Official Ground: Good to Soft
After 2 previous postponements due to bad weather it was third time lucky at Dunthrop.
Lucy Barry opened racing with a quick double, both aboard Audrey Manners owned and trained horses. The pair’s first leg came with Dashing John (6/4 Favourite) in the 6 Year Old and Overs Open Maiden Race. Patiently ridden, he made strong headway 4 fences from home to join long time leader Upon Adventure (Jeremy Mahot) who was looking dangerous when parting company at the penultimate. Left 10 lengths clear Dashing John came home in his own time 15 lengths in front of Pretty Penny (Peter Mason). “He has taken a while to get the hang of racing,” Explained winning owner/trainer Audrey Manners, “Last year we only gave him one run because the ground was too firm and he hated having horses around him but he’s a classy horse.”
The second leg of the Manners/Barry double came in the 2.5 mile maiden when Riskier made all to come home 15 lengths in front of Himalayan Express (Will Telfer). Improving on his 2nd at Larkhill last time out the winner jumped well under a good ride from Lucy Barry and never saw another horse. “We knew that we wanted to be handy, but we didn’t think it would be quite like that,” explained the jockey. “We’re absolutely thrilled because it’s Kier Park’s first winner and John (the late John Manners) would have loved to see that,” said Audrey Manners.
The smallest fields of the day came in the Members when the 1/3 Favourite Von Galen saw off the challenge of Landing Rights (Thomas Murray) under a strong drive from Luke Morgan.
Only 3 went to post for the Novice Riders Race where Malcombe Harding rode his first ever winner, aboard Shady Hollow. Reinforcing himself as the course specialist, the winner came home 20 lengths in front of Infrasonique (Tammy Webster) to record his third career win at the track.
Another previous course winner came home in front, when Blue Business (Angela Rucker) followed up on his 2008 form to win the Ladies Open race over the extended trip of 3m 5f. Catching long time leader Mister Bertolli (Anna Stone) four fences from home the winner stayed on strongly to see off the challenge of last year’s winner Derawar (Lucy Jones) by 8 lengths. “I thought we were going quite quickly which helped my horse out because I knew he’d get the trip, but he tried his little socks off,” explained the winning owner/trainer/jockey Angela Rucker.
Lord Attica went one better than last year when coming home in front in the 4m Mens Open under Ron Hodges who was sitting on the horse for the first time. The winner travelled comfortably sitting off the pace until making headway to catch the 5/4 Favourite We’re Confused (Dave Mansell) at the penultimate and coming home a comfortable 6 lengths in front. “He stays forever and we’re so thrilled, he’s a lovely horse,” explained winning owner Sandra Booker.
All 8 entered horses declared in The Restricted race and Michael Kehoe’s Pocket Park came home 25 lengths clear in the fastest time of the day. Dropped in the winner was content to watch the well fancied Egmont Heights (Jane Williams) and Alliance Main (Jamie Goss) blaze a trail until jumping into the lead 2 out and staying on strongly under a perfectly timed ride from Tom Ellis. “We bought him as a yearling,” explained the winning owner, “We were a little bit worried he might not get the trip (after winning a 2.5 mile maiden last time out) but I think he did that quite easily in the end. We hope to head for an Intermediate next.”
The ride of the day for me was from Lucy Barry who stole the race when kicking clear 5 fences from home and one for the notebook is the improving Pocket Park who came home an impressive winner in by far the quickest time of the day.