LINCOLNSHIRE uNited hunts club
30th January 2005
by Ian Marshall
A fine afternoon at Market Rasen saw good ground and a high proportion of runners to entries. There were thrill, spills and exciting finishes aplenty.
The two that headed the market fought out the finish in the opening eight runner Lincolnshire United Hunts Club Race and it was Sheila Mollett’s Near And Phar under Joe Docker that came out on top by a length from Ramirez and Nick Kent. However, it could all have been different as Fine Times held a slight advantage when coming down at the last. Richard Armson gave the inside to no one and, once Fine Times had taken up the running from the hard-pulling Stevie Dee after the third fence, it looked as though they would hold on. The horse stayed down for around 15 minutes after the fall, but thankfully in the end seemed OK. Near And Phar raced in midfield before challenging between the last two fences and then staved off the late effort of Ramirez. The runner-up was giving the winner 12 pounds, but still came close to repeating his victory in the same event a year ago. Man At The Top who was third under Mark Bennison will be better off for the race and was none too fluent at several fences, while Caribbean Twist gave a decent display in fourth after a layoff through injury. Coole Chief was badly in need of the outing and was pulled up.
Nine turned out for the Confined and Gola Cher and Richard Hunnisett were victorious for the Caroline Bailey yard in the fastest time of the day, even though the rider put up two pounds overweight. Gola Cher did well to survive after making a horlicks of the first ditch, where Yorkshire Edition came down. Having gone on before the 11th when the pace setting Call Me Jack made a bad mistake at the previous fence, Gola Cher made the best of his way home and had to contend with the loose Yorkshire Edition at the entrance to the back straight for the final time. They were two lengths to the good at the line over the possibly unlucky Scotmail Lad and Clive Mulhall. Despite carrying a good deal of condition, Scotmail Lad gave a good account of himself. He was hampered by the fall of Yorkshire Edition, then later badly baulked by the same horse when running loose. Compensation surely awaits. Only three finished with Noel’s Pride (Nick Bell) a close third. A winning hurdler, there will be easier opportunities for him. The temperamental John Rich ran out/refused at the first.
The PPORA Club Members Race saw nine runners and was won by Silver Streak, ably assisted by Richard Armson. A former inmate of Josh and Nick Gifford, Silver Streak would have eaten his rivals for breakfast in his prime, but certainly seems to be no back number at this level. It was a gritty performance from the grey to hold the late charge of Mullensgrove and Sarah Phizacklea and a gamble was landed in the process. Mullensgrove isn’t an easy ride and needed to be stoked along for much of the contest, but ran on well. Merry Minstrel (James Oldring) was third and Maitre De Musique (Michael Tate) fourth.
A field of 12 went to post for the Restricted and there were several improving types among them. Duchess Account came out on top under a magnificent ride from Nicky Tinkler. The mare was slow at a number of early fences and a livener or two were administered, however steady progress on the final circuit saw her collar Search Party at the final fence to win going away. It was tough luck on Duchess Account’s regular jockey Richard Wakeham who is out of action with a broken wrist. Search Party (Simon Walker) was a clear second and is highly progressive. He looked likely to prevail until the winner’s finishing spurt and a similar event is well within his capabilities. Back in third was Colonel Ludlow and Chris Cundall. Colonel Ludlow appears happiest on a sharp track such as this where stamina is not quite as much an issue. Eastern Royal finished fourth under Matthew Briggs after making the majority of the running. Henry Murphy has immense potential, but is headstrong. The favourite Sevensider representing the Easterby stable ran no kind of race. Tom Greenall had given him a couple of reminders with a circuit to go, but Sevensider was never really traveling and was sensibly pulled up nearly three quarters of a mile from home. He trotted back sound, but something may well have been amiss as the ground should definitely have suited.
The Intermediate attracted six runners and went to The Vintage Dancer and Tom Messenger. It was a hard fought battle after the penultimate obstacle with Noble Affair and Richard Collinson. There was plenty to like about the way The Vintage Dancer kept on for his capable pilot. Noble Affair seems to like it at this venue and could be interesting at the Burton meeting here on 20th February. Miss Zarnni was the only other horse to complete for Sarah Phizacklea and was heavily eased after her chance had gone. All For Jake will come on for the outing and Tom Tobacco took a crashing fall before the race had begun in earnest.
The first division of the Maiden had 11 competitors and a very impressive winner in the debutant Bulmer Bank. Always going strongly, Bulmer Bank made eye-catching headway from the rear and not even being severely hampered by a loose horse could deny Simon Walker’s mount readily landing spoils. Breezy Warrior attempted to make all for Niall Saville and didn’t give in without a tussle. He might have felt a bit lonely out in front for so long and ought to pick up a maiden. Third-placed Polyarnoe Bay with Mark Walford in the plate was also making her first appearance on a racecourse. It was a performance that was highly encouraging and she wasn’t knocked about so is another who should find a maiden. The admirable Tommy Hotspur (Nick Docker) came fourth. There was plenty of money in the ring for Gipsy Wood, but a slipping saddle put paid to her chances after just three fences. The much vaunted Eggshells took a hefty tumble at the fifth. Been Here Before was the subject of discussion on this website, but didn’t get very high at several fences and was struggling to keep tabs with the main body of the field throughout.
Vic’s Fane and Richard Tierney made every yard to beat 13 rivals in the second division of the Maiden for a bloodless victory. The winner was building on his debut last season when he attracted support in the market. It was the jockey’s first ride in points. King Freddy with Rowan Cope aboard was second and obviously has some ability. Crake Way with Clive Mulhall on top claimed third for owners “The Jumpingforfun Partnership”. Interfered with by the fall of Sassy’s Circle, Crake Way did well to get within a dozen lengths of Vic’s Fane. With a bit to work on fitness wise, a maiden could well be within his grasp. Fourth-placed Henry Pearson (Nick Kent) may not have got home. Wee William for the Walford team was moving menacingly in behind the leaders when coming down at the 11th. Lambhill Stakes got rid of Tom Greenall at the third.
Nine went to post for the third division of the Maiden, which produced the fastest time of the three and went to West Coaster (Tom Greenall) who had a battle royal with market rival Farington Lodge (Niall Saville). West Coaster might have other races in him. This was compensation for disappointment earlier in the afternoon for the trainer/jockey partnership. Farington Lodge tried to run the sting out of his opponent, but lost nothing in defeat. Formerly owned by Trevor Hemmings and trained by Chris Grant, there should be at least a maiden in him. Honor And Glory was very green in the preliminaries and was given a nice introduction by Mark Walford. Not given a hard time, it would be a surprise not to see him in the winners’ enclosure before the season is out. Rare Presence was fourth for Guy Brewer and will do better if he can settle. Although there was nearly a lap to go, Stingo was disputing the lead when departing.