MISTER MOONAX may be 14-years-old but proved that age is no barrier when outstaying his three rivals in the featured four miles Ladies’ Open on near perfect going at Flete Park.
Jopero and Hannah Welch took the quartet along until the final ditch, before giving way to Sunken Secret (Pippa Glanville). Mister Moonax had been stalking the leaders however and Hannah Hawkins sent him to the front between the last two fences to score convincingly.
Mister Moonax, wearing his customary cheek pieces and tongue tie, is owned and trained by Hannah’s father Andrew Hawkins on Exmoor. “He loved this undulating course which kept him interested. He likes faster ground, but had Lymphangitis before Christmas which delayed his re-appearance until Easter Monday,” reported Andrew.
Hannah, who will celebrate her 21st birthday in two weeks time, is studying at Exeter University and rides out for Leslie Jefford.
Will Biddick and Robbie Henderson continued their National jockeys title battle with one winner each. Biddick rode his 32nd winner of the season when The Doom Bar easily landed the odds in the Open Maiden. “He jumps and stays,” said the rider, who also trains the five-year-old, who was bought for 9,500 euros at Fairyhouse last August. “He should have won at Kingston (St Mary) but I rode him the wrong way,” confessed the champion jockey, who could soon be tempted by offers for his promising jumper whose dam won a Tramore bumper.
Robbie Henderson is enjoying his best season and reached the 23 winner mark with a comfortable success on Before The War in the Confined. Owned by Stuart Jarrett and trained by Ed Walker, this eight-year-old is, “better in the spring,” thought the rider. The gelding followed up his recent course win at the expense of front running Notus de la Tour.
It was certainly a case of horses for courses at Flete Park on Saturday since Ambitious Pursuit and Right Enough also repeated their Easter course successes
Ivybridge school girl Pippa Glanville had ridden her first winner on Ambitious Pursuit at Easter, and the combination followed up in impressive style when defeating their 11 rivals in the Restricted. Owned and trained by Pippa’s mother Lee, six-year-old Ambitious Pursuit sailed into the lead down the hill and went on to win unchallenged.
The useful looking grey Right Enough was similarly untroubled in landing the Men’s Open, giving jockey Tom Chanin his fourth winner of the season. Robert Chanin trains the nine-year-old for Reg and Mandy Hand and said, “I was worried about the step up in class but he stayed well.”
Sava Bridge had plenty of “P’s” in his previous form figures, but had caught a few eyes when pulled up three fences out at Upcott Cross in his last run three weeks ago. Early 20-1 soon evaporated and 5-1 was being called at the off in the two and a half miles Maiden. Jimmy Cole showed plenty of faith in his seven-year-old and soon had him jumping boldly out in front. He came home untroubled in the end to score by nine lengths. Sava Bridge, who is by the Irish Derby winner Zagreb, had run in Ireland as recently as 9th March.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
The following photographers were at the meeting: Baths Photographic (Marcus Bath)