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COLLEGE VALLEY AND NORTH NORTHUMBERLAND
SUNDAY 10 MARCH 2002
by Dave Scott
The College Valley and North Northumberland Hunts staged their meeting last weekend. On a day where winds were high and the Ladies Open was run in monsoon conditions it came as no surprise when the last two races were abandoned due to the state of the ground. The irony was that spectators left the course bathed in sunshine although in fairness to the organisers it would have been unwise to risk young, inexperienced horses on slippy ground. The final fence in the home straight was omitted from all races making a long run in.
Although the meeting was curtailed it was business as usual for Pauline Robson who notched a double and in the process took her winning run to six from six since her return from injury. She kicked off the double with a bloodless victory on the highly promising To The Future. This one was supplementing its Maiden win last week with victory in the Restricted. Taking it up before three out the outcome was never in doubt and the combination sauntered home from Red Gauntlet which made much of the running and stayed on dourly and Mefein Boy. The runner up is still a Maiden but shouldn’t be for much longer. Pauline’s double was completed when Riparius showed too much toe from the last for Balisteros. The winner looks to have ‘Seves’ measure this year and will surely win again. Buckaroo, the only other runner, was a distant third.
Another jockey to ride a double was Tristan Davidson who partnered High Expectations and What A Fiddler, both from the Swanee Haldane yard, to success in the PPORA Members race and Mens Open respectively. High Expectations came clear up the home straight to comprehensively turn around Friars Haugh form with In Demand. Broom Close was a staying on third but was given a lot to do. Interestingly this one attracted significant support in the ring from 66/1 down to 14/1. A more enterprising ride may have seen the gamble landed and a Maiden should be within this ones scope. What A Fiddler readily outpaced Rum Rebel from the last to complete the Haldane/Davidson double with Falcons Flame a distant third.
The meeting had started with victory for Mountain Thyne under Morag Neill in the Confined. Brought with a nicely timed run to lead two out the pair quickly put distance between them and long time leader Dream Of My Life. Lindon Run finished a remote third.