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Sunday 17th April 2005
by Ian Marshall
photos by Arthur Thompson & Grace Beresford

Heavy rain on Friday put this meeting in severe doubt, but a superhuman effort from the organisers to remove thousands of gallons of water from the course allowed the fixture to pass a morning inspection. Not surprisingly, the going was heavy, which meant that many horses stayed away. The course has been altered somewhat from two years ago (the 2004 fixture was abandoned due to waterlogging), with there now being six fences per circuit, as opposed to seven previously. The start has also been moved in order for 19 fences to still be jumped in a race, while the distance is now nearly three and a quarter miles, instead of around 2m7f.

The going is good to soggy!
by Arthur Thompson

Ron Barry and Clerk of the Course John Mackley
by Arthur Thompson

Five went to post for the Hunt Members, which was for horses that hadn’t won a chase, hurdle, bumper or point to point. Stepastray drifted alarmingly in the betting from 4-6 to 7-4 in places, but apart from clouting the last, the grey gave his supporters little cause for concern in scoring well. Given a typically patient ride by Clive Mulhall, Stepastray took up the running rounding the home turn and from this point didn’t look in any real danger. He had actually won on the flat in his younger days and had been highly tried, campaigned in opens this term. The Viking and Nigel Tutty were second, with the rider performing a minor miracle to remain in the plate after some sloppy jumps. Bracken Run finished third under John Willey. He charted a wide course in search of better ground and this wasn’t too bad a display. Stand Up Fred did at least get round in fourth for Lee Bates. Oaklands Ted was supported in the ring, but is exceptionally inconsistent.

The Viking (Nigel Tutty) and Bracken Run (John Willey)
by Arthur Thompson

The winner, Stepastray (Clive Mulhall)
by Arthur Thompson

Stepastray and Clive Mulhall cross the finish line to take the Hunt Members from The Viking
by Grace Beresford (

There was a field of 12 for the Restricted that looked to be going the way of Queenies Girl when Paul Frank’s mount went clear after the penultimate obstacle. However, the mare was out on her feet when she clambered over the last and Cmewin swooped to conquer on the run-in to triumph by 15 lengths. Cmewin was held up well off the pace, but ran on strongly in the closing stages. He landed a maiden at Cottenham in January before coming second in a restricted at the same venue later in the month. Reunited with Mark Walford at Hornby Castle last week, Cmewin put in a far more encouraging performance that day and the jockey showed what a superb judge of pace he is this afternoon. Queenies Girl has shown more than enough to pick up a restricted. Third-placed Snizort with Freya Hartley on board was backed as if defeat was out of the question. He didn’t get as far behind as often he has, but as a result had less left in the tank at the death. Lord Scroop (Michael Morley) was fourth. Lord Scroop’s best form has been when there has been plenty of give underfoot and things aren’t happening quite as quickly. Milliners Guide shaped reasonably having got tired after making the running.

Don Rio (Michael Morley)
by Arthur Thompson

Queenies Girl blunders her chance away at the last to be caught by Cmewin on the run in in the Restricted race
by Grace Beresford (

Queenies Girl almost unseats Paul Frank at the last
by Arthur Thompson

Cmewin and Mark Walford clear the last to catch a tired Queenies Girl
by Grace Beresford (

Cmewin and Mark Walford return
by Grace Beresford (

Six runners turned out for the Intermediate and Duchess Account, although oddly friendless in the market, completed her third victory of the year under Emma Brader. The eight-year-old has a fine strike rate of four wins from nine runs. To make the race more interesting, she put in her customary three or four slow jumps before halfway, then yet again found overdrive when it mattered at the climax. The Graduate in second was two lengths down at the line for Simon Walker on ground that was far from ideal. He didn’t fail through a lack of fight. These two were the only finishers. Journey prefers a short track and was extremely tired when pulled up in the home straight. The well-supported All For Jake was pulled up immediately after a bad mistake with a lap to race. The time was the quickest of the day.

Duchess Account (Emma Brader)
by Arthur Thompson

Duchess Account following victory in the Intermediate
by Grace Beresford (

Clive Mulhall made it a double on the day, guiding Scotmail Lad to success in the seven-runner Mens Open. Despite being a bit keen, Scotmail Lad readily held Maitre De Musique and Michael Tate at bay after the last. Scotmail Lad showed that this sort of trip is certainly not beyond him. Maitre De Musique is game as they come and is rarely a let down. Whitley Grange Boy claimed third for Philip Kinsella. Following a promising comeback at Witton Castle, he had been disappointing since, although a broken blood vessel was a valid excuse at Mordon last time. Busted Flat and David Thomas took fourth. Astral Prince might not have stayed as he was still bang there entering the home straight.

Maitre De Musique (Michael Tate) and Who Dares Wins (Lee Bates)
by Arthur Thompson

Scotmail Lad (Clive Mulhall)
by Arthur Thompson

Scotmail Lad and Clive Mulhall jump the last to take the Mens Open
by Grace Beresford (

Scotmail Lad returns to the winners enclosure
by Grace Beresford (

The Ladies Open attracted only three competitors and the long odds-on favourite Mister Bromley obliged for Serena Brotherton to collect in his first open. It was a fourth victory of 2005 for Mister Bromley, his sole defeat coming at the hands of the much vaunted Auntie Kathleen at Charm Park. The pilot now has the enviable choice of three useful animals in ladies contests. Annabelle Armitage set the pace on Over The Beck and they were a distant second. However, Londolozi Lad (Tina Jackson) was as close as two or three lengths behind Mister Bromley and still had a slight squeak when he toppled over at the final fence. The six-year-old was remounted to be third. Londolozi Lad has an abysmal completion rate, but if he can get his act together, has the ability to make his presence felt.

Mister Bromley clears the open ditch in the Ladies Open
by Grace Beresford (

Mister Bromley storms clear of the last to take the Ladies Open, whilst Londolozi Lad falls whilst in second and Over the Beck jumps the last to full the runners up spot
by Grace Beresford (

Mister Bromley and Serena Brotherton, winners of the Ladies Open
by Grace Beresford (

Snap! Jon Hodd zooms into the action
by Arthur Thompson

The spoils headed north in the Older Horse Maiden, with Broomley Max disposing of seven rivals under Andrew Richardson. This was more to Broomley Max’s liking, having been third on his debut in a Corbridge confined, then second in a Dalston restricted. He has already shown enough to be a force in restricteds. There was a length to runner-up The Fear Of God (David Thomas). He has had his problems in the past, but if staying healthy, seems a must to take a maiden. Dracaena (Nigel Tutty) was far from disgraced in third and also appears capable. Lee Bates got Bally Leader into fourth and this was the best yet from the Supreme Leader gelding.

Winners of the 8yo+ maiden Broomley Max and Andrew Richardson take a look at the 1st fence accompanied
by Supreme Optimist
by Grace Beresford (

There were just four horses in the Younger Horse Maiden and Mark Walford bagged a double on Polyarnoe Bay. The youngster had been placed on all three starts earlier in the season so this was due reward for her efforts. The lone other finisher was Knight Crossing (Trevor Glass) in second. Whorl Hill stopped to virtually a walk leaving the back straight. Crake Way never looked happy and didn’t jump with any zest. A sound surface might be a necessity as his Market Rasen third on such in January was very decent form.


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