Tuesday, December 13, 2011
SOUTHWESTERN made a pleasing seasonal debut in recording the 22nd winner of his career in a good Men’s Open at rain swept Wadebridge on Sunday, writes Granville Taylor.
Neil Harris had the 12-year-old closer to the pace than normal, sending his mount to the front at the third last before holding off the persistent challenge of the Welsh trained Ask The Thatcher. Ballydub stayed on well in third, just ahead of Roll On Rose.
“That was amazing, I tried to settle him and did not want to be there until the last but he just took me there,” reported the perennial area leading veteran rider. “Southwestern will follow a similar programme to last year,” said delighted trainer Camilla Scott.
Monkerty Tunkerty repeated last year’s Club Novice Riders’ success in great style to provide Jess Westwood with her third career win. Jess trains this imposing gelding at Exford, and jointly owns him together with her parents Andrew and Sharon. “He has done a lot of work but we were not quite sure how fit he was,” said Andrew. Jess already has her sights set on hunter chasing for the eight-year-old and is dreaming of a trip to Stratford later in the season.
Two of the strongest lady jockeys in the area fought out the finish of the Restricted with Suzy Berry just getting Hilda Wild home by a short head from Jo Buck’s mount Tamatown. The winning rider described her mount as, “A real game mare but still a bit green.” The winner, who was bought by owner Sara Biggins at Doncaster in May, seemed to relish the soft ground.
Hilda Wild provided the first leg of a stable double for her Spaxton based trainer Marie McGuinness, completed when Not Many Know That won the second division of the Open Maiden. This five-year-old was giving Micheal Nolan his first winner of the new season. Last years National Novice champion had his mount in front from the third last in driving rain to score by 12 lengths from Festive Present. “I think my horse is a bit above average but he has been very immature,” said Nolan.
Runner-up Festive Present was bidding to complete a hat trick for his trainer Chloe Roddick, who had earlier sent out Sericina and The Slug to win the Ladies’ Open and Intermediate respectively. Sericina was faced with an easy task to secure her fourth course victory against only two opponents, and seems set for another successful campaign. “We will probably give the (Cheltenham) Foxhunter a miss this time unless it comes up soft. I am thinking of a couple of hunter chases and the Punchestown festival for her,” reported connections.
The Slug had six lengths to spare over Gypsy Jack in the Intermediate, but the runner-up, ridden by Will Biddick, lost all momentum when slipping badly on the bottom bend when holding a slight lead. “That is my first riding double,” said the mud splattered jockey who sees the, “very speedy” winner as a potential Ladies’ horse.
Nikki Frost saddled both first and third in the first section of the Open Maiden. Jamie Thomas made every yard of the running on her husband Jimmy’s home bred Brackenwood, foiling a lively gamble on newcomer Ooson, who was pulled up four from home. Knight Blaze showed promise in finishing second, well ahead of the Frosts other runner Sweet Willow.
Club Novice Riders: 1, Monkerty Tunkerty (Miss J Westwood); 2, Perouse (G Shaw); 3, Light Touch (Miss V Wade); 7 ran; 15l; 8l; 6 mins 11 secs
Men’s Open: 1, Southwestern (N Harris); 2, Ask The Thatcher (E David); 3, Ballydub (J Newman); 8 ran; 4l; 4l; 6m 13s
Ladies’ Open: 1, Sericina (Miss C Roddick); 2, Wee Fly (Miss J Buck); 3, Bucket Awl (Miss J Hosegood); 3 ran; 7l; 10l; 6m 50s
Restricted: 1, Hilda Wild (Miss S Berry); 2, Tamatown (Miss J Buck); 3, Misstaysia (J Thomas); 9 ran; short head; 6l; 6m 27s
Intermediate: 1, The Slug (Miss C Roddick); 2, Gypsy Jack (W Biddick); 3, Lucette Annie (J Thomas); 3 ran; 6l; 8l; 6m 46s
Open Maiden Div 1: 1, Brackenwood (J Thomas); 2, Knight Blaze (E David); 3, Sweet Willow (B Robarts); 13 ran; 3l; dist; 6m 28s
Open Maiden Div2: 1, Not Many Know That (M Nolan); 2, Festive Prospect (K Edgar); 3, Showman (P Prince); 12 ran; 12l; 8l; 6m 40s