Zac Baker and Alex Edwards both recorded doubles during Sundays Gloucester Races meeting at Maisemore Park.
Baker resumed his partnership with Templebraden in the Timico sponsored Mixed Open and this race provided one of the most exciting finishes of the afternoon.
Marcle Ridge and Salvatore have both made big strides this season as a consequence of which they now found themselves pitted against seasoned performers such as Premier Portrait, Facile Bien and Templebraden.
Both youngsters came in for significant market support, while the well backed Facile Bien parted company with Sam Waley Cohen at the end of the first circuit.
Halfway and Marcle Ridge (pink) is not as fluent as Templebraden (stripes)
Sam Jukes adopted his customary front running tactics on Marcle Ridge, although Baker was never far behind on Templebraden but down the back straight for the final time Jukes began to apply further pressure.
Templebraden was being driven along to stay in touch at the 4th from home, while Salvatore was struggling to keep up with the pace and that resulted in his 6-race winning run coming to an end.
Marcle Ridge extended his advantage around the final bend and held a healthy lead at the penultimate, but that began to dwindle approaching the last. Jukes had to resort to the whip at this point, but there was no immediate response and Templebraden came through to join issue at the last.
Baker’s mount was quicker away from this obstacle, but half way up the run in Marcle Ridge suddenly began to respond to his riders’ urgings and was closing the gap all the way to the line.
Neither rider was willing to commit themselves to first spot in the winner’s enclosure until word came through that Templebraden had prevailed by a head.
Top – Joint sponsor Stan Warner and winning owner Sarah Oliver struggle to get to grips with the massive Lady Bullough Trophy
Bottom – Stan Warner with Templebradens trainer James Ridley
“He deserved that. He came out at the wrong end of a verdict in similar circumstances at Siddington last week but things have gone in our favour. Zac gave him a great ride” stated Kinnersley based trainer James Ridley, while owner Sarah Oliver could not conceal her delight.
Marcle Ridge’s owner Clive Bennett was thwarted yet again from having a winner at his home meeting, while the runners up jockey Sam Jukes commented “I’m disappointed but the more I think about it, you can’t help but be impressed with that performance. I think his jumping let him down today, and it came as a shock to him when he was joined at the last, but once he had something to aim at, he was great. In truth, I thought I had got up”.
Bakers second winner of the afternoon, came in the Members race where he teamed up with the Joanne Priest trained Ballyboker Breeze for an all the way success.
Sam Jukes and Rye Cross looked dangerous at the start of the second circuit, but were unable to reel the leader in and this partnership were sending out distress signals by the third from home.
The winner had good form under Rules for Nicky Richards but has recently joined Joanne Priest who trains at Holdfast stables near Upton on Severn. More races are to be won with the 11-year-old based on this performance.
Jo Priest (bobble hat) chats to Zac Baker after Ballybooker Breeze’s success in the Members
Edwards first winner came as the result of a walkover in the 4-5-6-7-year-old Maiden on the Diana Ralph trained Major Detail.
13 horses had been entered for the 2 miles 5 furlong contest, including several from the big yards who specialise in these types of races, such as Fran Nimmo, Sophie Lacey and Phil Rowley.
There were obviously differing reasons for their non-participation but it was not ground dependent based on the number of runners later in the afternoon and Point-to-Point committee’s will rightly revisit programming if these type of races fail to attract sufficient runners.
The trainer and jockey went on to complete their double with Damut I’m Out in the Restricted.
R Bren and Hidden Cargo vied for favouritism, before the former made a mistake at the third which ejected Danny Burton from the saddle. Hidden Cargo continued to set a strong pace but began to drop back with half a mile to run.
Jaffna Queen then took over the lead briefly but she in turn was passed by Stay Out of Court and these two were jostling for the lead at the penultimate with Damut I’m Out apparently struggling in third.
Stay Out of Court (yellow and grey), the partially hidden The Jaffna Queen and the eventual winner Damut I’m Out (pink and grey) at the final fence
The two leaders went stride for stride approaching the last but Edwards mount came through to join them before quickening clear on the flat to repay a small part of the purchase price that current owners Diana Ralph and Mo Costello paid at Goffs Sales last September.
Edwards hopes of a treble disappeared when Diana Williams 6-year-old mare Gadrose failed to deliver in the Restricted.
She had taken the measure of Lucarno Express around the final bend and seemed to have the race in her pocket at the second from home, but the cupboard was bare when Edwards asked her for another effort.
Gadrose and Alex Edwards are clear at the last but could not hold the late surge of Ballycahane and Milo Herbert
She led over the last, but Milo Herbert and Ballycahane caught them half way up the run in to score by a narrow margin for Ledbury stalwart and Eastnor trainer Nicky Sheppard.
Ryan Potter has his string in fine form at present and the Ross on Wye trainer took the 3-mile 12 runner Maiden with No Limitations.
The 8-year-old had not previously completed in a British Point-to-Point so Bradley Gibbs had his mount in mid-field until making steady progress throughout the second circuit.
Thelastwon still held the call at the third from home but Gibbs brought his mount with a well-timed run to take the lead in the home straight.
No Limitations and Bradley Gibbs are clear at the last
With the race his for the taking No Limitations began to slow up dramatically approaching the final obstacle stuttering over the last but having sufficient reserves to draw clear on the run to the judge.
Potter’s post-race assessment was “His jumping let him down today. When he’s right he’s brilliant, but when he’s wrong, he’s not. He knocked himself on his first run for us and after his second outing we found some pus in his back foot, so maybe he was thinking about that today. He will improve again. Luckily, we are based near the River Wye so we can use that to sort out any aches and pains”.
Those with extremely long memories will recall the name of David Tatlow who won 4 successive riders championship back in the mid-1960’s. He was associated with some brilliant horses in the hey day of the sport with the names of Mystery Gold II, Real Rascal, Amba II and Barley Bree rolling off the tongue.
Tatlow’s daughter Lorraine is renowned in showing circles so her son Harry Homer has some big boots to fill, but as Tatlow senior said later “I am extremely proud of my grandson riding his first winner. He may not be a stylist but he rides well”.
Despite being inconvenienced by a 10 lb penalty Uppertown Hawk set a strong pace in the Conditions before he was joined by Gabrial the Great and they set a furious pace which resulted in them entering the final mile with a 12-length advantage.
Gabrial the Great was the first to crack while the welter burden was taking its toll on Uppertown Hawk who suddenly began to look vulnerable on the final bend.
Black Jack Rover asserts over Uppertown Hawk at the last – the winner returns accompanied by a proud mother and Harry Homer receives his Novice Riders prize from sponsor Belinda Palfrey
They were joined by Black Jack Rover who grabbed the lead approaching the last and stayed on to provide his young rider with his first victory.
The winning jockey said afterwards “We went down to see the horse at Tom Faulkners a couple of weeks ago. We liked what we saw and took him home on Tuesday and he has had a couple of schooling sessions since. We were not expecting that”.
This performance earned the 18-year-old Warwick schoolboy the Hanley Mills Novice Riders Award from sponsor Belinda Palfrey.
2 mile 5 furlong Maiden
1st Major Details A Edwards
1st Black Jack Rover H Homer 7-1
2nd Uppertown Hawk
3rd Joey Kangaroo
1st No Limitations B Gibbs 12-1
2nd Second Captain
1st Templebraden Z Baker 7-1
2nd Marcle Ridge
1st Ballycahane M Herbert 9-1
3rd Lucarno Express
1st Damut I’m Out A Edwards 7-2
2nd Stay out of Court
3rd The Jaffna Queen
1st Ballybroker Breeze Z Baker 2-1
2nd Rye Cross
3rd Shannon Silver
The old saying “good things come in small parcels” could be used to describe Will Gaskins mare TB Broke Her who finally had her moment in the spotlight following an emphatic win in the Ladies Open during the Monmouthshire Point-to-Point on Saturday afternoon.
Local traffic problems on the A40 resulted in considerable delays for those attending the meeting but while inconvenient it did not seem to affect the number of runners.
The mare has been unlucky to come up against horses of the quality of Southfield Theatre, Virak and Road to Rome since the start of the season and faced no easy task in this contest, with Patricktom Boru and the recent Bangor winner Captain Von Trappe setting the standard.
Aupcharlie took an early lead but began to drop back after the first mile while Hannah Lewis had TB Broke Her anchored at the back of the field and Abi Banks and Captain Von Trappe were content to keep a watching brief.
Jodie Hughes and Patricktom Boru led at the start of the final circuit, but Hannah Lewis was exuding confidence as she was poised to challenge. They were well clear of Captain Von Trappe racing along the riverside and the latter was fighting a losing battle when he departed at the 14th.
Miss Lewis made her move on the final bend and Patricktom Boru had no answer and went further behind approaching the 16th.
TB Broke Her jumps the last on her way to victory in the Ladies Open
The mare had the race in her pocket approaching the last, but she then faced the dilemma which confronts most jockeys – play it safe or go for a big one and both have repercussions if you get it wrong.
Hannah opted for the first option, the mare blundered her way through the fence but crucially the partnership survived and they sauntered home for a very easy win.
The mare wins comfortably so its no wonder that owners Will and Diana Gaskins have smiles on their faces
Will Gaskins was keen to heap praise on trainer Sam Jukes and jockey Hannah Lewis. “They are a dream team and Sam and his staff have done a wonderful job with the mare as she is now much more settled in the preliminaries. That’s her 51st race and what an engine she has. She is only just over 15 hands but does she jump”.
The Area’s second success came in the days concluding event, Division II of the 3-mile Maiden which had to be split at declaration.
The finish was fought out by two West Midland based horses in Matt and Sally Burford’s Cheltenham De Vaige and Jason Warners Long Mile Road.
The owners had seen their French bred 7-year-old unseat its rider on two occasions so far this year, but Will Biddick’s presence in the saddle seemed to be a steadying influence and the favourite came home unchallenged after taking the lead on the final bend.
Zac Baker and Big Man Doe went to the front from the start of the Mens Open and kept pulling out extra every time they were challenged. Their rivals were queuing up over the final three fences, but Bakers mount showed great bravery and still held a narrow lead at the last, until Bradley Gibbs brought Yeats Ace through with impeccable timing to grab the advantage about 25 yards from the post.
Baker reported later “I could feel the horse emptying on the run in so I had to nurse him home.
This win was the second leg of a four timer for Bradley Gibbs who won races on Tick Tock Ten and Rio Bravo later in the afternoon.
Max Comley trained his first winner since setting up Rendcomb Hill Equestrian last summer following Twentyoneblackjacks success in a Horseheath Maiden on Saturday.
“The horse ran a nice race at Chaddesley in February and came on a bundle for that” reported Comley after the geldings success. “He then went to Ston Easton last week where he travelled nicely into the race before it was called void with a circuit to go, which was frustrating. I suggested to Mrs Wright that we run him quick as he had a lovely time in the void race and came it out of it bouncing! George Gorman has stacks of experience having ridden as a conditional Jockey, and gave Jack a very confident ride yesterday to win by a length”
The photo says it all – a first training success for Max Comley
“He is owned by Mr and Mrs Wright, a lovely couple from Devon. They’ve owned horses for years and have shares in a few horses at Martin Keighley’s”.
“Martin used to train Twentyoneblackjack and after he ran at Southwell in October, Martin called me up and suggested he would make a nice pointer and was I interested in training him. This huge, handsome horse arrived looking fantastic and slotted into his new routine well. Unfortunately, the owners didn’t see the horses success yesterday. A massive thank you to Martin and Belinda Keighley for sending me the horse and they were the first people on the phone to say well done! It was a great day for the team and hopefully the first of many! “