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Grafton
Whitfield
Sunday 15th May 2011
by Claire Hart

Crowds were rewarded here with some competitive racing and the very unusual occurrence of no fallers or unseated riders.

Phil York has every chance of winning the overall Mens Championship having ridden a double on the day; both winners provided by Trainer Karen Lawther and Owner Paul Fullagher. The first Caught in Time has gone from strength to strength this season and won the Mens Open from favourite Buckingham Bill by 2 lengths. 'I Keep saying it but Phil really is the key to this horse, he is riding out of his skin' were the trainers sentiments. This winner will now head to Kingston Blount as connections are keen to support Phillip in his championship bid.

Cavite Zeta was quick to follow up in the following Restricted; the 5 yr old was bought privately from Tom Lacey and Charlie Brooks back in March and this was only his second run for new connections. In command throughout and equipped with cheek pieces for the first time he won well. Although the official margin was only 2 lengths he appeared to have plenty in hand. Certainly one to look out for in the future.

John Busby and Sylvia Edmunds have enjoyed success with their mare Briery Star and she won the opening Hunt Members race in fine style under Jamie Goss. She heads the table in the PPORA mare's sponsorship scheme which was newly introduced for this season.
Bavard Court was the first part of a double for Jockey Louise Allan and Trainer/ Owner Joe Turner in the Intermediate race. Sent off at 2-1 he beat favourite Dawn Display (Phil York) by 2 lengths.

The second winner for Louise came in the Ladies Open where three went to post. Parrain who was sent off the 1-3 favourite won by a length from The Hookie Bookie (Rachel King) but sadly broke a leg after the line. A tragedy for all connections to lose such a bright prospect.

Tom Bellamy who is only 16 and rode his first winner under rules last week at Sedgefield for Martin Keighley enjoyed success in the Open Maiden aboard Kimberley Pollens 12 year old Bobs Temptation who was sent off 10/11 favourite. A gift to Kimberley from Jim Wilson following an unsuccessful career under rules this gelding was making his third point to point appearance. Kimberley explained that she had broken her neck whilst hunting him and her sister Emma had taken over the training.

Ungaro who hadn't won since winning the Feltham novice chase at Kempton in 2006 was given a strong ride by Heather Kemp and was victorious in the Club race. Ten went to post and Ungaro won by 4 lengths at odds of 8-1. Clearly a horse with class he has been troubled with back problems and it was good to see him resume to winning ways. Second was Ben Tally Ho (Phil York) who was sent off the 6/4 favourite.

A good day in the office for Phil York who picked up the award for leading rider at Whitfield and was presented with the Colin Gee memorial trophy and a memento by Susie Gee.

Overall a good days racing. Next area meeting is on 29th May 2011 at Kingston Blount.

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