Saturday 21st February 2009
by Granville Taylor
CHILLING PLACE came down from the Bicester country to gain his Christie’s Cheltenham Foxhunter qualification with a hard fought win over Xila Fontenailles in the Mixed Open. Owned by Mike Tuckey and ridden by his son Ben, Chilling Place was following up his North Norfolk Open win last month. “We will probably have a go at the Foxhunter now”, commented the owner, who bought Chilling Place as an unbroken four-year-old and saw him win over hurdles and fences when trained for him by Philip Hobbs. Chilling Place just held the sustained challenge of the Chloe Newman trained Xila Fontenailles (Richard Woollacott) over the final two fences.
The 32 year old rider went on to complete his first ever double when following up on six-year-old Dakota Boy in the Open Maiden, also owned and trained by his father near Bicester, Oxfordshire. Dakota Boy just had enough in reserve to withstand the challenge of Little Kimmie in the home straight. “I bought Dakota Boy from his breeder Frank Jarvey in Ireland and had him in training with Alex Hales last year”, said the successful owner, adding that, “he had a wind operation after finishing runner up over hurdles at Southwell in April”. The seven-year-old is a half brother to Widemouth Bay who won races for Henrietta Knight and was placed in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.
Welsh challenger Alroyal also landed a family success when beating Quizzling in the Novice Riders’ PPORA Club Members race. Formerly a winning hurdler, Alroyal was bought out of Charlie Mann’s yard at Doncaster sales last August and is now owned and trained by Ian Prichard at Pontypridd. The ten-year-old was giving Ian’s 17 year old son David the third winner of his career. David is taking “A” levels at nearby Pontyclun and had work experience last summer riding out for Paul Nicholls. “He rides Alroyal every day when he comes home from school”, said David’s mother.
There was a massive upset in the two-runner Hunt race when 1-6 favourite Dare Too Dream was turned over by My Big Sister. A course winner last year, My Big Sister soon set up a big lead which her sole opponent never looked like pegging back .The ten-year-old mare, trained by Sue Berwick at North Bovey, was ridden by her owner Nicola Rovai, who was enjoying her first winner in the saddle. 28 year old Nicola works in NHS finance at Torbay hospital. “I often have to ride her out in the dark at 5.30am”, said the winning jockey.
Matako gave Suzy Berry her second winner of the season with a comfortable success in the two and a half miles maiden. A gift horse from former owner Peter Hart to current owner/trainer Pat Bryant, Matako has taken a while to settle in his races, but did little wrong on this occasion. “He got into a nice rhythm and the better ground was in his favour”, commented the 22 year old rider.
Mary Sanderson’s Hollandia gave leading amateur Danny Cook another winner on his only ride of the day in the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate, jumping ahead of runner up King’s Wood at the penultimate to score convincingly. “He could go hunter chasing and may be aimed at the Exeter Final”, said the Tiverton based owner / trainer who takes her charge on a round trip of 14 miles every other day to the gallops.
The Restricted produced the closest finish of the day with 16-1 outsider Kensal Cross (Will White) holding Steph’s Dream (Richard Woollacott) by a head after this pair had raced locked together from the final fence. The winner, who was making his seasonal debut, was home bred by his owner/trainer Mike Trickey.
Prestige Furniture Hunt race
1 My Big Sister (Miss N Rovai); 2 Dare Too Dream (N Harris); 2 ran; 25lengths; 6mins 35 secs
Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Novice Riders’
1 Alroyal (D Prichard); 2 Quizzling (M Griffiths); 3 Hope Sound (R Spencer); 7 ran; 2l, 5l; 6m 27s
South West Racing Club Open Maiden ( 2 miles and a half)
1 Matako (Miss S Berry); 2 Marquee (J Barnes); 3 Max’s Choice (I Popham); 7 ran; 7l; 6l; 5m 20s
Marksway Horsehage & Mollichaff Mixed Open
1 Chilling Place (B Tuckey); 2 Xila Fontenailles (R Woollacott); 3 Mr Micky (J Barnes); 4 ran; 1l; dist; 6m 41s
Tate & Lyle Restricted
1 Kensal Cross (W White); 2 Steph’s Dream (R Woollacott); 3 Uncle Dan (Miss L Gardner); 8 ran; head; 7l; 6m 39s
Exeter Racecourse Intermediate
1 Hollandia (D Cook); 2 King’s Wood (D Edwards); 3 Lords Bridge (R Woollacott); 5 ran; 2 1/2 l; 15l; 6m 31s
Martin Hill Racing Open Maiden
1 Dakota Boy (B Tuckey); 2 Little Kimmie (J Barnes); 3 Roly Valley (R Woollacott); 1 1/2l; 8l; 6m 41s