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Axe Vale
Stafford Cross
Sunday 27th April 2008

by Lucy Johnson

A PLAN hatched months ago paid off for Peter Gibbons after his home bred mare Tandori won the members’ race at the Axe Vale meeting on Sunday.

Gibbons farms the land on which the point-to-point is held and the six-year-old was foaled there. “My father-in-law owns the land and I farm it and we foaled Tandori just over there,” said Gibbins who added that it had been a long held ambition to win his local hunt race.

Trained by Nikki Frost in South Devon, the mare was ridden by Stuart Payne who had a memorable weekend having ridden Fort of Gold to win at Trebudannon the previous day. “She liked the better ground and she jumped a lot better today,” said Payne who is now on the five winner mark for the season.

Rachael Green added two more winners to her tally, the first coming aboard the Richard Barber-trained Spuddler’s Dream in the confined. “Trying to keep him together is the main thing. He’s gone wrong twice in the past and whether he runs again this season will depend upon how he comes out of this,” said Barber.

A visit to a stallion may have done the trick for Castle Cazza said trainer Monique Pike after she won the intermediate. “She’s a very keen mare and she settled nicely today for Rachael. This is also the first time she’s had her ground and its nice for her owner John Russell who bred her,” she added.

Ryan Bliss was another jockey who rode a double, the first coming on Who Else Knew in the mixed open who made several mistakes but still managed a three quarters of a length victory from Tyneham. “The jockey said he didn’t like these Devon fences,” said his owner Bernard Pike.

Bliss scored again for trainer John Dufosee when Diflock, who was making his racecourse debut, took the second open maiden for his owner/breeder Sherilyn King. “I’m absolutely stunned and didn’t expect that. He was nearly put down as a foal and we broke him in last summer,” said King.

The first maiden went to the Chloe Newman-trained Tres Bien who was suited to the flat track and fast going after a string of decent placed efforts this season. Owner Mike Tozer said: “We’ve waited a long time for the ground.”

Sam Matthews scored his third win of the season on Harbridge who took the novice riders’ race and the restricted went to the Charlotte Tizzard trained and ridden Coombe Hill. “I think he’s one of the most underrated horses. He’s finished second four times this season and won twice now,” remarked the geldings owner, and Charlotte’s father Alan Tizzard.

Members: Tandori (S Payne) 1; Dr Cerullo (Miss C Allen) 2; Simon’s Seat (Miss R Green) 3. Distances8l, sh hd; distances:

Confined: Spuddler’s Dream (Miss R Green) 1; Askers Jack (R Woollacott) 2;Lutteur Bleu (Miss C Davis) 3. 20l, 15l; 5.56.

Mixed Open: Who Else Knew (R Bliss) 1; Tyneham (Miss A Goschen) 2; Cookies Bank (R Woollacott) 3. 3/4l, 1l; 5.46.

Intermediate: Castle Cazza (Miss R Green) 1; Sliema (Mr M Miller) 2; Harnage (Mrs C Farrant) 3. 4l, nk; 5.58.

Novice riders: Harbridge (S Matthews) 1; Rye Brook (J Ridley) 2; Espresso Forte (Mr M Heuff) 3. 1l, 10l; 5.51.

Restricted: Coombe Hill (Miss C Tizzard) 1; Royal Rapture (Miss R Green) 2; Kensal Cross (W White) 3.1 1/2l, 1l; 6.05.

Maiden Div 1: Tres Bien (R Woollacott) 1; Magical Flight (A Charles-Jones) 2; Novikova Rose (Miss C Atkinson) 3. 1 1/2l, 20l; 6.12.

Maiden Div 2: Diflock (R Bliss) 1; Briteside (N Scholfield) 2; Lagan Legend (Miss C Tizzard) 3. 10l, 8l; 6.08.

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