South  Herefordshire at GARNONS
Sunday 19th March 2000
by Mal Davies

A quickfire double for Adrian Wintle was the highlight of the South Herefordshire Hunt point to point at Garnons last Sunday. It was a largely frustrating day for Julian Pritchard in his quest to retain his National Mens' title, though he did bag one short priced winner.

Only four horses stood their ground for the Hunt Race and the Adrian Wintle ridden Wonastow who got up to beat favourite Who's Your Man by 5 lengths

Wintle made it two from two when taking the Confined race on Scarlett Knipe's La Kabyle who finally got off the mark for the season after a run of good performances with a six length success from the Pritchard ridden Verulam. Basil Street, very popular amongst punters fell at the third.

The turnout for the Ladies' Race was a little disappointing, perhaps due to the presence of the unbeaten Pharare in the race. But there was late drama as the odds-on favourite, winner of all nine of his races, unseated Caroline Spearing when clear at the last to leave rank outsider Haughton Lad to land the spoils. Pharare had not looked fluent on the final circuit but was going to win barring accidents.

Sergio Gordon-Watson drove out the previously unimpressive Playing the Fool to success in the Restricted race, four lengths to the good of Pritchard on Percy Medlicott with Paddy Maguire in third for Tim Stephenson. Holmby Copse again ran well- he just seems to find a couple too good for him every run.

Six horses went to post in the Mens' Open and Peter Kay aboard Celtic Town led them home in a driving finish; Stormhill Recruit (Steve Blackwell) and Topical Tip (Paul Cowley) were adjudged to have dead-heated for second place. Personally I thought that Stormhill Recruit had got up for second. The favourite, the Richard Burton ridden Happy Minstral failed to build on his course win last time and didn’t seem to be relishing the pretty firm going.

After a few near misses for Julian Pritchard, he finally got into the winners' enclosure on the very impressive Dawn Invader, who made every yard in the PPORA race. Distant Port made a few late gains but the winner was untroubled to win by 25 lengths.

The card concluded with two short course maiden races. Sophie Talbot's Winning Town captured the first from favourite Tom's Prize and Cead Mile Failte sporting Jane Fellows' colours won the finale given an excellent ride by young Frank Windsor-Clive. The winner just touched off the Pritchard ridden Yanto in a photo.


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