Sunday 1st May 2011
by Laura Ellis
Another huge crowd turned out to see the only meeting this season at Clifton on Dunsmore.
Racing opened at 1pm with the Hunt Members where 3 went to post. Odds on favourite My Best Buddy made it a pillar to post victory to provide Lucy Docker with her first winner and will reportedly retire after reaching his 15th win over 11 different tracks. The Phizacklea sisters battled it out for second and third; Hannah finishing a distance back in second on her own Tomillielou and Sarah a head behind in third aboard Romany Tale.
Valance took the Confined when benefiting from the 1st fence departure of favourite Pass The Class (Sam Hutchinson) to see off the challenge of Oscar Owen (Ben Brackebury) by six lengths and Gleeson (James Turcan) a further seven lengths back in third.
Ease and Grace put in a clear round under Liam Payter in the Mares Maiden to finish a convincing 15 lengths ahead of Hookey's Quest (Serena Tyler) and a further five lengths in front of Oscar's Alice (Nick Oliver). The winner, who has sometimes struggled with her jumping, chased the leaders four fences from home before quickly pulling clear.
The Open Maiden went to Half a Litre (Johnny Bailey) who added to his consistent form so far this season to finish ahead of Done A Runner (Tom Ellis) and Of The Moment (Tom Mc Clory). Always prominent the winner took the lead at the 13th and was strongly ridden to come home in front.
The fastest time of the day came in the Men's Open when Sheknowsyouknow made if 4 wins from 6 efforts this season in a pillar to post victory. Ridden to gain a 10 length lead the winner was joined 2 fences from home but ran on to claim a two and a half length victory ahead of Pass The Parsel (Johnny Bailey) and a further four and a half lengths ahead of Major Euro (Will Telfer) in 6 minutes 4 seconds.
It was quality not quantity when just 6 went to post in The Ladies equivalent. Limerick Leader (Gemma Hutchinson) added to his 2 wins this season when defying the challenge of favourite King Du Berlais (Louise Allan) by 1 and a half lengths and Cluthe Boy a further 6 lengths back in third.
Gina Andrews took the Restricted to continue her bid in the Ladies Championship aboard Humphrey Bee who improved on his neck second last time out. Despite a bad mistake 5 fences from home he ran on well to come home a convincing 7 lengths ahead of the consistent Ten Gunther (Dale Peters) and Atraxia a distance back in third.