mentioned previously, recent changes to the course layout and siting of
such items as the bouncy castle inside it have greatly improved the
viewing, and thus the overall experience at Penshurst.
with the gods not to be denied their mockery of mere humans, they summoned
up a chilly northerly or easterly wind (I had no compass), to catch put
those anticipating similar conditions to the warm Saturday but twenty-four
this, there did seem a very healthy crowd, even though many arrived late.
The course looked to have been watered, or patrolled by especially
incontinent sheep, which meant that the fields stood up very well
considering the dry spell, although the easier top layer was not very
deep. It was enough to slow down some horses a great deal, although the
alternative theory is that they may not have been terribly fast in the
Arms Conditions Race
Dual course winner White Smoke did not improve for his recent debut as
much as seemed likely, never out of contention in a small field but rarely
travelling well enough to threaten success. A cracking finish was fought
out between a pair of highly one-paced horses whose owners must adore the
frequency with which they turn out and run their race, occasionally
stumbling on a good chance of victory such as they found here. Glory came
the way of Oxendale, piloted by Peter Bull, who was less slow on the
run-in than Legal Storm after they jumped the last together. On the
runner-up, Tim Underwood had made an excellent recovery after thumping the
fourth, so was doing well to be there at all. After leading for two miles,
Night Thyne weakened badly, and was ultimately very disappointing in the
worst race he has tackled. An alarming tendency to lower himself to just
below the ability of the opposition has developed.
Savills South East Hunts Club Members, Novice and Veteran Riders
Another close finish, but this time Peter Bull was just pipped, despite
conjuring a much-improved performance from Lovely Lynsey. As she looked in
tip-top condition before hand, it was not totally unforeseeable. The mare
did not, however, have the zip of Lively Lord, who provided jockey Gemma
Marshall with her first winner. The effort is not to be underestimated as
Lively Lord often gives the impression that he does not have his mind
totally on the job in hand, today sporting a tongue strap and cheekpieces.
Tooth Pick ran a similar race to his success at Godstone with the critical
difference being that the pair in front did not grind to a halt, so he
managed only third place and had a hard race in doing so. Tooth Pick did
overhaul Commasarris, who ran his best race this season, and would not
have appreciated the watering. He is not exactly poised to gain his first
win of the century, but a place in the near future is not a forlorn hope.
The favourite won this, with Jack Of Kilcash outstaying Shamron in the
lasthalf mile. His recent two runs have both held up well, so Jack Of
Kilcash was not an unworthy favourite, but Shamron's occasional and poor
efforts since 2001, plus six years without a win, made him a less obvious
choice. They skipped away from Call The Tune and Scotch Bob in the last
mile. A nasty incident occurred at the twelfth, where Ishma ran out
through the wing and inflicted a nasty injury on Darren Page.
Surprisingly, the field was still tightly packed at this stage, and with
hindsight I may have been doing Ishma a disservice, as he was on the
inside and could simply have run out of room, as for all his quirks,
random violence is usually beyond his remit.
The start was delayed whilst the medics went to work after the last race,
but the field contained some wily veterans unlikely to be phased by the
disruption. Struggles Glory headed the market, from Seod Rioga. The
out-of-form Pampered Gale lined up for the very-much-in-form Joe Turner
yard. Yet again the race remained in the balance until the last few yards,
as Chris Gordon threw the kitchen sink at Seod Rioga, ony for David
Robinson to get just enough out of Struggles Glory to win, although a very
slow jump two out cost the runner-up the race. Pampered Gale plugged on
after being niggled from the twelfth, and made a token effort, which was
enough to hold third from Kenny Davis.
Caravans Ladies' Open
The Turner team took revenge on the south-east for their defeat in the
Men's race as Spring Gale made slightly hard work of a relatively easy
opening. This was partially due to Julie Wickens giving Darakshan an
inspired ride to post by far his best performance in a point so far. The
form may be slightly below par as sixteen-year-old Strong Medicine was
third, not given the hardest of times, and Prime Course was always
struggling after he tried to go through the last ditch and not over it.
Gemma Marshall's reward for her earlier win was the ride on the
unanchorable Acuteangle. This time, Acuteangle settled at the back, and if
repeating the calmer approach, she could turn up trumps in a little race.
Chase Open Maiden
The market leaders, Storm Rising and Threes Company, both had fallen twice
coming into this race, but Penshurst does not boast the most fearsome
obstacles and if they were going to deliver, a better combination of
manageable fences and feeble opponents would be hard to find. There was
plenty of money for Pistol Knight (previously, and now clearly
erroneously, given a good write up in a previous report), obviously fitter
for his seasonal reappearance, but when the pace quickened slightly seven
from home, he was dropped out of contention with rare rapidity - or rather
a crucial lack of it. Sister Ali made most of the running, but came to the
end of her tether three out and was overtaken by Storm Rising and then
Bavadier, in fierce but vain chase. It was still the closest he has come
to opening his account. That order was the one they finished in, with Age
Of The Moon the only other one of the ten to complete.