Excellent racing ground was created here by Alan Hill and his team where Alan was rewarded by training four winners.
First came in the Confined where four went to post, Ocean Du Moulin was sent off the 8/11 favourite and won by a head having been given a patient ride by Alan's daughter Gaby. Ocean Du Moulin hadn't ran since Kenton on 28th November, Alan reported ' He had a slight injury which he incurred in the lorry whilst accompanying stable mate Mid Div and Creep, meanwhile Gaby had been away in South Africa with her cricket coach boyfriend for a month and it has taken until now to get the partnership ready again'. It is likely he will be aimed for Kimble and the rest of the meetings at Kingston Blount. Prince of Persia (Claire Wills) was the only other finisher and showed a huge improvement of form so it would be no surprise to see him winning a similar event soon.
Andrew West who is a hunting man in the V.W.H country enjoyed success with his debutant Harbour Court in the 2m5f Maiden. Also trained by Alan but this time partnered by James Tudor this 5yrold jumped and travelled well and won well by 8 lengths from Son of Karinga (James Banks).
Phillip York rode Dawn Display to victory in the Members Conditions for Veteran riders where all of the 6 starters completed. A pillar to post performance on a horse that hasn't always been the easiest 'The visor makes him much more user friendly' Phil reported 'He is a hard ride and frightened of everything' this horse also provided Phil with his 200th winner last June at Whitfield. He was sent off the 4/6 favourite.
Six went to post and Tom Cheesman and Nessa who was sent off favourite continued to be a successful partnership in the Novice rider's event. Tom who is one of Phillip Hobbs amateurs has ridden three winners all of which aboard this mare. Owned and trained by Phil York she jumped well and went on to win by one and half lengths from long time leader Duchamp.
Where fields had been good on an entry/ runner ratio the only disappointment was the Southern Grand National Mixed Open race over 4 miles where only two lined up. Mysaynoway had no problem in retaining her title for a second year running. James Tudor sent her ahead after the 6th fence and she was never headed and won by a wide margin from Presenting Express. This gave Alan Hill his 3rd winner of the day.
Five lined up in the 3m Open Maiden, Mister Pan (Phil York) made all the running and was caught by Worcestershire qualified 5yr old Anshan's Rocket. There was a steward's inquiry following an incident on the run in but the result stood. Disappointing was Old Emily Rose (Ryan Hatch) who was sent off favourite, She was beaten when refusing at the second last.
The final race on the card was the Restricted where five went to post. Viel Gluck was sent ahead by James Tudor and won as he liked from Caught in Time (Phil York) 2nd. By the manner in which the winner won he ought to have no problem in upgrading.
A good day racing at a time where the dry weather continues to make life very difficult for meetings to provide safe ground and the efforts of Alan Hill must be appreciated.
Jumping For Fun
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