Saturday 1st April 2006
by Liam Hale
Photos by Phil Britt
Tudor Makes no Mistake
The Ultra consistent Unmistakably took the ultra competitive Weekender Lady Dudley Cup. In one of the most competitive Open’s of 2006, thirteen runners with nine of these rated over 100, Cath Williams was represented by three of her stable stars in the shape of Unmistakably (James Tudor), Ballylusky (Nick Williams) and leading 2005 pointer and unbeaten in fourteen points Cannon Bridge (Dai Jones), these three were separated by less than one point in the betting ring.
The five hundred pounds first prize seemed insignificant as this quality field went to post in race card order, but the prestigious Lady Dudley Cup was on the line.
Cannon Bridge took his customary position at the head of affairs early on closely followed by his stable mates. But the writing was on the wall for the classy performer who was beaten going out on the final circuit and was pulled up early on, this left Ballylusky to lead the field home closely followed by the ultra consistent and recent Andoversford scorer Another Raleagh (Liam Payter) and the grey Unmistakably. Three out and the grey swooped through to lead though still closely chased by Ballylusky, the writing was on the wall when Ballylusky took a tired fall two out to allow Unmistakably to sprint clear for a well deserved seventh point victory.
James Tudor on Unmistakably take the last to win the Lady Dudley Cup
James Tudor on Unmistakably after winning the Lady Dudley Cup
The Lady Dudley Cup Winners
The consistent recent Hunter chase scorer Paddy for Paddy (Richard Burton) ran on well from way back to fill second with another consistent performer Another Raleagh coming home for second.
The winner had finished a second to last years Lady Dudley Cup winner Just Cliquot at Whitwick in 2005, his only point loss. The race was ran at a fast pace and this was reflected in the time, ran at the same trip as the ladies but was nine seconds faster. It was a topical winner as owner Christine Banks was stepping down after twenty five years after being honorary entries secretary to concentrate on the Worcestershire Hunt Pony Club.
Unmistakably looks to have found his niche in points and looks capable of winning under rules, which could be evident with a summer jumping campaign.
Disappointment of the race was one of Cath Williams other runners in Cannon Bridge, the gelding never went off at his blistering pace and weakened quickly after a circuit when taken on for the leader. Cath Williams has a strong team of pointers this year and was well represented in this prestigious race.
Claire Allen was another to impress on the eight race card, recording a double courtesy of her father Watchyourback in the Ladies.
Allen was seen to good effect in driving her father’s horse, favourite, past the 2004 Lady Dudley winner Paymaster (Miss C Stewart) who had headed her on the run in. The winning distance was a head, but the first two had put twelve lengths between them and the third Mighty Montefalco (Miss S Charrington), who showed himself to be coming back to 2005 form.
Lucie Batchelor loosing her seat in the Ladies Open
Claire Allen and Watchyourback, nearside, winning the Ladies Open
Crested Penguin, a 2005 maiden winner, had finished a creditable second at Garnons recently and went one better in the restricted race when battling on to deny first season youngster Mossville (Harry Fowler) by two lengths with a further length back to Royal Gunner and Will Hill. The Dick Baimbridge trained gelding showed good battling tendencies and looks sure to be a future Baimbridge improver. The first three look capable of stepping up in the future, with the youngsters Mossville and Royal Gunner looking like capable of winning again.
Julian Pritchard and Fergal's Find in the Restricted
Clare Allen completes a double on Crested Penguin in the Restricted
Leading West Midland Lady rider Allen is progressing well in the saddle and produced the goods on two strong, determined rides. She looks to be gaining momentum in moving towards the national Ladies title.
The Hunt Members race was won by Sharlom and Micky Harris, who alike to the horse’s maiden win came from behind to pull away from Coole Venture (Josephine Banks). Coole Venture went clear four out but the race changed when the two were joined together two out with Sharlom showing a good turn of foot to lead at the last. The winner who missed 2005 had been freshened up by a recent run; Theresa McCurrich may find future opportunities for her lightly raced gelding.
Sharlom and Micky Harris win the Members
Borderline Breeze after completing the Members Race
The competitive Confined race was won by the progressive Premium First and Adrian Wintle. The promising seven year old, unbeaten in its last three, was closely matched with pointing favourite Minella Silver (Richard Burton) in the betting but the aging grey, thirteen, could only plod on for third. Supreme Citizen and Jane Williams ran on well for second albeit to a horse half its age. A horse for the future to take form the race could be that of bets turned out Vicars Lad (Julian Pritchard) who pushed the pace until weakening in the straight, he can add to his two 2005 successes. Premium First looks a progressive type, would not have been out of place in the Lady Dudley Cup, and looks certain to step into open company.
Adrian Wintle and Premium First clear the last to win the Confined
Adrian Wintle and Premium First
Jane Williams went one better in The Countryside Alliance Mares race where her family’s consistent ladies pointer Madge Carroll easily accounted for Sherwood Rose (Micky Harris) by one and a half lengths. The odds on favourite Madge Carroll was handy throughout and was upheld her recent Llanfrynach Ladies race win with ease. The second Sherwood Rose had looked progressive in 2005, second to Caught at Dawn at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase evening; looks to getting her act together in 2006 and it should not be to long before she is in the winners circle again.
Micky Harris and Sherwood Rose in the Mares only Members Race
Jane Williams and Madge Carroll win the Mares only Members Race
Guy Landau’s consistent Paddy For Paddy had performed admirably in the feature event but the trainer and jockey combination went one better in the first division of the maiden. I’m an Optimist (Richard Burton), a first time out five year old Saddlers Hall gelding, was a long way behind pace setters Cedar (Charlie Wadland) and Golders Green (Andrew Martin) early on but as the early leaders faded, after setting a strong pace, Kathleens Pride (Roddy McCarthy) looked likely to score until Richard Burton got an amazing run out of the youngster in the straight. I’m And Optimist ran around before the last but ran on strongly to score. The winner looks to be a promising type for the future and must be a five year old to follow. The runner up showed his first glimpse of form, pulled up on debut, and on this evidence will not remain a maiden for much longer.
Richard Burton on I'm an Optimist win Div 1 of the Maiden
The final race of the day went to Kilbeggan Blade (Roddy McCarthy) who sprinted well clear from Cyindien (James Tudor) after taking up the running two out, whilst alongside the driven Cyindien. Connections went one better in division two of the maiden, after finishing second with Kathleens Pride, and the winner looks capable of building upon this win after two non-completions in 2006.
Kilbeggan Blade and Cyindien in Div 2 of the Maiden
Kilbeggan Blade in Div 2 of the Maiden
Cyindien looks frustrating, he jumps and travels well but lacks the finishing kick of others, the Williams team must be pulling there hair out with this gelding who has shown promise in all of his 2006 point start.