REPORT & RESULTS: AXE VALE HARRIERS POINT-TO-POINT AT STAFFORD CROSS, 29 APRIL 2018

WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR

“Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success”….

– Napoleon Hill 1883-1970. American speaker & inspirational writer.

WILL BIDDICK’S remarkable weekend continued at the Axe Vale Harriers fixture at Stafford Cross, where he added four more winners to his win in Ireland on Friday evening, coupled with a double from his two rides at Trebudannon on Saturday (April 28)

Biddick cleaned up in the first three races on Sunday thanks to La Madonnina, Fly West and Minella Fifty which meant six successive winning rides for the reigning National champion.

His opening winners were saddled by Ed Walker before Claire Hitch supplied the classy Minella Fifty to take the Men’s Open.

A former winner under rules for Caroline Keevil, Hunt race winner La Modonnina now runs in the colours of the trainer’s racing club. The Milan mare was watched by his Taunton based breeder Heather Dunn.

Fly West shook off Blackwater Bramble to make up for his last fence fall at Taunton to win the Confined, before Minella Fifty had too much finishing pace for Carraig Mor to win a quality Mixed Open. This was a good training performance by Exmoor based Claire Hitch who said afterwards, “He got a shoulder injury when he fell at Milborne last year and spent three months in his box. The soft ground helps him. It is all about team work. I am assisted with the horses by Heidi Stevens and of course the breakfast chef is Ed (husband).”

A further success on Wendy Jarrett’s Stowaway seven-year-old Imogen’s Thunder in the first of the divided Maidens rounded off the champion jockeys day. Despite a slow start to the season, he is not without hope of retaining his title and now stands on the 20 winner mark.

Ed Doggrell is also making a habit of riding multiple winners this season, having hit the headlines with a treble at the Portman. This time the 20-year-old steered home Bistouri D’Honore in the Novice Riders’ contest before winning the second Open Maiden section on Hugo’s Horse. The former is owned by the Maverick Partnership, viz Lucy and Mike Felton. “I look after him and Mike rides out,” smiled Lucy.

Five-year-old Hugo’s Horse capped a good weekend for his trainer Rose Loxton, who had saddled Friday’s Punchestown hunter chase winner Caid du Berlais. Hugo’s Horse is owned by the Stewart family. “He is named after Andy Stewart’s grandson Hugo. He will improve further,” said the trainer.

River Myth, trained by Stuart Sampson for owners Terry Hamlin and John Gardener, came with a late run to take the Restricted under Darren Andrews, Her full sister Fishy Story had won at Woodford on the previous day for the same yard.

Horwood Lad continues to improve and beat a decent field in the Intermediate, partnered by Kieren Buckley. The eight-year-old gelding, owned by a group of owners headed by his breeder Jenny Boucher, was saddled by Joe Tickle, who had tasted success with a bumper winner at the Ludlow meeting on the previous day.

Granville’s betting gossip

It was busy at Stafford Cross which I generally find a difficult course to find winners. Racing here tends to be fast, furious and competitive and Sunday was no exception.

Punters got it right in the opener as La Madonnina (10-11 fav) ushered in another Biddick bonanza. Fly West (11-10 from 4-5) quickly followed up for him, beating market choice Blackwater Bramble, who was forced from 5-4 to 4-5 to start favourite. It was 100-6 bar the pair in this six runner Confined.  

Biddick had to work harder to reach his hat trick in the Mixed Open, but in another display of why he is a six times champion, he was always in the right place on Minella Fifty (2-1) , whose fast and accurate jumping saw this useful pointer home with three lengths to spare over Carraig Mor (5-2 to 7-4 fav). Beat The Tide (4-1) ran well to finish third under his 10lbs penalty. The Claire Hitch trained winner had been off the track since picking up an injury at Milborne over fourteen months ago.

Four horses jumped the second last in line in the Intermediate before the progressive Horwood Lad (6’s to 4’s) just overcame the 6-4 fav Emperor Renard. Creative Inerta (16-1) ran really well to finish a close third, with V Neck (4-1) a creditable fourth.

Alternatif (6-4fav) just shaded the ex-Paul Nicholls trained Bistouri D’Honore (7-4) in the Novice Riders’ contest, but the latter, ridden by Ed Doggrell, and now stabled with Mike Felton was a comfortable winner from 12-1 outsider Top Chief, who is one to note when the ground dries up.

The jolly was turned over again in the 13 runner Restricted when Pointview Gale (5-2) could only finish third behind 10-1 chance River Myth, but normal service was resumed as the Biddick show was on the road again in the first of the divided Open Maidens. The champion clocked up his sixth pointing winner of the weekend as Imogen’s Thunder (5-2 to 2-1 fav) just found enough to see off the promising Minimalistic (solid 9-4).

The eight-race card concluded with 20-year-old Ed Doggrell completing his double in the second Maiden with Hugo’s Horse (4-6 fav touched 6-4). This useful looking grey came to trainer Rose Loxton via Jack Barber and Paul Nicholls and will no doubt return to Ditcheat in due course for owner Andy Stewart.

RESULTS

GOING; GOOD TO SOFT, SOFT IN PLACES

Hunt Race( (Sponsor Bevis & Beckingsale Solicitors)

1 La Madonnina (Will Biddick) 10-11 fav  led two out, pushed out

2 Overafrica (Darren Edwards)11-8 led early, 3rd three out, took 2nd cl home

3 Kapoupakap (Hannah Welch) 5-1 led 6th til two out

4 ran; 3l; 1 1/2l;  6m 21s

Owner; Edward Walker Racing Club; Trainer; Ed Walker

Confined (Harry Parr Memorial Cup – sponsor J & FJ Baker Co Ltd, Colyton)

1 Fly West (Will Biddick) evens fav led 15th , comf

2 Blackwater Bramble (Martin McIntyre ) 4-5 fav led til 15th, kept on

3 Kapricorne (Stefan Kirwan0 16-1 in touch til 15th, one pace

 5 ran; 12l; 8l;  6m 1s

Owner; S Jarrett & P Walker; Trainer; Ed Walker

 

Mixed Open (Graham Hollingworth Memorial Cup – Sponsor Lee Clifford Engineering)

1 Minella Fifty (Will Biddick) 2-1 handy, led two out, driven out

2 Carraig Mor (Martin McIntyre) 7-4 fav prom, every chance til no extra two out

3 Beat The Tide (Ben Robarts) 4-1 prom, every chance two out, wknd after last

8 ran; 3l; neck; 6m 8s

Owner; Ed & Claire Hitch; Trainer; Claire Hitch

 

Intermediate (Mr & Mrs PF Perry Memorial Cup – Martin Diplock. Lyme Regis)

1 Horwood Lad (Kieren Buckley) 4-1 prog three out, led apprg lat, driven out

2 Emperor Renard (Matt Hampton) 6-4 fav handy, close 2nd last , no extra flat

3 Creative Inerta (Darren Andrews) 16-1 led 11th every chance til no extra last

 8 ran; 1 1/2l; 1l;  6m 5s

Owner; Horwood Racing Partnership; Trainer; Joe Tickle

 

Novice Riders’ (Graham Stuart Memorial Trophy = SponsorLentells)

1 Bistouri D’Honore (Ed Doggrell) 7-4 led two out, qcknd clr

2 Top Chief (Bryan Carver) 12-1 led 5th til apprg two out

3 Victors Serenade (Chloe Emsley0 3-1 4th three out, took 3rd cl home

 6ran; 10l; 2 1/2l;  6m 2s

Owner; Maverick Partnership; Trainer; Mike Felton

 

Restricted (Ruth Wilmiongton Memorial Cup) – Sponsor Hammett Associates)

1 River Myth (Darren Andrews) 10-1 stdy prog to lead last, stayed on well

2 Tree Sparrow (Vicky Wade) 5-1 alwys there took 2nd close home

3 Pointview Gale (Lorcan Williams) 5-2 fav led 15th , no extra close home

13 ran; 2 1/2l; 1l;  6m 10s

Owner; Terry Hamlin & John Gardener; Trainer; Stuart Sampson

Open Maiden

Div 1 Stan Sweetland Memorial Cup – sponsor Scott Rowe Solicitors)

1 Imogen’s Thunder (Will Biddick) 2-1 fav prog to lead two out, dvn clear

2 Minimalistic (Tom Chanin) 9-4 every chance three out, no extra flat

 3 Ballyjim (Martin McIntyre) 5-2 alwys ldrs. Kept on same pace

10 ran; 3l; 6l;  6m 13s

Owner; Wendy Jarrett; Trainer; Mary Tory;

 

Div 2 Ted Cuming Cup  – sponsor Stile Farm Feeds)

1 Hugo’s Horse (Ed Doggrell) 4-6 fav stdy prog to lead last, stayed on flat

2 Speronimo (Kieren Buckley0 12-1 led two out, kept on

3 I;ve Been Tols (S Quinlan) 50-1 led til headed two out

13 ran; 2l; 4l;  6m 17s

Owner; The Stewart family; Trainer; Rose Loxton

PHOTOGRAPHERS

Tim Holt, John Beasley, Marcus Bath, and Megan Cobley

VIDEO

Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk

Upcoming Event

  • Saturday 5th May 2018 Modbury Harriers, Flete Park, Ermington, Ivybridge PL21 9NX. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Monday 7th May 2018 Stevenstone, Vauterhill, High Bickington EX37 9BT. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 13th May 2018 Four Burrow, Trebudannon, St.Columb Major TR9 4LP. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Sunday 20th May 2018 Dulverton West, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Monday 28th May 2018 South Tetcott, Upcott X, Halwill Junction EX21 5AE. 1st Race 1.00pm
  • Sunday 3rd June 2018 Exmoor, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Wednesday 6th June 2018 Rescheduled Eggesford Upcott Cross, Halwill Junction, Okehampton EX21 5AE. 1st Race 17:00
  • Sunday 10th June 2018 Tiverton Staghounds, Bratton Down, Bratton Fleming, Exmoor EX31 4SG. 1st Race 2.00pm
  • Saturday 16th June 2018 Torrington Farmers, Chapelton Barton, Umberleigh EX37 9EB. 1st Race 2.00pm

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