Sunday 24th January 2010
by Lucy Johnson
In-form Barber rattles up a treble at Chipley Park
RICHARD Barber scored a treble at Chipley Park on Sunday but the in-form trainer was denied a four-timer when the hot pot Le Duc was beaten in the mixed open.
Ask Again, who has become something of a standing dish at the track having won four years in succession, forged clear of Le Duc after the final fence under his trainer/rider Sarah West to score by a length and a half.
Sarah, who juggles working full time as champion trainer Paul Nicholls PA with training her point-to-pointers during her lunch hour, admitted she knew she was on the winner coming up the final hill as Ask Again stayed on devoutly up the stamina sapping home straight.
Im very luck as Im able to use Pauls gallops and I knew he was fit enough to win today. Hes always really well at this time of year and he does really seem to like it here, said Sarah.
But victory proved scant consolation for Sarah who had lost the promising young horse Bobby On The Beat following his fatal fall at Larkhill the day before.
With Richard Barbers team in such good heart he saddled a double at Larkhill things bode well for the rest of the season. The ever popular Spuddlers Dream gave James Ridley his second winner in points (his first for Barber) when scoring a two length success in the novice riders race for the Axe Valley Racing Club and both Pezreuil, an easy six length winner of the restricted race under Ryan Mahon and Fredwal, who scored in the second maiden under Nick Williams, look decent prospects for the season ahead.
We hoped they were fit as we werent held up at all with the snow. We had new gallops installed in December and were able to harrow it every day and keep going, said Barber who added: Pezreuil had a good summer and has improved, and hell improve again for that.
Owner Clive Bennetts inaugural trip to the track from his Hereforshsire base proved fruitful when trainer Emma Alvis saddled Raleagh House to win the Exeter Racecourse Intermediate qualifier and Ashwell Lad to win the faster of two divisions of the maiden, both ridden by Tom Weston.
Different tactics paid off with Raleagh House who made much of the running, rather than being held up, and was always travelling well on the soft ground. Ashwell Lad joined Emma nine months again having previously run under rules with Richard Phillips, and was one of the easiest winners of the day. Hes a lovely, straight forward horse to train and weve sweetened him up hunting, said Emma.
Come What Augustus added to his Wadebridge win earlier this season when taking up the running two fences from home in the members race and winning easily in the hands of Richard Woollacott.
The Stags Hunt Members race: Come What Augustus (Richard Woollacott) 1; Moment of Magic (Merv Woodward) 2; Weather Permitting (Josh Guierierro) 3.
The Matford Land Rover and John Pearcey Memorial Mixed Open Race: Ask Again (Sarah West) 1; Le Duc (Jack Barber) 2; Ballyvoge (H Challoner) 3. 1 1/2l, 25l; 6.40.
The Exeter Racecourse Intermediate Race: Raleagh House (Tom Weston) 1; Pimbury (Mike Miller) 2; Fully Loaded (Emma Pugsley) 3. Shhd, 6l; 6.48.
The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Race: Spuddlers Dream (James Ridley) 1; El Hombre Del Rio (Lucy Pugsley) 2; Harbridge (Sam Matthews) 3. 2l, 5l; 6.33.
The Masstock Restricted Race: Pezreuil (Ryan Mahon) 1; Red Watch (L price) 2; King of the Road (Matt Grifiths) 3. 6l, 1 1/2l; 6.49.
The Mountpleasant Inn Open Maiden Race Div 1: Ashwell Lad (Tom Weston) 1; Haveyoubeen (G Maundrel) 2; Will Scarlett( Richard Woollacott) 3. 10l, 1 3/4l; 6.57.
The Robin Barwell Memorial Open Maiden Race Div 2: Fredwal (Nick Williams) 1; Lord Lescribaa (Diana Hobbs) 2; Stealing Moments (Ryan Bliss) 3. 6l, 1l; 7.04.