The Major started the day with a fine win on fresh ground as overnight the fences had been moved and yesterdays false running rail was removed giving about 10 yards of fresh ground for horses at the second day of this meeting. The first race was the Dodson and Horrell Club Members Novice race Division Two which was ran at a good clip with horses not finishing from the strong pace. The Major seemed to have his enthusiasm re-kindled by P2P as the ex Mary Reveley and John Cornwall gelding had been on decline of late under NH rules but bounded into the lead three out to win comfortably. The margin of victory probably would of been to a further but for The Major’s rider losing one of his stirrups up the straight which meant the jockey had a hairy time coming to the last! The trend of this race was that the front-runners were finishing and the old stayers weren’t plugging on.
Sonnet Supreme was an impressive winner of the Mares Maiden under Dominic Alers Hankey and this hot favourite galloped the possibly modest field into the ground. Having fallen on her only previous run in 2004, this mare looks open to improvement and will do well in mares only events. Others to note from this race are Suzie Cream Cheese trained by Jelly O'Brien (Nee Nolan) and ridden by D England. This well-bred grey mare ran well for her debut keeping up with the pace until tiring and falling two out when not holding a winning chance and this well formed mare should be capable of winning a Mares only Maiden this season for connections.
Cassia Green won Division two of the Dodson and Horrell Novice riders race under a pillar to post victory under David Greenway. Every fence was a winning one for the combination as they set a fast pace and jumped from fence to fence. Norski Lad was the main danger early in the second circuit and looked like at any point they could pick up the leader but the result was made certain when the grey kicked on again after two out. Norski Lad seemed to be travelling well but never really had the heart to go past the great, will he be winning again? Cassia Green, the "Dessie" look-alike, was lively and on his toes in the paddock before and after the race and his fitness was a credit to his trainer Paul Morris as he looked like he could happily compete in another race on the card!. Mind the Gate was a dissapointing runner for Mark Rimell, who had 24 hours previously trained the winner of the Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton (Crossbow Creek) and probably because of this Mind The Gate was very well supported but could never get within twenty lengths of the lead at any time!
Indeed to Goodness (Fiona Wilson) led the field a merry dance in the competitive looking Ladies open which included Sailors Folly (FAV), Sir D’Orton (2nd FAV) and Harvis (Rilly Goschen), who was an ex-Venetia Williams and Toby Balding performer who seemed to not have a suitable trip under rules but could be rekindled by pointing. Polly fell from Sailors Folly at the second fence where the quirky grey literally didn’t take off and ploughed through the fence and luckily they both live to fight another day. At this point Indeed to Goodness took up the running and the lead was never taken off the Kim Smyly runner. Indeed to goodness carried on galloping and won very cosily by a wide margin. Belinda Keighley seemed to stop riding out her horse Prince Dundee and as pipped on the post for second by the fast finishing Fou Doux, who can capitalise this season in modest races. Horses in behind the winner such as the classy Harvis and Prince Dundee can come on for their seasonal reappearance and should win races this term. Sir D'Orton on the other hand may be one to be wary of after the Charlotte Tizzard gelding was never really in the race before the tired horse refused at the last. Indeed To Goodness was well ridden by Fiona Wilson (Polly Gundry did have the choice to ride it!) and afterwards there were rumours of the Foxhunters for this impressive winner. I can only guess its Aintree as Cheltenham may be a bit ambitious for this first time pointer who had previously been a capable performer under rules with Seamus Mullins.
Talioso, ridden and trained by Sue Sharratt, won the first division of the older horses maiden in good style under a confident and powerful Sue Sharratt ride and was never out of the first three all the way around. This ex Irish Pointer showed good form when finishing second in 2003, missed 2004, but looked a fresh and upcoming horse for the 2005 season. The winner kicked on four out with a huge leap and gained further lengths at his fences to win as he liked with the favourite Jole Joker finishing second after looking a threat down the back straight. The Midlands based stable made the visit to Barbury Castle a successful one with a promising horse for the future who seems capable of stepping up in grade.
The most emphatic victory of the day was in the last the Second Division of the Horses and Geldings maiden which was won by Kyalami, confidently ridden by Nick Pearce. After the first circuit of the track the well-supported Arctic Cherry was in the lead about fifteen lengths ahead of his pursuers including Kyalami. Early in the second circuit the well-bred french gelding easily picked up Arctic Cherry and down the far side the race was sealed with Kyalami surging further clear with every stride leaving the weakening Arctic Cherry behind (pulled up) and this was ultimately dissapointing for his supporters. Kyalami jumped well and showed his fences respect, which wasn’t the case last season with two falls from four runs. He’s is an improving horse and will be worth following over the following weeks for the powerful stable of R Kelvin-Hughes and is definitely one for your notebooks!
11.30 The Major, 12.05 Sonnet Supreme (FAV), 12.40 Cassia Green, 1.15 Indeed To Goodness, 1.50 Talioso, 2.25 Kyalami (FAV)
Order of the day:
Front runners and wide margin wins!
Furthest winner of the day:
Best Ride: The Major (rider finished with one iron