SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2004
by Peter Mansell
Photos by Graham Fisher
Last years leading rider
Richard Burton and Stuart Morris, one of his main challengers for the 2004
Title both scored doubles during Saturdays Harkaway Club fixture at
Chaddesley Corbett. Julian Pritchard’s hopes of taking the title were
dented when the Ledbury rider suffered a suspected broken collar bone after
Martin Ossie had fallen in Division II of the Maiden.
Jemaro provided Burton with the first leg of his double after that horse had scored an easy win in the Mens Open. This combination drew clear of their rivals on the climb out of the back straight and always had the race in safe keeping from that point. Teme Willow looked destined for the runners up spot before losing that position to the fast finishing Rusty Fellow on the run in.
Cedric Brook’s Jackson provided Burton with his second win of the afternoon in Division I of the younger Maiden. The Andrew Dalton trained 7-year-old had proved a disappointment under Rules for previous trainers Venetia Williams and Andrews wife Heather, but Jackson was given a confident ride and had this race won turning for home and a Restricted is certainly within his capabilities.
Court Adjourn (Division II of the 5, 6 & 7 year-old Maiden) and Tender Tangle (Division II of the 8-year-old and upward Maiden) provided Stuart Morris with his two winners. Court Adjourn and Martin Ossie were inseparable as they raced downhill into the home straight but the latter was just beginning to struggle coming to the last and the issue was put beyond doubt when the Dick Baimbridge trained gelding fell leaving Sir Michael Connells gelding to coast home to victory while Pritchard was left contemplating a spell on the sidelines. Tender Trap’s jumping was far from fluent in the concluding Maiden, but he was able to maintain a relentless gallop and came home 20 lengths clear of Craiova Comet.
Fate had conspired against Pritchard in the Members because William Lionheart galloped well clear of his rivals and jumped the penultimate perfectly only to collapse in a heap about 20 yards after the fence. Their demise left The Camdonian to see off the challenge of Dare and provide Ed Walker with his first win of the season.
Polly Gundry’s mount Sailors Folly was a warm favourite for the Ladies but the West Country challenger fell at the second, and with long time leader Ghutah weakening dramatically from the 15th this left Pacon to score an easy win under Hannah Kinsey.
There was compensation for Gundry later in the afternoon when she partnered Clive Bennett’s Fertile Valley to victory in the Intermediate. A small but select field faced the starter for this race but only Cider Man was able to match strides with the favourite during the final half mile and Fertile Valley had to pull out all the stops to maintain his unbeaten record for the season.