meeting only survived the destructive gales of the previous day thanks to
the strenuous efforts of the committee led by Secretary Jenny Pidgeon, who
replaced all the blown down marquees with lorry trailers for providing
accommodation for changing rooms, declaration offices & the sponsors
area. Saturday’s South Midland fixture, the VWH at Siddington failed to
beat the elements.
was a chilly & blustery day at the North Oxfordshire course with heavy
showers throughout the afternoon and the official going was good (good to
soft in places)
My Dream twice placed in Hunter Chases from five runs last season & with
two runs behind him in Opens this season led from start to finish. Well
ridden by Paul Cowley, he only had to be pushed out to win. The odds on
favourite, Court Alert, ridden by Stuart Morris, won this race last year but
on his seasonal debut he only finished third of the seven runners running on
at one pace.
There was drama as the runners
came into the home straight for the second time when Andy Martin appeared to
strike out at James Owen. Not sure what this altercation was all about, but
the stewards took a dim view of this incident as Andy Martin was
found guilty of improper riding and was fined £100. However it was not all
doom & gloom for Andy Martin as he drove the 5/4 favourite, Freedom
Fighter, home by 5 lengths appearing to be well suited by the stiff uphill
More drama yet again
between Messrs Owen/Martin as three horses passed the post together; Finder
Keeps (Owen), Stennikov (Ed Walker) & Sing High ridden by Andy Martin.
Only two short heads separated the three runners with Finder Keeps just
getting the verdict. It was then announced that Andy Martin on the third
horse had objected to the winner for using his whip on him & not the
horse. The stewards overruled the objection.
Favourite Miss Hoity Toity tried to make all but on the rain softened
going could only finish fourth.
The Ladies Open
Only five went to post with
longs odds on shot Killerine, ridden by Heather Irving, making all to win by
4 lengths from Polar King. Not as impressive as last Saturday at The Oakley,
but congratulations goes to Heather for her 50th victory, 49 in
points & 1 Hunter Chase.
The Mens Open
Stuart Morris gained
compensation after his disappointment in the first race with a hard earned
victory on Fisherman Jack, beating Jimmy Tarry on the favourite Grecian Star
by ¾ of a length. Andy Martin on Mr Smudge finished strongly to finish
third. Fisherman Jack had pulled up last time in a Towcester Hunter Chase
& prior to that had finished a remote 4th at Huntingdon.
Pagermar trained by Pam Sykes & Richard Burton having his first ride of
the day finished fourth of the eight runners.
Caroline Bailey sent out her only
runner of the meeting, Agua Ardente, and he duly obliged, but only holding
on by a neck from Teeton Fizz. Ridden by Nick Pearce, the stable is starting
to hit form with a double last Saturday. This was Agua Ardente’s second
victory of the season and having finished a neck second on his seasonal
debut to Out The Black at Barbury Castle, the form looks strong as Out The
Black has gone on to record two more impressive victories.
The late money came in for
Misty Ramble who was upsides with the winner when coming to grief on the
Maiden (Div 1)
maiden was more like a bumper with both fences in the home straight not
being jumped because of the low sun & a fence on the far side being
damaged, a total of 8 fences omitted. Victory went to Native Thunder ridden
by Sally Duckett who made all. Jumping the last some half a mile out, it was
all very reminiscent of the Cartmel run in (finished 3rd last
week at Brafield to the promising Born To Dream). Favourite Northall Lad was
being pushed along when coming down, he has now failed to complete on all
his three starts (looked well in the parade ring but at 6/4 was a very short
Maiden (Div 2)
As like the first division 13 went to post and victory went to Jimmy Tarry
on his Lah Di Dah Lad. Jimmy rode five winners at this meeting back in 99,
amazingly this 10 year old didn’t make his debut until the age of eight.
Runner up was Mountain Trooper. Well backed, the James Owen ridden 5 year
old was going well until a blunder 4 out, but still ran on well & looks
to have a bright future. This comes on the back of a promising 2nd
over 2m 4f over the same course.