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Countryside Alliance (Wessex)
Badbury Rings
Sunday 22nd February 2015
by Brian & Gill Armstrong

National leading trainer Jack Barber and jockey Will Biddick combined for a four-timer – Jack's first – to dominate the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) meeting. Conditions race winner Subtle Sovereign, Bonhams Men's Open hero Posh Totty, Restricted winner Ask The Weatherman and Maiden race scorer Montecito provided the pair's four successes.

The former made the most of Jack's skilful placement to record a seventh pointing success despite never having contested an open. Always in the first two, Subtle Sovereign put up a fine performance to concede 6lb to three-time winner Jepeck, who made ground from the back of the field. The Blackmore & Sparkford Vale Conditions or Hunt race contests could be on the agenda.

Will adopted similar tactics aboard all of his mounts, including Posh Totty, who put in a fine round of jumping to achieve her first open race success. Posh Totty, runner-up to Current Event and My Flora in her previous two outings, ran right up to her best to account for useful yardsticks Hameldown Tor and Raffa.

Ask The Weatherman finished a distance clear of Degenerate after closest pursuer Billersley Road (Ciaran Gethings) had capsized three out when challenging. Ask The Weatherman is owned by Ditcheat's Dave Martin and Paul Barber, who missed the horse's success owing to his duties as president of the local hedge laying competition.

In the Maiden, Montecito overcame greenness to justify even money favouritism from Lucy Fielding-Johnson and Richard Mitford-Slade's promising debutant Winter Soldier.

Harry Cobden, who opened his account aboard Silver Token at Chipley Park, doubled his tally aboard the same horse in the Novice Riders' race. Last with a circuit to go, Silver Token picked off his rivals one by one to get home from Barneys Mate, who ran his usual genuine race but couldn't concede five years to the winner.

Sagalyrique justified owner-trainer Angela Rucker's 2½-hour journey from Worcestershire by taking an eventful Ladies Open. Sagalyrique just held on from Ruapehu after being left in front when leader Ghizao unseated Chloe Newton four out and Minella Fifty parted company with Lara Mahon at the penultimate. "It's my first win at Badbury Rings and only my second ride here after Roving Report quite some time ago," reported Angela who rode her first winner between the flags aboard Ernie The Milk in 1983. "We walked our local course, Chaddesley Corbett, found it too soft and came here for the better ground."


CA Club Members Conditions (15 ran)
1. Subtle Sovereign (IRE) (W Biddick, 4-5F); 2. Jepeck (IRE) (Jamie Thomas, 3-1); 3. Saint Peray (FR) (Louis Muspratt, 6-1). 6min 24s. 5l, 5l. (Jack Barber)

Bonhams Mens Open (5 ran)
1. Posh Totty (W Biddick, 7-4); 2. Hameldown Tor (R Henderson (5-4F); 3. Raffa (J Mathias, 5-2). 6min 22s. 8l, 2½l. (Jack Barber)

CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) (15 ran)
1. Silver Token (H Cobden, 7-4F); 2. Barneys Mate (C Barber, 4-1); 3. Hinchelsea Moor (B Hicks, 5-1). 6min 34s. 8l, ½l. (Rachael Green)

Ladies Open (7 ran)
1. Sagalirique (Mrs A Rucker, 6-4F); 2. Ruapehu (IRE) (Miss A Mills, 6-1); 3. Trueflyingcolours (IRE) (Miss K Lyons, 14-1). 6min 35s. ½l, 20l. (Angela Rucker).

Restricted (4 ran)
1. Ask The Weatherman (W Biddick, 1-4F); 2. Degenerate (FR) (N Lawton 4-1); only two finished. 6min 52s. Dist. (Jack Barber)

Maiden Conditions 5yo&up (11 ran)
1. Montecito (FR) (W Biddick, evensF); 2. Winter Soldier (J Mathias, 4-1); 3. Don't Doittome (J Helburn, 7-1). 7min 0s. 4l, 12l. (Jack Barber)

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