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REVIEW
WORCESTERSHIRE
CHADDESLEY CORBETT
SATURDAY 17 APRIL 2004
by Peter Mansell

Caught at Dawn’s whose ability attracted numerous comments on the discussion forum of the JumpingforFun WebSite took one of the sports biggest prizes following his success in Saturdays Lady Dudley Cup.

The Lady Dudley Cup has been the feature race at the Worcestershire Point to Point since its inception in 1897 and the roll of honour includes some of the best horses to have graced the sport over the last 100 years.

They were joined on Saturday by 17-year-old Worcester schoolboy Tom Weston who steered Caught at Dawn to victory over one of the best fields assembled for this race in recent years.

11 runners faced the starter, with Coole Venture preferred in the market to the West Country challenger Out the Black with Caught at Dawn the punters third choice.

Picket Piece led for a majority of the race and was still in front as they raced down the back straight for the last time but Caught at Dawn took the lead with a magnificent jump at the 17th and had gone three lengths clear climbing the final hill.

Dominic Alers Hankey and Out the Black was alive to this danger and went in pursuit of Weston’s mount as they turned for home. They were poised to strike on the heels of the leader but a mistake at the penultimate and another at the final obstacle sealed their fate and Caught at Dawn who had been foot perfect throughout put in another spectacular jump at the last to secure victory. The winning combination returned to rapturous applause from the locals, as Caught at Dawn became the first Worcestershire horse to win this prestigious trophy since Darlingate back in 1984.

Caught at Dawn’s form has flourished this year and he was winning his fifth race in succession in the colours of Hindlip (Worcester) Farmer Martin Weston who acquired the horse from his younger brother John. The 10-year-old started his career in Point to Points but then ran under Rules in Ireland before he was acquired as a schoolmaster for Tom three years ago, and what a schoolmaster he has turned out to be!

Carthago (Members) and Sovereign Gale (Mares) and their jockey Micky Harris provided Chaddesley Corbett trainer Teressa McCurrich with a double at her home meeting.

The Feckenham rider dictated the pace in the Members but looked vulnerable when Angela Rucker produced Eurobob to challenge at the third from home, but the 9-year-old struggled to reduce the deficit from this point and the partnership had to concede defeat between the final two fences. The winner was purchased privately from French trainer Francois Doumen but now runs for the Teresa McCurrich and Sheila Cartridge partnership.

Sovereign Gale’s success in the Mares provided the McCurrich stable with their first ever double. Adopting front running tactics, the mare lost her place about a mile from home but came with a renewed effort turning for home and had the race in safe keeping over the final two fences. She carries the colours of the trainer, her father Laurance and John Doolittle whose Stourbridge based company Equimix, is one of the three main West Midland Area sponsors.

Doolittle also has an interest in the Maiden winner Catch the Bus who became a first ever winner for Longdon trainer Heather Newell. The winner proved much stronger over the final three fences than the runner up Rosegrove Rooster.

As expected Step and Run and Upton Adventure dominated the market the Ladies, but the betting was not reflected on the course because Jane Williams mount never jumped with any fluency behind the strong pace set by Upton Adventure and Fanion de Nourry. The latter fell by the wayside at the start of the second circuit and Emma James never saw another rival from the 11th, and the further they went, the bigger the advantage and the winner was passing the post as her rivals jumped the last.

Peter Corbetts homebred mare now heads the tables for two National Awards. Upton Adventure has 6 races this season and that should secure the trophy for the Leading Mare but Eastnor trainer Nicky Sheppard will need to use all her considerable experience to maintain Upton Adventures narrow lead in the Leading Horse Award.

The Confined went to Richard Burton and Hot Toddy from Guy Landau’s yard in Somerset. The 9-year-old hit the front entering the home straight and had little difficultly repelling the challenge of The Campdonian who ran his usual game race to take second spot. The Restricted provided the closest finish of the day with just two heads seperating the first three home. Victory went to the Steve Isaac’s trained and Rachel Reynolds ridden Magicien from Tim Stephenson on Paddy Bettalot and Adrian Wintle on Shaking Chief.

RESULTS
MEMBERS
1ST CARTHAGO M HARRIS 1-2 FAV
2ND EURO BOB MRS A RUCKER 3-1
3RD ALWAYS GOOD P NEEDHAM 20-1
7 RAN
CONFINED
1ST HOT TODDY R BURTON 2-1 FAV
2ND THE CAMPDONIAN E WALKER 4-1
3RD THE ARCHDEACON T STEPHENSON 20-1
9 RAN
MENS OPEN
1ST CAUGHT AT DAWN T WESTON 5-2
2ND OUT THE BLACK D ALERS HANKEY 9-4
3RD WATCHYOURBACK R HODGES 14-1
11 RAN
LADIES OPEN
1ST UPTON ADVENTURE MISS E JAMES 5-4
2ND LUCKY MASTER MISS G SWAN 50-1
3RD STEP AND RUN MISS J WILLIAMS 8-11 FAV
7 RAN
RESTRICTED
1ST MAGICIEN MISS R REYNOLDS 20-1
2ND PADDY BETTALOT T STEPHENSON 8-1
3RD SHAKING CHIEF A WINTLE 3-1
8 RAN
MARES
1ST SOVEREIGN GALE M HARRIS 6-1
2ND CAMPDEN KITTY F HUTSBY 9-2
3RD INFAMELIA MISS T CLARK 12-1
6 RAN
MAIDEN
1ST CATCH THE BUS MISS S SHARRETT 4-1
2ND ROSEGROVE ROOSTER T STEPHENSON 8-1
3RD RON MIEL MISS R REYNOLDS 14-1
16 RAN

 

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