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Friday, 27th May 2022

DOUBLE FOR JAMES KING AT COCKLEBARROW AND FIRST WIN FOR GRACE KNOWLES

Will Biddick, Bradley Gibbs and Tommie O’Brien have been making hay during the early part of the season, whereas James King has made a relatively slow start in an effort to retain his Jockeys Title, but a double at the Heythrop meeting on Sunday afternoon proves that cause is not yet lost and he will get plenty of winning opportunities when the West Mercian season gets into full swing later in the year.

King’s first success was achieved on Drumlee Getaway in the Restricted for Ettington based Francesca Poste. The 7-year-old mare had mixed form under rules for Stuart Edmonds and Olly Murphy but won this race in a style that suggests further successes could be on the agenda.

The winner made steady progress down the back straight and was on the heels of the leaders jumping the fourth from home. He struck the front turning towards the judge and drew clear approaching the second from home before extending his advantage on the run to the line.

 

1st leg of a double for James King – Drumlee Getaway obliges in the Restricted

King had to wait until the final race of the afternoon to complete his double when Whatya On About got the better of Go Go Geronimo in Division II of the 3-mile Maiden.

Go Go Geronimo was prominent throughout and was still in front approaching the fourth from home but the winner moved onto his heels and these two had the race to themselves all the way up the home straight.

Kings mount began to inch clear between the final two fences and stayed on resolutely to hold his rivals challenge on the flat to score in the colours of Anabel Murphy.

Whatya On About surges to the front in Division II of the Maiden

The winner was trained by the owner’s son Olly under Rules, where his form was nothing special but there was much to like about this performance and he should have little difficulty following up this success.

The Novice Riders race was well supported and resulted in a first victory for 18-year-old Grace Knowles on her very first ride. Sally Randall’s words of advice to the young rider leaving the paddock were to “sit in tight and let the horse do the work”.

Stacks Mountain began to improve at halfway and was going so well the partnership had taken the lead a mile from home but at the final open ditch Ellipsism, Platinum Ben, Jonjeola and the favourite Old Guard were all in with a winning chance.

Turning back towards home that order remain unchanged, but the opposition struggled to reel in Stacks Mountain who held a half length advantage at the last and stayed on well to hold all their challengers on the flat.

First win for Grace Knowles in the Novice Riders

The winner carries the colours of Fergal O’Brien, and his representative Sally Randell explained “Grace is having a gap year before University and wanted to try her hand at Point-to-Pointing. I know Henry de Bromhead and said we were looking for a schoolmaster. He told me he had an ideal horse for a Novice Rider and we got him last August. He is a perfect ride for a novice as he is foot perfect at his fences. We came just to get round.”.

The winning rider was a member of the Ledbury Pony Club based at Cradley but like many others had to contend with Covid on a rescue pony found in Wales “I think I came last on all my outings”.

Grace Knowles and her proud parents in the winners enclosure

Both the major races at this meeting are run over extended distances, The Ladies Open for the Lyon Trophy over 3-1/2 miles, while the runners in the Men’s Open for The Lord Ashton of Hyde Cup have to travel 2 furlongs further than that.

Southfield Theatre has won the Ladies race in the past, and as usual adopted his customary front running tactics which carried him to the front as early as the first fence, but he could not shake off the attentions Olive Nicholls on Vira, while Optimised was in contention for most of the trip.

The complexion of the race changed when Virak fell at the 10th and Southfield Theatre than had an uncontested lead until challenged by Ange Des Malberaux at the end of the back straight. He tried to cling onto the leader’s shirttails but that effort petered out approaching two from home and the leader had the race in safe keeping at the last with the only danger was in front of him as a loose horse veered across his path halfway up the run in.

 

The Lord Ashton of Hyde Trophy is now on its way back to Wales following Fifty Shades victory in the first of the Point-to-Point Classic Races.

Knockaderry Flyer set the early pace which he maintained for the first two circuits, but Sumkindofking and James King hit the front halfway down the back straight and held a 5-length advantage at the far end of the course with Poldora and Vivaldi Collonges contesting second place.

King’s mount still held the lead approaching two out but Daniell Ellis conjured a great run from Fifty Shades and he swept past Sumkindofking to take the lead approaching the last to win by a length and a half with the judge unable to split Polydora and Sumkindofking who shared second spot.

 

The grey Fifty Shades leads from Sumkindofking (green) and Polydora (red cap)

One well-known local bookmaker chalked up 8-1 for Caballo Diablo for the 2-1/2 mile Maiden but that was quickly removed and a minute or so later Alice Stevens mount was installed as favourite.

The winner was always in the first half dozen before given his head and allowed to stride on going out onto their final circuit and the partnership soon had an 8-length advantage. However, that was gradually whittled away by Doctor Tom who moved into a challenging position half a mile out.

Caballo Diablo and Alice Stevens hit the front at the last

These two had a protracted battle all the way up the home straight and it would have been easy for Stevens’s mount to concede his lead having been in front for so long, but he reasserted his superiority between the final two fences, landed a length clear at the last and saw off his rival’s challenge on the flat.

HEYTHROP RESULTS

MEMBERS
1ST           RAVENS TOWER                                MISS M FOX                       11-4
2ND          LORD SCOUNDREL
3RD          POMME DE NUIT

RESTRICTED
1ST           DRUMLEE GETAWAY                      J KING                                   9-4
2ND          GOLDENBRAVE
3RD          A BOOK OF INTRIGUE

NOVICE RIDERS
1ST           STACKS MOUNTAIN                        MISS G KNOWLES            7-1
2ND          ELLIPSISM
3RD          OLD GUARD

LADIES OPEN
1ST           SOUTHFIELD THEATRE                                    MISS L BRADSTOCK                         2-1
2ND          ANGE DES MALBERAUX
3RD          ROBIN DES PEOPLE

MENS OPEN
1ST           FIFTY SHADES                                                    D ELLIS                                                  5-1
2nd          POLYDORA
2ND          SUMKINDOFKING

2-1/2 MILE MAIDEN
1ST           CABALLO DIABLE                                              MISS A STEVENS                               5-2
2ND          DOCTOR TOM
3RD          VICTORY CLUB

3-MILE MAIDEN – DIVISION I
1ST           PRECIOUS BOUNTY                                         MISS E CALLWOOD                          7-4
2ND          FRANCESCO DU CLOS
3RD          SHAMILAN

3-MILE MAIDEN – DIVISION II
1ST           WHATYA ON ABOUT                                       J KING                                                   3-1
2ND          GO GO GERONIMO
3RD          FRISSON COLLONGES

Trea Newell’s bank balance and patience have both been tested by Lagonda with the Worcestershire based owner/breeder revealing the 7-year-old mare had spent a significant amount of time at Newmarket’s Equine Hospital over the last 12 months recovering from a severe infection, but judging by Saturday’s efforts those problems have now been resolved.

Lagonda three runs this season have all been at Larkhill. She screwed on landing and parted company with Tommie O’Brien on her seasonal debut, before finishing second to The Big Sting over 2-1/2 miles a few weeks later.

Herefordshire based O’Brien took the mare to the front from the start of the Restricted and despite being in front for so long had sufficient reserves to repel the challenge of the favourite Nuova Vita over the final four fences.

Another winner for Tommie O’Brien as Lagonda proves too strong for Nuova Vita in the Restricted

Mrs Newell explained “I have three more from the same family at home. Tommie knows the mare from his time at Tom Lacey’s and she just jumps for fun – he gave her a wonderful ride. She can be a bit of a monkey when you are getting her ready in the box park but she is fine once she gets in the paddock”. She also revealed that her recent Ffos Las Maiden winner Tilly Tuffnut has been transferred to Venetia Williams to see what she can achieve under Rules.

Apart from that solitary success it proved a frustrating afternoon for local combinations at Larkhill with plenty of placed efforts but no further successes to show for their endeavours.

Phil Rowley took five horses to Wiltshire but was rewarded with just two placed efforts. No Authority set the pattern for the day by finishing in third place in the 5-year-old and upward Maiden.

 The 6-year-old son of Doyen was probably a bit too free for his own good during the first half of the contest, and began to send out distress signals over the final half mile. Will Biddick and Satellite Receiver who had finished runner up on their previous course appearance were poised on the leaders heels at the this point and shot clear of their rivals approaching two out, while Allo Allo heading No Authority on the post to claim second place.

No Authority is caught close home by Allo Allo (hooped sleeves)

Ballykan was the Morville stables next runner in the Novice Riders, but Michaela Tallett’s mount was struggling on the run to three out as Amber Jackson-Fennell sent Fan Club Aulmes into a clear lead.

The favourite Monsieur Gibraltar and Footloose were sent in pursuit but neither of them could get the leader out of his comfort zone and he went on to score a comfortable success from Footloose and provide Jackson-Fennell with her first winner.

Rowley’s runner in the Conditions also had to settle for a minor place when Dragon D’Estruval was beaten by Sixteen Letters. No Limitations and Bradley Gibbs were in the leading group as the runners appeared over the horizon and it looked as though they might hang on the claim victory following the departure of Tuff Nano at the third from home but they were headed by Sixteen Letters approaching the final obstacle. Dragon D’Estruval finished strongly to claim second spot after being hampered by the fall of Tuff Nano at a critical stage of the race.

No Limitations (light blue) are caught on the final bend by the eventual winner Sixteen Letters

West Mercian based riders filled the first two places in the Ineos Grenadier Mixed Open where Alice Stevens steered Maitree Express into the winner’s enclosure at the expense of the James King ridden Envoye Special. These two horses had gone clear half a mile from home, with Trio for Rio staying on strongly under Tommie O’Brien to claim third place ahead of Will Biddick on Salvatore.

Maitree Express and Alice Stevens storm to the front from Envoye Special (checked cap), while Trio for Rio is passing Salvatore to claim third place

The concluding Flat Race for 4 & 5 years olds was well supported with thirteen out of fourteen
entries meeting their engagements.

Maid of the Night showed the benefit of her experience at Barbury earlier in the season, by proving too strong for Tom Murray’s North Cotswold qualified Ballela Sunrise. This pair had gone clear of the opposition over the final four furlongs but Bradley Gibb’s mount was left flat footed as the winner quickened clear in the home straight.

Ballela Sunrise (blue and white) is unable to resist the late challenge of Maid of the Night (dark colours) as they round the final bend in the flat race

RESULTS

MEMBERS
1ST           COCO LIVE                           C SPRAKE                                             EVENS
2ND          ARCAL FIFTY
3RD          CAPTAIN BUCKS

MAIDEN
1ST           SATELLITE RECEIVER        W BIDDICK                                          6-4
2ND          ALLO ALLO
3RD          NO AUTHORITY

NOVICE RIDERS
1ST           FAN CLUB AULMES         MISS A JACKSON-FENNELL           7-1
2ND          FOOTLOOSE
3RD          MONSIEUR GIBRALTAR

CONDITIONS
1ST           SIXTEEN LETTERS              J NEWMAN                                         3-1
2ND          DRAGON D’ESTRUVAL
3RD          NO LIMITATIONS

MIXED OPEN
1ST           MAITREE EXPRESS            MISS A STEVENS                               7-4
2ND          ENVOVE SPECIAL
3RD          TRIO FOR RIO

RESTRICTED                                       
1ST           LAGONDA                           T O’BRIEN                                            9-4
2ND          NUOVA VITA
3RD          CLEVER DES ASSENCE

FLAT RACE
1ST          MAID OF THE NIGHT       J NEWMAN                                         5-2
2ND          BALLELA SUNRISE
3RD          SAXON DIAMOND

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

The three meetings the previous weekend was probably as far away as you can get from the West Mercian Area with fixtures at Higham in the East, Sheriff Hutton in the North and Buckfastleigh in the South West.

First success are always memorable and so it proved at Higham for Heidi Palin who scored on her third ride by steering Azzuri to victory in the Novice Riders. In front from the start, they were soon well clear and jumping superbly and that allowed them to record a 15-length success.

The winner carries the colours of Nick and Ella Pearce and the rider who works for Dan Skelton rides him out every day.

There were more successes for the area at Sheriff Hutton, which had the distinction of the bar running dry.

Alice Stevens teamed up with Kelly Morgan to take Division I of the Conditions with Feuille De Lune, who gave an impressive front running display, winning in the fastest time of the day.

There was a setback for local connections when the well-backed favourite Willywonga had to give best to Vent D’Automne in the Restricted. The latter jumped superbly throughout and pulled well clear of Henry Crows mount in the closing stages.

The Ladies Open provided yet another success for Immy Robinson and The Dellercheckout, who seemed to be going best all the way up the home straight but it needed all of Robinson’s experience to force her mount home and repel Bocasien Desbois challenge on the run in, but the latter was later disqualified after an objection by the clerk of the scales.

James King and Fran Poste took the Open Maiden with Champion Chase. Formerly raced under Rules by Martin Bosley the 10-year-old was tasting victory for the first time in 33 outings and did so at the expense of The New Kid.

For most of the 2-1/2 mile Maiden it looked as though King would record a double on Boy de la Vis, but Zac Baker refused to concede and his efforts eventually paid off when Pedley Wood drew clear after the last to record a 6-length success.

Tommie O’Brien travelled down to Devon and that long journey looked likely to be rewarded when Hazaar was able to take advantage of several mistakes by the market leader Chameron. With the last fence omitted the local pairing started off up the hill with a clear advantage after Ben Sutton had lost an iron at the last, but the leader was unable to withstand the winner’s sustained effort as they bypassed the last and had to settle for the runners up spot.

Chameron (left) sweeps past Hazaar to claim the Open at Buckfastleigh

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