte Tizzard winning by 25 lengths. The gelding had benefited from a wind operation in the summer and could well be aimed at a hunter chase at Folkestone in May.

Peter Mann, 18, pushed Killarney Prince to the front in the restricted and made all the running until the last when Beggars Brook went ahead. But when he swerved left to hug the rail, he threw the race away allowing Killarney Prince to win by two lengths.

His owner/trainer Jo Mann, Peter’s mother, who had earlier watched Keegan Bearnais fall at the ditch second time when travelling well, was full of praise for the horse who stands at just 15.2hh.”We’ve had him since he was a three-year-old when we broke him in and he is such a poppet,” she said.

The members’ race was a match between Jabiru and Royal Predica with the former defying his 13 years to win by a neck. It’s the fifth time Mary Sanderson, who runs a pub in the middle of Tiverton, has won the race with the gelding.


Members: Jabiru (Mr D Edwards) 1; Royal Predica (Mr G Weatherly) 2. Two ran, nk. 6.48.

Mixed Open: Orswell Crest (Mr J Guerriero) 1; Wave Rock (Miss D Hobbs) 2; Ballinarrid (Mr M Miller) 3; 5l, ¾ l, 6.12.75.

Intermediate: Soul King (Miss C Tizzard) 1; Buckland Boy (Mr W Oakes) 2; Come On George (Mr S Gray) 3. 1l, 25l, 6.28.

PPORA Club Members: Saint Romble (Miss D Hobbs) 1; Bak On Board (Miss C Tizzard) 2; Polka (Mr D Edwards) 3. 10l, 4l, 6.08.33.

Restricted: Killarney Prince (Mr P Mann) 1; Beggars Brook (Mr M Miller) 2; Kings Euro (Mr W Oakes) 3. 2l, 2l, 6.12.01.

Maiden (Div I): Frenni Girl (Miss I Tompsett) 1; Rickham Glory (Mr M Sweetland) 2. Two finished. Dist, 6.46.04.

Maiden (Div II): Ghost Buster (Miss I Tompsett). Finished alone, 6.32.4.

Maiden (Div III): Long Night (Mr R Woollacott) 1; Great Game (Mr M Munrowd) 2; Vics Pride (Miss C Tizzard) 3. 10l, 1 ½ l, 6.29.73.

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