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REVIEW
NORTH COTSWOLD
PAXFORD
MONDAY 12 APRIL 2004
by Peter Mansell

Polly Gundry and Julian Pritchard dominated Mondays North Cotswold Point to Point at Paxford with the reigning Ladies Champion landing a hatrick on Balinova (Ladies), Carat (Restricted) and Emerald Mist (5-6-7 year old Maiden). Pritchard’s recent injury problems became a distant memory when the Ledbury based rider steered William Lionheart to victory in the Intermediate before riding a brilliant waiting race to land the Mens Open with Well Ted.

These three wins put Gundry in an almost unassailable position as she pursues yet another Ladies Championship and she will never ride an easier winner than Balinova who hardly broke out of a gallop in the Ladies.

Her other two victories were much closer contests, although it is fair to say that neither horse looked likely to be beaten. Carat had proved disappointing on his last outing but jumped much better on this occasion to score a hard fought win over Stormy Pass in the Restricted. This win allowed Malborough trainer James Richardson to continue with an almost 50% strike rate from his runners so far this season.

Sally Rawlins made the long journey up from Salisbury Plain and the owner/trainer was rewarded when Emerald Mist got the better of a protracted battle with Che Guevara.

Pritchard teamed up with Berkeley trainer Dick Baimbridge to gain two successes. Their two winners came as a result of completely different tactics with William Lionheart recording a pillar to post victory over Tom Putt in the Intermediate. The winning owner Nick Cook works for Baimbridge and he should enjoy a good ride if they contest their intended target, the Berkeley Members.

The Ledbury jockey rode a perfect waiting race on Well Ted (part owned by JFF photographer Graham Fisher) in the Mens Open. Pritchard reported that his mount “had nudged the second a bit”.

This was a gross understatement because the 12-year-old made hardly any effort to jump the fence and Pritchard had to go right to the buckle end to survive. It appears that Well Ted wanted to keep his rider on his toes because he made another bad error at the 5th but from then on the script went as planned. The favourite came with a well timed run to dispute the lead two out and no quarter was asked or given from this but Well Ted was slightly quicker away from the last fence and Philtre was unable to reduce the deficit on the flat.

After two second places on Saturday, Naunton trainer Emma Baker must have wondered what she had to do to reach the winners enclosure, but Stennikov came to her rescue with an easy success in the Members.  Ed Walkers mount took up the running down the back straight but idled once he hit the front and the jockey needed to keep his wits about him as Sparkling Cascade came with a late rattle at the last. A mistake at this obstacle ended his involvement in the race and provided Stennikov with an easy path to victory. The 9-year-old carries the colours of Barry Marshal who has several horses in training with Paul Nicholls including this year’s impressive Hennessy winner Strong Flow.

Tim Stephenson horses are running well at the moment and he landed the 8-year-old and upward Maiden with Ski Pass. The Castlemorton based trainer/rider always had his mount in the leading pair and had the race in safe keeping at the second from home.

RESULTS
MEMBERS
1ST STENNIKOV E WALKER EVENS JT FAV
2ND BALLYALBERT MISS A DE LISLE WELLS EVENS JT FAV
3RD ALDINGTON CHARLIE C SANDS 33-1
7 RAN
INTERMEDIATE
1ST WILLIAM LIONHEART J PRITCHARD 1-2 FAV
2ND TOM PUTT B PAULING 7-1
3RD SILENT ACTION D SMITH 10-1
9 RAN
LADIES OPEN
1ST BALINOVA MISS P GUNDRY 1-6 FAV
2ND FUERO REAL MISS H JAMES 9-1
(ONLY TWO FINISHED)
3 RAN
MENS OPEN
1ST WELL TED J PRITCHARD 4-7 FAV
2ND PHILTRE A WINTLE 5-2
3RD STORMY SESSION J BENFIELD 7-1
5 RAN
RESTRICTED
1ST CARAT MISS P GUNDRY 9-2
2ND STORMY PASS T ELLIS 4-1
3RD NEW LODGE EXPRESS T STEPHENSON 6-1
9 RAN
5-6-7 YEAR OLD MAIDEN
1ST EMERALD MIST MISS P GUNDRY 6-4 FAV
2ND CHE GUEVARA A WINTLE 3-1
3RD THE LUDDITE J PRITCHARD 10-1
11 RAN
8-YEAR-OLD AND UPWARD MAIDEN
1ST SKI PASS T STEPHENSON 7-4 FAV
2ND ARCTIC SUMMER J TRICE ROLPH 5-2
3RD SUMERIAN LAD J SOLE 12-1
12 RAN

 

 

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