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Curre & Llangibby
Howick
Sunday 21 March 2010
by Brian Lee

The going was good to soft at the Curre & Llangibby whereas six days earlier it had been good to firm.

Robin Butterworth's Willoughby Flyer, the rank outsider at 10-1 in a field of six, made every post a winning one when collecting his fourth members' race under James Price whose father Joe can also claim to have won the race himself on several occasions in the distant past.

The PPORA Club Members Conditions race went to David Griffiths's Prioritatisation which finished strongly to catch the pacemaking Sams Lad at the last fence and which went on to win by a neck with Scania Classic a distant third. Sams Lad's rider John Norman was cautioned by the stewards for dropping his hands just before the finish. David Griffiths,26, who rides out for Worcestershire's Richard Newland, owns and trains the winner which went off the 5-4 favourite.

The men's open race went to Mrs Rae Jones' nine-year-old bay gelding Up There. Well ridden by Liam Payter, Up There won by seven lengths from Saint Reverien with the pacemaking Classic Chance a further 12 lengths back in third place. Up There was a replacement for Mrs Jones' prolific Loch Ennel a winner at Howick in the past and who was retired last season after winning his members' race at the Pentych.

Keith Pritchard's Cannon Bridge, who like Up There is qualified with the Pentyrch, made it win number 21(19 between-the-flags and two hunter chases) when taking the ladies' open under Welsh champion Isabel Tompsett. Leading throughout,Cannon Bridge, who may have another crack at the Lady Dudley Cup, won by four lengths from Grey Kid who narrowed the distance between them in the closing stages of the race.

Most impressive winner of the day was Lynda Lovell's The Boat which took the lead five fences from home in the restricted to score by twelve lengths from Turn Card.Confidently ridden by James Tudor, this eight-year-old bay gelding had failed to get around in his previous three outings, but this time Welshman Tudor, having his first ride in the Principality this season, soon had him jumping well and it will come as a surprise if The Boat doesn't go on to better things.His winning time was a second faster than the men's open!

The maiden was divided on the field and in the first division Glyn Slade Jones's Go On Paddy Joe, ridden by John Flook,24, ran out a seven lengths winner from Kyrano.However, after jumping the last well clear Go On Paddy Joe instead of running in a straight line past the winning post did a sort of half circle before managing to get back on track . Mr Jones better known on the trotting circuit bought the six-year-old bay gelding at the Ascot Sales twelve months ago.

The second division provided some consolation for Sams Lad's rider John Norman, 26, who made all on Robert Rowsell's Divvys Dream which won by 20 lengths in a time which was eleven seconds faster than Go On Paddy Joe had taken to win the first division. A former inmate of Evan Williams' yard, Divvys Dream who stands 16.2 hh was bought from Lee Bridges in January and was another winner for the Pentych Hunt." He's awesome'' said former show jumper and rider Rowsell who was clearly delighted with the grey horse's success. And judging by the ovation the horse received on entering the winners' enclosure there must have been plenty of punters who had backed him.

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