Category Archives: Reports

JAMES KING RIDES ANOTHER WINNER AT UMBERLEIGH TO WIN HIS SECOND NATIONAL TITLE

James King rode his 62nd winner of the season by piloting Hitroadjack to victory in the Torrington Farmers Intermediate on Saturday afternoon, while the West Mercian stable of Jake Slatter provided the second leg of the for Charlie Sprake , which allowed the Somerset based jockey to take the Highflyer Bloodstock Novice Championship at the expense of his main rival Freddie Gordon.

Sprake teamed up with Octogenarian Jim Collett’s I’m Wiser Now in the Mens Open, which turned into a match with their only rival being Gordon who had turned up from his Hampshire base for just one ride on Highway One O One.

The odds on favourite set out to make all but had nothing more to give when I’m Wiser Now (pictured above) hit the front climbing the hill for the final time and they eventually won by 9-lengths

Charlie Sprake and I’m Wiser Now in command at the last – while James King steers Hitroadjack home in the Intermediate

 

DOUBLES FOR KING AND ROBINSON AT CHADDESLEY CORBETT

The Lorna Brooke Memorial Series Final produced a race worthy of carrying that Title with two brave horses and jockeys fighting out the finish with the result in doubt until the final 30 yards.

Immy Robinson started the day with the Award for the Area’s Leading Lady Rider firmly in her grasp but this victory crowned a highly successful season which has highlighted her talents.

With 8 victories Southfield Theatre came into this race with an enviable record, all of these successes having been earned the hard way “from the front”, and those tactics just failed to produce the goods on this occasion.

Chase Me tried to match the leader but started to drop back at halfway, after which Champagne Lilly took up the challenge before a slow jump at the 13th, meant the partnership had 4-lengths to make up on their rival approaching the next obstacle.

Robinson made a renewed effort climbing the hill but Champagne Lilly still had work to do as they turned for home. The two leaders went stride for stride in the straight with Southfield Theatre looking to have gained the upper hand with a good jump at the penultimate, but Champagne Lilly fought back and was on level terms at the last.

Champagne Lilly and Immy Robinson (near side) and Lilly Bradstock and Southfield Theatre battle it out at the last

Southfield Theatre made a valiant effort to cling onto his lead but was passed in the final 30 yards, after a brave and spirited effort.

The winner was unable to repeat her previous Point-to-Point form (4 wins from 5 outings) when racing under Rules for Nigel Twiston-Davies but has won three times since returning to the Point-to-Points scene and both jockey and trainer must take credit for that.

A great end to a wonderful series – Cynthia Bibbey, Sir Alistair Brooke and Immy Robinson

Robinson said afterwards “I wanted to win this race when they first announced the concept, so I am grateful to the owner for giving me the ride and for Phil Rowley for targeting this race”.

Later in the afternoon she crowned a fine season but taking the Maiden on the Stephanie Cameron owned and trained No Promises. The 8-year-old has run consistently all year and proved too strong for the Phil Rowley’s Turbo Dave in the closing stages.

There was a succession of leaders during the course of this race, with Albert Hucklebuck pulling up after leading for a circuit. Nimming Ned then took over for Championship chasing James King, but was harried by Ifindoubtgoflatout while Turbo Dave began to improve his position and No Promises made progress to sit on the heels of the leader.

Those that had been prominent earlier in the race started to fall by the wayside which left Turbo Dave and No Promises battling for supremacy in the home straight. There was nothing to split them at the final obstacle, although Turbo Dave seemed to be getting the upper hand until Robinson pushed her mount’s head in front in the final strides.

Strength and determination – Immy Robinson drives No Promises to victory in the Maiden

The Novice Riders also produced a thrilling finish which resulted in 31-year-old Iola Hopkinson riding her first winner on her second ride.

Freddie Gordon and Captain Bucks were required to concede 10 lbs to their rivals and that probably proved crucial as the partnership were only beaten by half a length.

Gordon’s mount established a clear lead by shaking off the attentions of Master Sunrise at halfway. With four fences to jump they were still striding clear of Sulu Magic and Spectacular Rival while Dounikos was creeping into contention.

Dounikos and Iola Hopkinson join Freddie Gordon and Captain Bucks at the last

Sulu Magic and Spectacular Rival weakened in the home straight but Dounikos was made of sterner stuff and closed when the leader made a slow jump at the last. Despite her inexperience Miss Hopkinson got the better of a protracted battle on the flat to claim victory in the shadows of the post.

All smiles as the winning rider receives the TCEH Novice Ride of the day from Nickie Sheppard

The Area provides a Novice Riders prize at all of its meetings, with the Ride of the Year Award presented at the presentation evening later this month

Who will be this years winner!

There were concerns some saddlery may have been lost during the course of the race, but she was able to celebrate after receiving clearance from the Clerk of the Scales.

She stated afterwards “I have been incredibly lucky that the owner (Carlos Baird) provided me with the ride and it is kind of Fran (Poste) to put me up. It’s amazing”.

Walkin Out had won her three previous races and connections made the long journey from the Four Burrow country in Cornwall in the expectation of a bold showing in the Restricted with punters agreeing as she started favourite.

The mare was still in front at halfway, but Hung Jury’s jumping meant he was constantly playing catch up. The same could not be said for McFin who took up the running in the back straight and proceeded to make the best of his way home.

Turning uphill McFin held a 2-length advantage over Walkin Over but James King was starting to get a response from Hung Jury and they moved past the favourite who was pulled up after her chance was gone.

Sholto Lacey and McFin clear the last in fine style

16-year-old Sholto Lacey now has a 100% record of two wins from two rides. It obviously helps that his father Tom is a licenced N.H. Trainer based in Herefordshire, but Sholto will get better as he gains experience but even at this early stage looks a very competent rider. He has been combining race riding with finishing his exams at Hereford Cathedral School.

Proud Dad – Tom Lacey in the winners enclosure

James King has enjoyed a fruitful week with three winners at Garthorpe on Wednesday, a double at Chaddesley Corbett and then three more winners at Trecoed on Saturday.

The first leg of Kings double came in the Mens Conditions. If the Lorna Brooke Final evoked memories of that popular rider, this race made us think back to the loss of Jason Warner at the start of the season.

The family connection is generally lost when situations like this rise and the sport becomes the loser so it has been wonderful to see Jason’s partner Sue and their two daughters Marita Warner-King and Rhonda continuing in the same vein.

The pace was set by Eeze a Saint and Gottagottagetaway who took the field along at a steady gallop, but after several defections the remaining runners were still in a bunch approaching three out.

Using his initiative King kicked Rose Iland clear and quickly established a race winning lead. Despite a clear advantage at the penultimate, he continued to pile on the pressure and Willywonga was eased once his chance was gone, while Gottagottagetaway ran another good race to claim third.

Rose Iland clears the last in fine style plus winning connections

The Champion elect completed his double on Polly Sans in the Mares and Fillies Maiden. She led over the first couple of fences before My Friend Flicka took over pace making duties, which continued until Polly Sans retook the lead going out onto their second circuit.

The partnership were able to maintain their three or four length advantage over Ferny Knap but that increased significantly as they straightened up for the judge.

Polly Sans provides yet another winner for the unbeatable combination of Luke Price and James King

Herefordshire based Tommie O’Brien and Sheriffhales rider Immy Robinson are worthy winners of the inaugural West Mercian Area Championships and will receive their Awards later in the month. O’Brien headed the table since the start of the season, while the opposition could never dethrone Robinson from her lofty position.

O’Brien held a clear lead over last year’s Champion James King but the latter made a big dent in O’Brien’s Title aspirations by riding four winners at the Wheatland in early May.

However, over the past month King has prioritised retaining his National Title, and that has required his presence elsewhere. That policy has paid dividends over the last week where he has chalked up 10 winners in four days racing, and it appears the chances of multiple Champion Will Biddick have now disappeared over the horizon.

Every point in the Area has been fiercely contested and one has to feel sorry for some owners and trainers who have seen their horses head the table from the start of the season, only to be pipped on the post at the final meeting of the season.

James King and Luke Price have been an unbeatable combination in the final weeks of the season and have a phenomenal strike rate together. It looked as though King was struggling to retain his National Title, but they have proved invincible during the past week.

Will Biddick has proved a worthy opponent but was unable to match Kings winning run which included three more victories during the Pembrokeshire fixture at Trecoed.

King chalked up his first success on the Luke Price trained Villanesque in the Restricted with the partnership content to allow their rivals to cut out the donkey work before making progress on the inner on the uphill run to the final open ditch.

The favourite had gone 2-lengths clear by the next and held the run of Whiskey for Jack on the downhill run to the second last. They were 8-lengths clear at the final obstacle and just need to be pushed out on the flat to record their second success in as many weeks.

First leg of a treble for King at Trecoed – Villanesque wins the Restricted

King and Price had a setback when Ramble On could only finish runner up to Looksnowtlikebrian, but were back in the winner’s enclosure after Blackfyre’ success in the Maiden.

The winner was always prominent but made steady progress to join the leaders as they raced along the skyline but it was still all to play for with three horses still in contention as they raced downhill towards the 16th.

Papa John and Charlie Sparke held a narrow lead when departing and when they reappeared before two out Blackfyre had a comfortable lead over Carry on Buddy and comfortably held his rivals challenge on the run to the line.

Blackfyre and James King clear the last and sprint towards the finish in the Maiden

King struck again in the days final race where he teamed up with the John Mathias trained Hitroadjack to crown another good day at the office for the Champion elect and with one meeting remaining it is fitting that King is crowned Champion Rider in the Queens Jubilee Year.

RESULTS

NOVICE RIDERS
1ST       DOUNIKOS                                         MISS I HOPKINSON               10-1
2ND      CAPTAIN BUCKS
3RD      BLUE N YELLOW

RESTRICTED
1ST       MACFIN                                              S LACEY                                  11-8
2ND      HUNG JURY
3RD      CHOCTAW BRAVE

LADIES OPEN
1ST       CHAMPAGNE LILLY                          MISS I ROBINSON                  EVENS
2ND      SOUTHFEILD THEATRE
3RD      CHASE ME

MENS CONDITIONS
1ST       ROSE ILAND                                      J KING                                     7-4
2ND      WILLYWONGA                                 
3RD      GOTTAGOTTAGETAWAY

MARES & FILLIES MAIDEN
1ST       POLLY SANS                                       J KING                                     4-9
2ND      FERNY KNAP
3RD      MISSMUMAGUM

MAIDEN
1ST       NO PROMISES                                    MISS I ROBINSON                  7-4
2ND      TURBO DAVE
(ONLY TWO FINISHED)

AREA AWARDS 2021/2022

LEADING MALE RIDER – TOMMIE O’BRIEN
LEADING FEMALE RIDER – IMMY ROBINSON
LEADING NOVICE RIDER (MALE) – MURRAY DODD
LEADING NOVICE RIDER (FEMALE) – KATIE SINCLAIR
LEADING TRAINER – JAMES RIDLEY
LEADING SMALL TRAINER – NICK PEARCE
LEADING NOVICE HORSE – GROVE COTTAGE      
LEADING MARE – CHAMPAGNE LILLY
LEADING HORSE – WILLYWONGA
LEADING OWNER/TRAINER/RIDER (FAMILY) – STAPLE HEAD (WYNNE FAMILY)
LEADING LEDBURY QUALIFIED HORSE – FELICIE DU MAQUIS  
LEADING GROOM – JESS SHORT
DAIRY PARTNERS CHAMPIONSHIP – CHAMPAGNE LILLY

THE BUCKET COLLECTION AT THE END OF THIS MEETING RESULTED IN £600 BEING FORWARDED TO THE I.J.F.

PHOTO’S COURTESY OF GRAHAM FISHER AND PETE MANSELL

 

 

 

 

 

 

GARBRIAL THE GREAT SCORES FOR THE FOURTH TIME AT KINGSTON BLOUNT

This years Jockeys Championship is providing a fitting climax to the 2021/2022 season, with James King and Will Biddick inseparable at the top of the table as each stakes their claim to the Title.

After four winners the previous weekend King’s star was in the ascendancy, allowing him to secure a narrow lead, but Biddick’s double at Upcott Cross on Saturday, resulted in them both starting Sundays Berks and Bucks Draghounds meeting at Kingston Blount on 51 winners.

The Championship contenders seem to match everything the other does, but on this occasion, King was able to secure a vital win from his one booked ride, teaming up with the Alan Hill trained Craven Bay in the Restricted, while Biddick was unsuccessful on Bradley Gibbs Local Drama in the Maiden.

James King had steered Graeme Henderson’s Craven Bay to victory when the partnership was successful over this course at the beginning of May and they were installed as favourites for the 4 runner Restricted on the strength of that success.

Sergeant Brody and Laura Richardson set the pace but began to drop back as the runners reached halfway. King had settled his mount at the back of the field but crept closer approaching the 13th, although there was some concern when the commentor reported the favourite had received several reminders on Kingston Knoll.

James King and Craven Bay lead from Whiskey Jack on the final bend

Craven Bay and the well supported Whiskey for Jack went stride for stride from the 15th, but the favourite gained the upper hand passing the start and was a couple of lengths clear on the final bend, and it needed all of King’s experience to coax the winner home and claim a narrow lead in the Title Race.

Craven Bay clears the last but had to be kept up to his work before providing King with a vital winner

“He is a bit of a character” according to his owner, “he likes to get in front and then stops and waits for the others. It has taken time with him but it has been interesting to see how he has developed”.

Punters found it impossible to ignore the combination of trainer Bradley Gibbs, jockey Will Biddick and 4-year-old Local Drama in the Maiden and they were sent off odds on favourites. All seemed to be going well until halfway when Biddick began to ask his mount some questions and when these went unanswered the 4-year-old was pulled up going along the woodside.

Halfway down the back straight Phil York and Come on Buddy were making the best of their way home from the improving Monmouth Hill while Cody Jones feeling the effects of his earlier exertions started to drop back in third.

Monmouth Hill eased clear of Come on Buddy from the second last and galloped on resolutely to claim the prize for Charlie Marshall.

Charlie Marshall and Monmouth Hill are followed by Come on Buddy as they race into the home straight

This week is bound to play a crucial part in the outcome of the Championship, with meetings at Garthorpe (Wednesday), Chaddesley Corbett (Thursday), and Trecoed (Saturday), so any advantage gained over this period is likely to prove crucial as the opponent will struggle to reduce the deficit at Bratton Down (Sunday), followed by the seasons climax at Umberleigh 7 days later.

Gabrial the Great and owner/trainer Tom Murray showed their liking for Kingston Blount with the North Cotswold qualified gelding scoring his four success over the course in the 2 mile 5 furlong Novice Riders contest.

Electron Bleu gave rider Lewis Hislop all kinds of trouble at the start cocking his jaw and running off in the direction of the 3-mile start. The rider soon got him back under control, but saddlery adjustments were necessary before he was able to line up with the others (albeit in last place).

Electron Blue leads Scooby at the halfway stage of the Novice Riders, the eventual winner Garbrial the Great is on the left of the picture

He was still 10-lengths in arrears coming off the hill but had built up a head of steam that he was vying for the lead with Scooby at the 11th. Tom Murray waited until sending his mount into a clear lead with four to jump and was followed home by Electron Blue who claimed second place from the weakening Scooby with that order remaining unchanged for the remainder of the race.

A thumbs up from Tom Murray as Gabrial the Great returns to the winners enclosure – in the winners enclosure – Murray picks up the silverware

Given the horses record over the course where his four successes have been backed up with a second and a third, Elmley Castle based Murray obviously has a soft spot for the venue and the horse who joined the trainer back in 2018.

“His jumping was not as good as last time but he was carrying an 8 lb penalty so I wanted to keep hold of him. He cruised to the front down the back straight and I was happy to have a rival upside until I decided to go for it”.

 

 

WEST MERCIAN SEASON ENDS AT CHADDESLEY CORBETT ON THURSDAY 2ND JUNE

The West Mercian Area was created prior to the start of the 2021/2022 campaign and has just completed its first season. There has been competitive racing throughout the year with just one of the 21 scheduled meetings lost to the weather.

Its final meeting of the season takes place at Chaddesley Corbett which has a well-deserved reputation for producing good racing ground and this always reaps benefits at this stage of the year, a fact reflected in the entries.

Jane Allfrey has slipped seamlessly into the Secretarial role at the Worcestershire venue and like her predecessors ensures meetings run smoothly.

This year’s fixture takes place next Thursday 2nd June, the first day of the Queens Platinum Jubilee Central Weekend.

Despite Stratford’s Hunter Chase evening on 27th May and three more meetings that weekend, plus a Point-to-Point at Garthope less than 24 hours earlier, 74 entries have been received for the 6-race programme with only a handful of them entered at other meetings so there is much to look forward to.

The afternoon commences with the PPORA sponsored Novice Riders. Several competitors are still in contention to win their respective National Championships and will be doing all their can to enhance their chances.

At the time of writing, Freddie Gordon and Charlie Sprake are engaged in a ding dong battle for the Men’s Novice Riders Title, while Olive Nicholls holds a narrow lead over Rosie Howarth in the Ladies version.

Gordon and Nicholls have horses entered and both have winning chances although they are required to carry 10 lb penalties and that gives their rivals a sporting chance.

Jenny Gordon’s Winchester stable relies on Captain Bucks who won at the last meeting or Commanche Red who was beaten at Garthorpe recently, while Nicholls s earmarked to ride Virak, with the latter preferred of that trio.

Some of their rivals also have winning form and also have to carry penalties. These include Bawnmore (3 lb extra), Dounikos (3 lb extra), Master Sunrise (3 lb extra), Willywonga (3 lb extra) and Stop the World (7 lb extra).

Weight is great leveller in any type of race and a horse without a penalty has a distinct advantage so it may be worth taking a chance with Slievegar who has been running well in better company, does not have a penalty and will enjoy the services of Toby McCain-Mitchell.

The Restricted is a strong contest for this time of the year and includes Walkin Out who was so impressive when winning at Woodford. She has one way of running and that is to lead from the start to try and burn off her rivals. That tactic has proved successful so far this season, but a slight doubt remains and that is what will she find if challenged over the final two fences.

Hung Jury finished strongly over course and distance last month, while jockey James King had little more than a steering job when guiding Villanesque to victory at Bredwardine. It is difficult to judge her on that performance but she jumped well but now faces a true test of her ability.

Duntish holds a Hunter Chase engagement at Stratford but has this race as a backup if any last-minute problems occur. Macfin is an interesting candidate, previously with Nigel Twiston-Davies he provided 16-year-old Sholto Lacey with a first win on his very first ride at Eyton-on-Severn at the beginning of May.

The jockey did little wrong on that occasion and neither did the horse but this race provides a much bigger challenge.

The connections of Southfield Theatre have much to contemplate over the next three or four days, because the 14-year-old heads the table for the Leading Horse with eight successes so far this season.

Lilly Bradstock’s mount is one of the entries for the Lorna Brooke Memorial Final and this race provides a fitting tribute to a very popular and much missed rider. Southfield Theatre has an easier engagement at Garthorpe the previous day but has to carry a 10 lb penalty. He will not be lumbered with any extra weight at Chaddesley but the opposition is much stronger, that provides the dilemma.

Will Gaskins Tb Broke Her has been on the go since the start of the season and gave Southfield Theatre as real scare when getting within a couple of lengths of his rival at the Worcestershire fixture, although the winning margin was increased when they met later at Tabley.

Jack Dillinger came with a strong run to cut down Myth Buster at Bredwardine, but that horse is not in the same class as his stablemate Southfield Theatre. The Welsh challenger should be suited by the strong pace and his finishing speed will prove useful if he can keep in touch over the final two fences.

Toshima finished runner up to Champagne Lilly at the Wheatland but there were excuses for that defeat as it was his first run since winning at Shelfield Park in March.

Champagne Lilly has blossomed since returning to Point-to-Pointing winning twice since falling at Larkhill. She was impressive when catching Highway One O One at the last meeting and also has the mare’s allowance in her favour.

Chase Me is an interesting entry and may appreciate this shorter distance after being well beaten over 3-1/4 miles in April.

The Men’s Conditions follows and has a definite end of season look about it. Tom Broughton has got a good tune out of Gottagottagetaway on their last three outings, winning at the Berkeley before finishing second at the Wheatland and Golden Valley.

He may run well but lacks sufficient speed to take a hand in the finish, while some of the other entries have been around the block several times and found it difficult to win in this type of company.

Eeze a Saint’s ran in a Cheltenham Hunter Chase so that gives you some idea of what connections think of his potential, while Slievegar, Stop the World and Toshima have alternative engagements during the afternoon.

Willywonga has been brought along steadily this season, which has reaped benefits with 2 wins and 3 second places. This race provides him with an opportunity to finish the season on a hight note.

Rose Iland powered up the hill at Bratton Down but this race may come too soon and with another meeting at that venue in a couple of weeks’ time connections may keep her for another day.

Several of the runners in The Jockey Club sponsored Mares and Fillies Maiden make their debuts but this race will not take much winning so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.

Rosies Redemption and Stopbeatinyourgums both fall into this category and preference is for the Byron Moorcroft trained runner, while the latter belongs to the all-conquering Luke Price.

Those with racecourse form include Ferny Knap who has run five times and has yet to secure a place, Missmumagum who has a couple of minor placings to her credit and is owned and trained by Jane Allfrey.

My Friend Flicka returned after long absence but was pulled up in a Tabley Flat Race, while Our Nel was eight lengths fourth and weakening prior to falling at the last at Eyton.

Polly Sans is a potential mount for Championship chasing James King and this combination gained a minor placing in Devon last week.

The West Mercian season concludes with the Maiden at 4-55 p.m. Doctor Tom has been knocking at the door throughout the season, so it is surprising that he is still a Maiden – is that down to lack of ability or enthusiasm?

Stephanie Cameron’s No Promises has a similar profile to Doctor Tom and finished runner up to Tom Green at Garthorpe but must go close if repeating that effort and holds Albert Hucklebuck on that running.

Phil Rowley’s Turbo Dave finished a well beaten fifth at Bredwardine while Huriel finished third to a useful prospect in Stolen Shoes at Tabley.

Fran Poste’s Nimming Ned is only a 4-year-old so can only improve after being placed fourth in a Mollington Maiden and that would crown another fine season for Ettington trainer Fran Poste.

The form book suggests Snowy Oscar should be treated with caution which means it would require a miracle for him to win, while Westbell blotted his copybook when he ran out at Bredwardine.

Jeux D’Eau carries the colours of Laura Richardson, while Ifindoubtgoflatout has been entered on numerous occasions in recent weeks but has yet to make his debut.

It remains to be seen if Clive, Will and Carolyn Bennett Bennetts gelding lives up to his name. Both horses qualify for a 10 lb allowance and against this opposition that could tip the scales in their favours.

 

 

DOUBLES FOR JAMES KING AND ZAC BAKER AT BREDWARDINE

This fixture which is set in the heart of rural Herefordshire, is a favourite with the sports aficionados who enjoy its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful surroundings, however these smaller fixtures face problems when their pool of volunteers diminishes and it was acknowledged that local N.H. Trainer Katy Price had been crucial in keeping this particular “show on the road” and her endeavours were rewarded with plenty of runners and a good crowd for the Golden Valley meeting at The Weston, Bredwardine on Saturday afternoon.

Meetings and courses in the old Welsh Border Area have been decimated over the past decade, with the loss of South Hereford and Ross Harriers (Garnons), Radnor and West Herefordshire (Cold Harbour), North Hereford (Whitwick Manor) and the Teme Valley (Brampton Bryan).

A blast from the past – the Bryan family present the Maiden trophy to Zac Baker

They had been happy hunting grounds for so many star performers back in the 1970’s and 80’s and we had a reminder of that when the Bryan Family, sponsored the Bill Bryan Memorial Maiden
(Please see the attached article regarding the families exploits which was published in 1978).

This race went to Charlie Willes Gamalou D’Alene. The 6-year-old was trained by his boss Nigel Twiston-Davies earlier in his career but joined Willes in the Pointing ranks following a 353-day absence from the racecourse.

After a promising run behind Flying Colum at Maisemore he was pulled up at Woodford, but with Boss Baby for company they took this race by the scruff of the neck and set a pace which the opposition struggled to contend with.

Gamalou D’Alene and Zac Baker clear the last in fine style

The two leaders extended their advantage around the final bend, and neither Barley Hill or the favourite Blackfyre (James King) were able to get on terms in the home straight, which allowed Gamalou D’Alene to claim a length victory.

The grey starts off up the run in being chased by Blackfyre (yellow and green), Barley Hill (red and green)
Successful trainer Charlie Willes leads in his winner 

West Mercian based owners, trainers and jockeys took the bulk of the prizes with James King riding a double which enhanced his prospects of taking the National Title for a second successive year as he drew level with Will Biddick at the top of the Riders Championship.

Zac Baker matched Kings efforts and the West Mercian Area is lucky to have two such talented riders in its Jockey pool. Zac Baker’s performance on Cashmoll in the Conditions deserved an award for “the ride of the day” with the jockey refusing to accept defeat and having such a willing partner who mugged the long-time leader Coquin Mans in the shadows of the post. Baker completed his double when Gamalou D’Alene landed the Maiden later in the afternoon.

A double-digit field lined up for the Conditions but Bobby Thomas and Coquin Mans were keen to take the prize back to the principality and nearly succeeded in doing so.

Dominating from the start, this partnership quickened the pace at the 12th and Cashmoll was the only one capable of matching his efforts as more fancied rivals dropped by the wayside.

Top Picture – Coquin Mans leads as Cashmoll and Dr Des battle it out for second spot
Bottom – Cashmoll (pale stripes) is starting to get into full stride

Turning back towards the finish nothing came out of the chasing pack and Bobby Thomas’s mount started off up the run in with Cashmoll still snapping at his heels but the leaders stride began to falter and Baker seized the opportunity with both hands steering his mount between his rival and the running rail to claim the prize for owner Sarah Oliver and trainer James Ridley.

The winning team saddled Green Winter in the Men’s Open, but Phil Rowley’s Valtor started favourite but still had plenty to do when he was pulled up with a leg injury at the 15th.

Charlie Dando had sent Calett Mad into the lead heading out onto the final circuit but they were joined by Gottagottagetaway halfway down the back straight. With Green Winter losing his place and Valtor pulling up these two horses had the race to themselves over the final two fences.

Charlie Dando and Calett Mad lead Gottagottagetaway at the last

Calett Mad started off up the run in with Gottagottagetaway only able to stay on at one pace, while Green Winter’s stamina kicked in and that saw him claim third place but Dando’s mount hung on grimly to provide the jockey with his first victory of the season.

Dando is getting down into the drive position as they start off up the run in
The winning jockey accompanied by Fran Poole (glasses) and Brooke Gardener-Wallen

Badminton based Dando is a farrier by trade, but next year he fulfils a long-held ambition by becoming Master and Huntsman of the Monmouthshire.

He explained later “I got him from Nigel Twiston-Davies but our horses have not been right this year although he did show signs of a return to form at Eyton recently. I was considering retiring but I may have a rethink after this. This is all down to Brooke (Gardener-Wallen) she does all the hard work and deserves all the credit”.

The Mares and Fillies Maiden attracted just three runners, Fran Poste’s Bellamy Express who had fallen when a close second behind Rufio at Cothelstone, Luke Price’s Villanesque and Max Young’s newcomer Gotadance.

James King settled Villanesque behind the other runners while Tommie O’Brien “set the pace” on Bellamy Express who jumped to his right throughout, losing lengths at every fence as a consequence of doing so.

After the steady early pace King sent his mount into the lead on the last bend and they already had the race in safekeeping when Gotadance fell at the 17th when disputing the runners up berth with Bellamy Express. The winner had finished third in an Irish Maiden at the beginning of April before being purchased by his new connections.

The first leg of a double for James King as Villanesque wins the Mares Maiden

King gave the Max Comley trained Fusee de Poche a perfect racecourse introduction in the concluding Flat Race where the John Bryan trained Gladys Eva Jane came in for plenty of support.

King had his mount anchored at the back of the field before making smooth progress when the pace quickened down the back straight. Bury Wells and Fusee de Poche battled it out between the final two obstacles but Kings joined the leader bypassing the last and quickened into a race winning lead half way up the run in and looks a useful prospect.

King brings Fusee de Poche to join Bury Wells as they start their run for the judge
He is just starting to get the upper hand
Comley (baseball cap) is on hand to greet his impressive winner

The day started well for the Phil Rowley and Ben Bromley when Outlaw Dream took the Restricted, but their task was made much easier by the departure of chief market rival Port Jack at the 5th. Guy Sankey and My Friend Freddie made a short-lived effort at the 15th, but the leader had sufficient reserves to see off his rival’s challenge approaching the last.

Ben Bromley is looking round for dangers as Outlaw Dream draws clear of My Friend Freddie
Jack Dillinger (purple and gold) joins Myth Buster at the last in the Ladies

Less than 24 hours later and the momentum remains with James King as the reigning Champion took on Will Biddick in his own back yard and came away with two winners. He has now retaken the lead in the Championship and with more meetings “up country” this seems to favour the local jockey rather than his West Country based rival.

Luke Price has been instrumental in King’s Title challenge providing him with 11 winners since the 24th April, including two during the Exmoor meetings at Bratton Down on Sunday afternoon. With the Pembrokeshire meeting at Trecoed on the penultimate weekend of the season, this may provide the final piece in the jigsaw.

Luckello had opened his account at Bratton Down 7 days ago and returned to the scene of that triumph to take the Restricted by a comfortable 8-lnegths at the expense of Biddicks mount Bennys Miracle. Rose Iland won her fourth race of the campaign in the colours of Marita Warner-King by beating Ninth Wave and Will Biddick in the Conditions.

There were more local successes during the Melton Club meeting at Garthorpe with Vivaldi Collonges drawing clear in the home straight for a comprehensive win in the Conditions for Phil Rowley and Ben Bromley and provide them with some compensation for the loss of Valtor the previous afternoon.

Fergal O’Brien sent out another winner when Grageelagh Girl provided Kaitlin Perks with her first success after the partnership skipped clear of Ballydonagh Boy in the home straight in the Novice Riders.

Pictures – courtesy of Graham Fisher and Pete Mansell

 

RESTRICTED
1ST    OUTLAW DREAM           B BROMLEY          4-6
2ND   MY FRIEND FREDDIE
ONLY TWO FINISHED

CONDITIONS
1ST    CASHMOLL                  Z BAKER              7-2
2ND   COQUIN MANS
3RD   DR DES
MENS OPEN
1ST    CALETT MAD                 C DANDO            6-1
2ND   GOTTAGOTTAGETAWAY
3RD   GREEN WINTER
LADIES OPEN
1ST    JACK DILLINGER            MISS N PARKER     3-1`
2ND   MYTH BUSTER
3RD   DESERT ROE

MARES AND FILLIES MAIDEN
1ST    VILLANESQUE                       J KING                        4-5
2ND   BELLAMY EXPRESS
(ONLY TWO FINISHED)

MAIDEN
1ST    GAMALOU D’ALENE                Z BAKER              5-1
2ND   BARLEY HILL
3RD   BLACKFYRE

FLAT RACE
1ST    FUSEE DE POCHE           J KING                        2-1
2ND   BURY WELLS
3RD   SUYLA BAY

 

 

STAPLE HEAD TAKES THE LORD DARESBURY FINAL

 

The meeting took place on good ground, with 31 horses contesting the seven races.  Richard Garton the Clerk-of-the-Course received praise from many of the contestants for the excellent job of watering in the week prior to the meeting.

There was an exciting race for the feature Lord Daresbury Final for horses confined to the old North West area.  Toby Wynne on his father’s Staple Head made all the running and repelled the challenge of Stop the World to win by two lengths with Ballymac Boy a half-a-length back in third.  The ten-year-old was acquired from the Bowen family and was winning for the first time this season.  It was a satisfying win of this particular race for the owner/trainer, as he has worked for Lord Daresbury for over twenty years looking after the family’s horses.

The opening Tattersalls four- and five-year-old Maiden was won impressively by the debutant Stolen Shoes, who took it up five out and steadily drew clear from Exmoor Getaway to won by nine lengths.  The horse was bought privately by the rider Jack Teal for the Just One More Club and is trained by him.  The five-year-old will be aimed at one of the forthcoming sales.

In the two-and-a-half-mile Open race, Murray Dodd on Azzuri led from flagfall and won easily by five lengths from Present Ranger. The trainer Nick Pearce will now aim the winner at the Stratford two-mile Hunter Chase later this month.

The Veterans Race was dominated by Lily Bradstock on Southfield Theatre who strengthened the challenge for the leading horse of the season.  In the race, the fourteen-year-old led throughout and always had too much for the Yorkshire challenger Path to Freedom, winning by three-and-a-half lengths.

The Keepers Race, confined to trainers who had not trained more than three winners this season, saw Henry Crow on Little Light take it up before the second last and win easily by seven lengths from Ettila de Sivola. The eight-year-old mare was originally bought as a broodmare by Robin Lewis but may stay in training with his daughter Rhiannon Lodge.

Fan Club Aulmes won the PPORA Club Members by thirty-four lengths from Teescomponents Boy for trainer Francesca Poste and jockey Tommie O’Brien. This was the rider’s 150th winner in all codes, having ridden 2 Irish and 98 point winners, along with 50 national hunt victories.

There was a close fought contest for the concluding six-year-old and upwards Maiden where Guy Sankey on Bestfriend Barnaby repelled the challenge of Tommie O’Brien on Gallant Geronimo by a length.  The six-year-old was home bred by the jockey’s grandfather Brian Orchard and is trained by Caroline Robinson.

IMMY ROBINSON AND BALLYMAC BOY TO CONTINUE THEIR WINNING RUN IN LORD DARESBURY TROPHY

 

The Knutsford Races at Tabley on Sunday has attracted 54 entries for the seven races.  Racing gets under way at 2.00, following two earlier pony races starting at 1.00. The feature on the card is the Lord Daresbury Trophy with £1,000 in prize money.  Clerk-of-the-course Richard Garton advised earlier in the week that the going was good, and they will water as necessary to maintain safe ground.

The opening Cheltenham Tattersalls Maiden over two-and-a-half miles is for four-and-five-year-olds. Amidnightstar is the only runner with placed form having been runner-up to My Virtue in a two-runner race at Eyton-on-Severn.  None of the other horses who have run have any serious form to recommend them, so it may be worth taking a chance with the Bradley Gibbs trained newcomer Impression Chic if she runs here.

The best of the ten entries in the two-and-a-half-miles Mixed Open are Azzuri, Little Light, Rewritetherules and Staple Head.  Staple Head has reasonable placed form this season.  Little Light showed her suitability for this trip when winning convincingly at Eyton a fortnight ago.  Rewritetherules had good Irish form and was a creditable third behind Envoye Special in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham.  Azzuri is well suited by shorter trips on good ground and may have too much class for the opposition here.

In the Veterans Race for nine-year-old and upwards, the ones to concentrate on are Kashmir Peak, Path to Freedom and Southfield Theatre.  Kashmir Peak regained winning ways for his owner-rider Dan Cherriman in a three-runner Conditions Race at Godstone.  Path to Freedom has won his last two races in Yorkshire. However, if the Bradstocks declare their prolific fourteen-year-old Southfield Theatre, he should be good enough.

There are six entries for the Keepers Conditions Race with Donjon, Ettila de Sivola, Little Light and Vango de Vaige having the best form.  Ettila de Sivola has been third in a couple of points and should be competitive.  Vango de Vaige won a Novice Riders at Bitterley and came fourth in a Kelso Hunter Chase. Donjon showed improved form when winning a Novice Riders at Eyton and is the selection if Little Light takes one of her two other options on the card.

The feature Lord Daresbury Trophy is confined to horses qualified in the former North West Area. The Steve Wynne trained Ettila de Sivola and Staple Head have both been running well and have good chances.  The Heidi Brookshaw runner Spectacular Rival is a good novice and has plenty of potential.  Caroline Robinson’s Ballymac Boy has been improving all season and should have an excellent chance, having won his last three races.

Stop the World ran well here when chasing home Duke of Arcadio, last month.  Little Light was formerly a good chaser for Lucy Wadham over shorter trips and looked back to her best form when winning a Mixed Open at Eyton over two-and-a-half-miles. However, she has never run over three miles in the past. In a very open contest, Ballymac Boy is a sporting selection.

In the PPORA Club Race, the best of the nine entries are Fan Club Aulmes, Kashmir Peak, Teescomponents Boy and Welsh’s Castle.  Welsh’s Castle is regularly placed and finished runner-up to Donjon at Eyton a fortnight ago.  Teescomponents Boy has good winning form in Yorkshire. The Francesca Poste trained Fan Club Aulmes who ran well when fourth in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham may just be good enough, having won a couple of good races earlier in the season.

In the concluding Maiden for six-year-olds and upwards, Bestfriend Barnaby has the best form of the five runners and is a confident selection.

 

 

THREE WINNERS FOR ROWLEY AT THE WHEATLAND

 

Bridgnorth based Phil Rowley won the West Midland Area Trainers Title for three successive years between 2017 and 2019 and was followed by his wife Mel who secured the Award in 2021.

The stables winning run looked to have run its course as James Ridley has sent out a steady stream of winners from his Gloucestershire yard, but Rowley fought back with three successes during Saturdays Wheatland fixture at Chaddesley Corbett and that put a dent into Ridleys Title aspirations and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top with just two meetings remaining.

Rowley enjoyed a good start when Forest Chimes proved far too strong for his rivals in the Restricted. Diana Williams 8-year-old had flattered to deceive on numerous occasions before finally opening his account over this course in April.

He came through to lead in the closing stages that day but was given a far more positive ride on this occasion with Darren Andrews sending him to the front just after halfway. The long-time leader Miss May Hill weakened very quickly with half a mile to run and when Forest Chimes quickened the pace racing uphill, only Lanzealot was capable of responding and moved into second spot.

First leg of a double for Darren Andrews as Forest Chimes clears the last to land the Restricted

These two had gone well clear of the opposition and when Forest Chimes put in another prodigious leap at the 17th, the runner up blundered away his chance at the same obstacle which allowed Darren Andrews mount to increase his advantage as they raced towards the judge.

Winning connections are all smiles afterwards, Diana Williams is on the right

Rowley Racing and Mel Rowley Racing sponsored the five runner Mixed Open, but at the end of the 3-mile contest the prize was making its way back to the sponsors after Champagne Lilly caught Highway One O One in the shadows of the post.

Salvatore set a strong pace throughout, putting his poor showing at Cheltenham well behind him. Toshima was also prominent in the market and settled for a position just behind the leaders, before Darren Andrews quickened the pace on Salvatore as they raced along the roadside.

Highway One O One moved into a challenging position down the back straight but Miss Sea Green was struggling and dropped out of contention.

Freddie Gordon’s mount headed the leader on the final climb and turned back towards home with a clear advantage, although Immy Robinson and Champagne Lilly were poised to launch their challenge.

Immy Robinson and Champagne Lilly and Highway One O One at the last

The second last proved the key to this contest because Highway One O One made an error, which allowed Champagne Lilly to take advantage of the situation and reduce the leaders advantage between the last couple of fences.

Phil Rowley gets a debrief on their way back to the unsaddling enclosure

Neither horse had a significant advantage at the last, but Champagne Lilly had to regain the impetus she lost at this obstacle, but remained calm under pressure and drove her mount to the front in the final 25 yards to prevail by half a length in the colours of owner Cynthia Bibby.

Two wins from two runs for Champagne Lilly since she returned to racing between the flags

Title chasing James King teamed up with Golden Tobouggan in the Jockey Club and Retraining of Racehorses Veteran Horse Conditions, but it proved a frustrating afternoon for the reigning Champion who eventually had to settle for second place while Will Biddick enjoyed two walkovers at Holnitcote.

Captain Bucks travelled up from Winchester to try and enhance Freddie Gordons chances of winning the Novice Riders Title but had to shoulder a 10 lbs penalty before doing so. This would have proved a major obstacle to a horse of lesser ability, although Golden Tobouggan tried his best to get on terms on the final climb he was always fighting a losing battle in the home straight.

Captain Bucks and Freddie Gordon on their way to victory in the Veteran Horse Conditions

Freddie Gordon picks up the TCEH Novice Riders prize from Nick Bostock

The Conditions attracted a small field with Very First Time the outsider of the party, but the 10-year-old showed tremendous battling qualities to land the prize under owner/rider Tiggy Vale-Titterton.

Very First Time had set a strong pace when runner up over course and distance last month and this style of running obviously suits him as identical tactics were employed on this occasion. The partnership were joined by Gottagottagetaway going out onto their final circuit and they continued their battle for domination, while Chu Chu Percy and Grove Cottage were struggling to get into contention.

The latter began to creep a little closer in the final half mile but turning uphill, Gottagottagetway held a narrow advantage, whereas the other two runners were unable to make their presence felt.

The two leaders were inseparable turning back towards home, but something had to give and Gottagottagetaway was the first to crack dropping away as Very First Time reclaimed the lead and outstayed his rival on the run to the line.

Very First Time flies over the last on the way to providing his rider with her first success

This was a first success for the 24-year-old rider who is in charge of Office Communications and Social Media at Dan Skeltons yard near Alcester. She was keen to acknowledge the help she had received from her parents, trainer Ceri Reece and Adrian Wintle.

A very happy rider – winning connections as the horses success and Tiggy picks up the TCEH Novice Riders Prize from Nick Bostock

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but some questioned the wisdom of running a 4-year-old Maiden at this time of the season, when trainers were unlikely to risk valuable younger horses when conditions were un-favourable. No doubt this will be discussed at length in the corridors of power but unfortunately for the organisers this race resulted in a walk over for the Court Well from Tom Weston’s stable at nearby Hindlip.

Galassian and Moolooagh had the best form and were the two best supported horses in the 3-mile Maiden, but their connections required nerves of steel as they fought out the finish.

Both horses had fallen on their previous runs, with the former doing so after taking lead at Shelfield Park and when poised on Rock House’s heels at the Worcestershire, while Mooloolagh had fallen at halfway when favourite for a Bitterley Maiden.

Galassian went to the front from the drop of the flag, while Mooloolah settled in mid-field, as Phil Rowleys runner enjoyed an uncontested lead ahead of Barley Hill and Over the Bridge.

Mooloolah who moved into second place with three to jump and the pressure was now on, but both horses jumping stood up to this test, although Mooloolah effort petered out over the final two obstacles with Galassian’s success providing a hattrick of successes for his Bridgnorth based trainer.It was later revealed the 5-year-old son of Schiaparelli will be making his way to Doncaster Sales in two weeks time.

 

Results

4-year-old Maiden
1st        Court Well                    James Jeavons
Walked over

Restricted
1st       Forest Chimes               D Andrews                   3-1
2ND       Lansealot
3rd        Hung Jury

Mixed Open
1st        Champagne Lilly          Miss I Robinson           5-4
2nd       Highway One O One
3rd        Toshima

Veteran Horse Conditions
1st        Captain Bucks             F Gordon                      4-5
2nd       Golden Tobouggan
(only two finished)

Maiden
1st        Galassian                     D Andrews                   11/10
2nd       Mooloolah
3rd        Barley Hill

Conditions
1st        Very First Time            Miss T Vale Titterton      9-2
2nd       Gottagottagetaway
3rd        Grove Cottage

NO DICE PREVAILS IN CLOSE FINISH AT EYTON

There was a fair turnout of 37 horses contesting the seven races on a fine spring day.  The new Clerk-of-the-Course Adam Wadlow and his team had done well to produce good safe ground on the day.

The opening Goffs four- and five-year-old Maiden produced the closest finish of the day.  Tommie O’Brien on the debutant Francesca Poste trained Duke of Moravia took it up three out from Milo Herbert on No Dice, but the latter’s racecourse experience won the day regaining the lead at the last and prevailing by a head. 

No Dice and Milo Herbert battle it out with the grey Duke of Moravia as they head towards the last

No Dice is just shading it at the final obstacle

The five-year-old winner is trained by Nicky Shepherd for the All on Partnership led by Area Chairman Jim Squires.  The five-year-old gelding was acquired from Kayley Woollacott after coming fourth in a Larkhill flat race earlier in the season.  

Milo Herbert, Jim Squires and Judith Healey at the presentation ceremony

 

In the two-and-a-half mile Mixed Open, Henry Crow on Little Light took it up from Bandsman at the ninth, and steadily drew clear winning by ten lengths from Present Ranger with the odds-on favourite Hazzaar a disappointing third.  The winning trainer Rhiannon Lodge had acquired the eight-year-old mare at Doncaster January sales for £8,000 from the Lucy Wadham stable, for her father Robin Lewis.

Henry Crow and Little Light show their rivals how to do it in the Mixed Open

In the Conditions Race confined to horses from the West Mercia area, Immy Robinson on Ballymac Boy took it up three out and always had enough to beat Calett Mad by two lengths.  The winner trained by her mother Caroline was completing a hat trick of wins, having also won here on Easter Monday.

Immy Robinson and Ballymac Boy clear the last in fine style to take the Conditions and cement her position as the Area’s Leading Lady Rider

The PPORA Club Members for Novice Riders saw Jos Lovegrove-Fielden take it up after a mile on Donjon, eventually winning by twelve lengths from Welsh’s Castle.  It was a happy family moment as the nine-year-old, trained by Russell Teague, had been acquired at Doncaster Sales for £15,000 three years ago by the jockey’s grandmother Anne Stevens, who had sadly passed away a month ago

Jos Lovegrove-Fielden scored a popular win in the Novice Riders which earnt him one of the two TCEH Novice Riders prizes

Only three went to post for the Restricted, and Tommie O’Brien made a miraculous recovery on Flying Colum after a bad mistake at the third fence, and it took the rider almost a furlong to regain his stirrups.  He then chased Huw Edwards on Sergeant Brody to three out and eventually got the upper hand at the last to win by a length.  The winner trained by James Ridley for Martin Oliver was following up on his Maiden win at Maisemore Park.

Flying Colum and Tommie O’Brien hold a narrow lead at the last.
It has been a very good year for Tommie O’Brien who is at the top of the table to become the Area’s Leading Male Rider, Leading Trainer elect James Ridley. Jess Short who has won a phenomenal amount of BTO prizes and Julie Oakey who has horses in contention for various awards

The Maiden had the largest field of the day with eight runners, but it was dominated by the Lacey family with Macfin ridden by Sholto Lacey for his dad Tom.  The six-year-old gelding jumped well in the front rank and steadily drew clear beating Immy Robinson on Mithmaar by fourteen lengths in the fastest time of the day.

Never in doubt – a first success on his first ride for Sholto Lacey

This was the sixteen-year-old’s first ride in a point, having graduated from the pony ranks, and he looked very competent indeed. The successful owner/trainer was present here rather than at Kempton where his charge Neville’s Cross had won earlier in the day. He explained that he had been looking at Facebook at 5.00 one January morning and noticed Macfin was for sale, so he immediately contacted Nigel Twiston-Davies and struck up a deal.

A proud moment – Tom Lacey and Sholto in the winners enclosure & Sholto also picked up the TCEH Novice Rider of the day from Nickie Sheppard

In the concluding Members Race, Dan Cherriman always led on Reiker’s Island and eventually won by eight lengths from Spectacular Rival.  The Alan Hill trained horse had won an early-season Hunter Chase at Warwick and had also run respectably when coming seventh in the Aintree Foxhunters.  This was the second win from two rides over the weekend for the owner-jockey having won the concluding Conditions Race at Godstone on Sunday aboard Kashmir Peak. Dan who is a local huntsman and Joint Master of the South Shropshire was elated as he had been off for eleven weeks with a broken pelvis and had only returned to riding a fortnight ago.

Photo’s – Graham Fisher, Rory Alkin and Pete Mansell

MORE WINNERS FOR JAMES KING AT CHADDESLEY CORBETT?

Last year’s Leading rider James King and multiple Title Holder Will Biddick are having a titanic battle for superiority for this year’s Riders Championship. Every weekend brings a change in fortunes with King seemingly having his rival on the ropes when he rode five winners on this course back in mid-April, but Biddick’s star is now in the ascendancy following three winners at Chilfrome on Saturday and a hattrick at Vauterhill on Monday.

These successes resulted in Biddick becoming the first UK based rider to record 500 successes between the flags, while King had a solitary success at the Banwen Miners fixture so now trails his rival by one in this year’s Title Race.

The odds would normally favour the West Country based rider as there is a plethora of meetings in that Area at this time of the year, but the programme is now more evenly balanced so there are likely to be more twists and turns before the end of the season.

Both riders will be keeping their cards close to their chests regarding future plans, but needless to say a winner at this stage of the season is worth its weight in gold and King may regain the initiative during Saturdays Wheatland fixture at Chaddesley Corbett, while Biddick will be hoping to visit the winner’s enclosure at Holnicote.

King is more centrally based than Biddick and has more options as a result of that and Kings association with Luke Price’s yard in Wales could prove crucial at just the right time. It will be a great advertisement for the sport to see these two great jockeys battling it out in the final weeks of the season.

Fran Poste’s Ettington stables have been the mainstay of Kings Title challenge and his name has been pencilled in to partner Hung Jury in the Wheatland Restricted. They were putting in their best work in at the finish when beating Fubar at Andoversford, but prior to that had finished a remote second to Flying Colum at Maisemore and others have more appeal.

Forest Chimes and Miss May Hill had contrasting fortunes at last month’s meeting, with the former successful in the Maiden, while the latter had to settle for second place in the Restricted. However, closer examination the results show Forest Chimes winning time was much slower and that was Miss May Hill first attempt at 3 miles.

Bradley Gibbs is enjoying a great season but is currently in third place in the Title race, but the actions of the Hertfordshire based rider can still impact on the overall result as any winner he rides prevents these two rivals consolidating their current positions.

Gibbs has winning chances at Chaddesley including with Lanzealot who won his Maiden in impressive fashion at Didmarton, while stablemate Whotheman has a similar profile but a minor placing looks the most probable outcome.

However, several of Gibbs’s prospective mounts are also entered at Bonvilston 24 hours later and the Welsh venue is likely to provide richer pickings than Chaddesley.

King rode the Callum Griffiths trained Hidden Charmer to success at the last meeting and the partnership could return to the scene of their triumph in the Mixed Open. This is a big task although the horse did finish third in a Hunter Chase at Cheltenham last Friday, so connections may opt for an easier engagement in the Conditions later in the afternoon.

There has to be a question mark over Phil Rowley’s Salvatore after his performance at Cheltenham, while Miss Seagreen started favourite for the Lady Dudley Cup but was soundly beaten by Igor.

Premier Magic had won the big race the previous year and the only blot on his copy book during the current campaign was when he was pulled up in the Cheltenham Foxhunters. That consistency does have consequences as he is lumbered with a 7 lb penalty, and a considerable weight concession to the likes of Miss Seagreen.

Toshima overcame a long absence by winning at Shelfield Park and it will be interesting to see if that effort can be repeated. Champagne Lilly was a top-class Pointer a few years ago, but failed to sparkle under Rules for Nigel Twiston Davies, but a win at Eyton a few weeks ago shows she is in good heart.

Mr Love finished behind Miss Sea Green at the Croome and is now worse off at the weights, so you need to be an optimist to see their roles being reversed.

The Veteran Horse Conditions has attracted 7 entries but half the runners have to carry penalties, with Captains Buck’s hampered by an extra 10 lbs, Early Retirement 5 lbs, Golden Toubouggan and Summer Sounds both 3 lbs.

Gabrial the Great however gets off lightly and receives weight from his rivals. He always shown his best form over shorter distances but missed a winning opportunity when hampered at the first at Bitterley. This race provides him with an excellent chance of recording a well-deserved success.

The Conditions has 6 entries, and a case can be built for each of them and makes finding the winner difficult.

Chu Chu Percy struggled to catch Knockaderry Flyer at Paxford, but will be fitter as a result of that outing, while Gottagottagetaway made hard work of beating Vic the Vandal at Woodford, although that is not reflected in the winning margin. Grove Cottage was also successful at Paxford and his connections are adept at finding winning opportunities and he is one for the short list.

Poncherelloa has won twice this season but has not beaten anything of note and this is his stiffest task to date, and against vastly experienced rivals.

Very First Time set a strong pace over course and distance last month and at one time it looked as Hidden Charmer was struggling to catch him, but James King’s mount proved too strong in the closing stages, but the former now has a significant pull in the weights and result in a different outcome.

The meeting starts with the TBA Early NH Racing Imitative Maiden over 2-1/2 miles and the market always provides the best guide in these circumstances because a majority of the horses are making their racecourse debuts.

Bradley Gibbs has entered Askaden and Impression Chic so expect their odds to shorten if their schooling has been productive, while the Ellis/Andrews combination saddle Sweet Talking.

Hollow Ron must be feared it making the trip up from the West Country, while Fran Poste has entered La Gomera from her Ettington nursery.

Hindlip trainer Tom Weston relies on Court Well and his runners always run consistently in these types of events so you are sure to get a good run for your money.

The Maiden is likely to attract the biggest field but some of the runners need to improve their jumping techniques if they are to take a hand in the finish.

Phil Rowley’s Galassian has fallen on both outings this season. He had just taken the lead when departing at Shelfield Park and was challenging Rock House before suffering the same fate at the penultimate at Chaddesley. He must go close with a clear round.

Mooloolah was in contention when falling at Bitterley but has been given time to get over those exertions and that may pay dividends.

Barley Hill has been placed on three occasions but finds winning difficult, a remark that also applies to Annabel Murphys runner Friary Land and the remaining runners will struggle to make an impact.