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Bank Holiday Monday 2nd May April 2011
by Brian & Gill Armstrong

Special Account, jumping superbly under Neil Harris, was an impressive winner of the Cattistock Men's Open at Littlewindsor. "We're trying to educate him and turn him into a proper racehorse, so this was a nice experience for him", said Brompton Regis handler Camilla Scott, who trains the six-year-old for Jenny Perry. Bought at Cheltenham after winning an Irish point-to-point and finishing sixth at the 2010 Punchestown Festival, Special Account is a possibility for Stratford's John Corbet Cup on 27 May.

Richard Barber landed a treble with My Minds Maid (Hunt race) and the Axe Valley Racing Club pair Gypsy Jack (Restricted) and Shuffles (Maiden) to bring his weekend tally to eight. My Minds Maid, ridden by Richard's grandson Jack Barber, always had the upper hand over sole remaining rival Mister Twirley after Russian Rain had refused to race. "She's such a happy horse and would make a very good schoolmistress for a novice rider", said owner Sarah Barber. Martin Cooney carried out his instructions perfectly on Gypsy Jack, who passed pacesetter Sobre Tresor at the penultimate. "I told Martin to wait, as Gypsy Jack's a big baby and we wanted to make sure he stayed the trip", explained Richard.

Will Biddick reached the 24-winner mark and joined Richard Burton and Phillip York at the top of the National list with his win aboard Shuffles. Darren Edwards set a good pace on Josiah Bay, but had no answer when Will ranged alongside at the start of the final climb.

Kim Tripp's enterprise was rewarded when her Duxy Hill Lady held off 1/4F Hoo La Baloo (Harry Derham) in the Novice Riders' race. "I realised how good the ground was when I walked the course with the Area Pony Race Finalists", said Kim. "I rang Ed, who was out on his mountain bike. He rode home, collected his kit, borrowed his mother's Land Rover, drove to my place and picked up Duxy Hill Lady in the trailer. I met them on the Chard-Crewkerne road to direct them here and we arrived at 3.15pm with half-an-hour to spare to declare.

Hincheslea Moor held Trackmate's renewed challenge by a nose to take the 2½ mile Maiden for David Turner and New Forest owner-trainer James H Young. "I bought a Midnight Legend gelding at Ascot and was waiting to go home when this one came into the ring, so I bought him speculatively as an unbroken three-year-old for 1300gns", said James.

Ha Ho Magregor and Suzy Berry fought back to take the Ladies' Open after Coombe Hill (Charlotte Tizzard) had looked the winner three out. "I've never given him a kick before, but when I did, he certainly responded", smiled Suzy in the winner's enclosure.

Ninfield Millionaires Delight made all under Harry Cobden to take the 2011 Wessex Area 138cm Pony Race Final, and Jack Sparrow (Hugo Hunt) got the better of a driving finish for the 148cm Final.

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