SUNDAY 6 APRIL 2003
by Peter Mansell
Fergal O'Brien and Jelly Nolan have enjoyed considerable
success over the years but Pretoria Dancerís victory in the Members
during Sundays Cotswold Point to Point at Andoversford, must take pride of
The 30-year-old's duties as Head Lad to Nigel Twiston Davies
yard at Naunton restricts the amount of time O'Brien has available for
race riding. There have been some near misses in recent seasons so there
was no hiding the delight on his face after Pretoria Dancer had managed to
hold the challenge of the favourite Bit O'Speed on the climb to the post.
Pretoria Dancer provided the first leg of a double for
Nolan's Naunton stable that took the Ladies Race later in the afternoon
with Steady Eddy. This winner is a half brother to the ill-fated Look in
the Mirror and was home bred by Twiston Davies but this season he carries
the colours of Fergal's father Bill.
Anna De Lisle Wells showed a cool brain on the favourite
because Proper Primitive looked set for victory climbing the final hill,
but that act had taken its toll and they were outstayed by the 20-year-old
Reading University student and her mount on the run to the line.
Miss De Lisle Wells and Ballyalbert attempted to make every
fence a winning one in the Maiden and they nearly succeeded in doing so
until the 8-year-olds stride began to shorten approaching the last. They
fought back bravely on the flat but were unable to withstand Tom Putts
finishing thrust which provided 19-year-old Chadlington student Ben
Pauling with his first success.
Adrian Wintle is the leading jockey in the West Midlands area
this season and he showed why after a superb ride on Macy in the Confined.
The 10-year-old looked beaten during the final half mile but the
Cheltenham based rider reasoned that the leaders would probably come back
to him, so bided his time before producing Macy with a race-winning run at
the last. The winner carries the colours of Jackie and Margaret Jones and
is the only horse in stable of their husband/son Martin at Redmarley.
Connections were able to make the most of the generosity of the
Dinsey Finnegan had provided 17-year-old Cheltenham College
Student George Phillips with the first win of his career at Siddington two
weeks ago and they showed that that win was no fluke but gaining their
second success together in the Intermediate.
Dinsey Finnegan had proved a major disappointment last season
but appears to have turned over a new leaf since joining John Phillips
stable at Bibury. This was evident by his refusal to accept defeat after
his rivals queued up to challenge at the penultimate but he stayed on well
to score in a blanket finish.
The Mens Open went to Mark and Andrew Barlows French acquisition Good Boy. The 9-year-old swept to the front at the 13th and threw in some extravagant jumps down the back straight, which allowed him to coast home to victory during the closing stages of this contest.
WEST MIDLAND AREA CHAMPIONSHIPS