A sunny and dry day resulted in a decent sized crowd. Some good racing with a few class performances and exciting finishes. The ground was sticky soft ground.
14 runners lined up for the opening race on the card. Welstonedruid went off 11-4 favourite and prevailed in a very tight finish with Mic’s Delight. Welstonedruid looked to have settled it shortly after the last but seemed to idle on the run in and almost got beat. Bradley Brook (2-1 out to 5-1) ran quite well in 3rd considering he was carrying a 10lb penalty.
Restricted Div 1
The Restricted was split on the day. Division 1 went to What About Will at 9-1, who was the only runner still galloping in the closing stages and some very weary horses clambered over the last. Kerry Mganga finished 2nd and Bamboleo 3rd, after Gentle Duke stopped to a walk on the run in after jumping the last in a clear 3rd. Larkhill winner Themanfromcork was a disappointing 4-6 favourite.
Restricted Div 2
The favourites flip-flopped in div 2 as Soixante Six was backed into 6-4 favourite while Full Trottle drifted from evens out to 9-4. These two fought out the finish with Full Trottle getting a crucial advantage of a couple of lengths after 2 out and held Soixante Six after the last. They pulled well clear of the 3rd, Sparkling Miss, who shaped with some promise.
A warm contest for the Ladies Open with the 6 runners including multiple winner Byerley Bear, hunter chase 2nd Catspan and the Steve Flook trained pair Foundry Square and Rumbury Grey. Having led, Byerley Bear was headed on the run to 3 out and looked in a bit of trouble but he rallied well under pressure and got the crucial inside line on the final bend as Catspan and Foundry Square challenged. Foundry Square tried to challenge after turning in but couldn’t get to Byerley Bear who won at 4-5. Foundry Square came 2nd (6-4 out to 2-1) and Catspan 3rd.
A very competitive Mens Open and those at the head of the market came to the fore. Steeltown was sent clear of the field early on the final circuit but the gap was gradually closed by a few and Coombe Hill was the one who closed strongly after 2 out. He got to the front with a good jump at the last and the 14yo went on to win from Steeltown. Rosies Peacock, the 2-1 fav, ran well back in 3rd.
Open Maiden Div 1 Part 1
Div 1 of the maiden was split on the day. Part 1 looked a competitive race and produced a very tight finish between According To Harry and Swingbridge. The former, sent off at 4-1, just got the verdict from the 3-1 fav. The Mystro showed some promise in 3rd and should pick up a maiden.
Open Maiden Div 1 Part 2
Nortonthorpelegend’s price fluctuated around evens in Part 2 but he was in trouble early on the final circuit and could never get into the race. Victory went to Genermouse at 25-1 from Stony Road, who ran a promising race in 2nd, and Wivannie in 3rd.
Open Maiden Div 2
Carnage in Div 2 of the maiden. The favourite Loves Blind unseated early on. High Hatton (6-4 out to 4-1) had cruised into the lead when getting rid of James Tudor at the open ditch and the horse that followed him, Thegreendalerocket, unseated too. Very few of the 14 that set off were still going at the finish and it was Infamous Grouse that won to complete a treble for Darren Edwards. Morebutwhen and Gold Relief followed him home.
Visually the most impressive performance came in the last. Repeat Business (4s very early, then 5-2 into 7-4) travelled smoothly throughout and took up the running going across the top of the course. Little Cornham was the only danger at 2 out but Repeat Business quickly pulled clear, putting up a smart performance. Little Cornham was no match for the winner but ran well in 2nd and Argentato ran well in 3rd at 50-1. Supreme Danehill was the 6-4 favourite but could never get into a challenging position and ran below his best.
Good to see plenty of familiar local faces among the crowd and a few rare visitors to these parts.