Berks & Bucks Draghounds
Heavy rain fell throughout the afternoon resulting in a rather sparse crowd for the final fixture of the South Midlands Area and the last of the four meetings at picturesque Kingston Blount. The tree lined Chiltern Hills were covered in mist and low cloud and even the Red Kite’s had more sense and stayed out of the rain.
The going was described as good but rapidly changed to good to soft after the first race.
In the race itself Caber led on the first circuit with Lord Philip putting in some rather slow jumps but the favourite gradually warmed to his task as the race progressed, taking the lead at the tenth. As they came down the knoll for the second time it looked all over as Lord Philip strode some five lengths clear and putting in some fine jumps down the far side. However all credit to Jessie Lodge she never gave up on Caber and rallied at the final fence only going down by half a length at the line.
This was only Lord Philip’s eighth run with his only previous win being four years ago in a Larkhill Maiden. As for Caber, all three of his wins also came at Larkhill on a sounder surface when trained by Sally Alner but judging by the way he fought back here, the seven year old probably hasn’t stopped winning yet.
1. Lord Philip:, (1/4 fav, touched 1/5) Godfrey Maundrell (2l down first circuit, took lead 10th, good jumps down back straight, all out)
2. Caber ( 5/2) Jessie Lodge (stayed on strongly after last)
Open Maiden over 2m 5f for four to seven year olds
The next bit of drama came at the open ditch, the third in this short maiden. Always A Brownie crashed through the wing giving James Ridley a nasty looking fall (he was ok though and rode in a later race) and at the same fence Mayfair Tambourine refused for Jack O’Rourke.
This led the way for Keesiluv and Iris’s Dream to lead on the first circuit but both of them were constantly hampered by one of the loose horses.
The two market leaders, Me Julie and Mad Professor were held up but both gradually got into the race and were in the lead as they came down the knoll for the final time, however there was drama at the next fence as both fell independently of each other handing the lead back to Iris’s Dream/Jonathon Jarrett and Young Rocky/James Owen. The jockey on Mad Professor, James Tudor quickly was back on his feet, remounting and remarkably managed to regain the lead three out as Iris’s Dream virtually stopped to a walk and clambered over the third last. Mad Professor looked all over the winner at the last but virtually refused with James Tudor just about getting him over the fence, this handed the race to Young Rocky to win by three lengths. The winner was trained by Suffolk trainer Joe Turner.
The drama was still not over as the other faller Me Julie was remounted to take third place past the tired Iris’s Dream.
1. Young Rocky (4/1 op 3’s) James Owen (left 2nd 5 out, joined by rmntd horse 3 out, left clear at last)
2. Mad Professor (5/2) James Tudor (small, held up, took lead and going well when fell 5 out,remtd to regain lead 3 out, 2 lengths clear when clambered over last)
3. Me Julie (2/1 Fav) Mark Wall (2 handlers, 2nd when fell 5 out, remntd to take third)
4. Iris’s Dream (5/2,touched 2’s) Jonathon Jarrett (ap, 3rd when left clear 5 out, grad wknd, finished tired)
p. Keesiluv (12/1) David Bass (led till grad wknd,pu 9th)
p. Archietype (12/1) Matthew Smith (lw, mid div,pu 3 out)
Ro Always A Brownie (20/1 op 10’s) James Ridley (crashed through wing 3rd)
r. Mayfair Tambourine (16/1)Jack O’Rourke (ref 3rd)
1. Razer Blade (9/4) Ryan Mahon (2 handlers,oht, mid div,good hdwy to join ldr at last,ro well)
2. Chaucers Miller (7/4 fav,op 2’s) David Turner ( hdwy to join ldrs on inside, stayed on well)
3. Meggies Lad (4/1,op 5/2) Richard Mason (made all, joined at last, good effort, can win again)
4. Brown Flyer (25/1) Nick Oliver (alwys bhnd)
5. Running Times (33/1) David Bass (4th 2nd circuit, grad wknd)
Su Tanager (4/1 from 5’s) James Tudor (going well in 2nd when slipped up flat coming down Knoll
Pu Les The Lizard (14/1) Henry Kinchen (mstke 6th pu 11th)
Pu Dunmanus Bay (14/1) Dickie Barrett (mid div,grad wnd,pu 3 out)
Barrels Pal was fourth for Emily Harbour Also ran Lah Di Dah Lad/Rosie Goodwin, Cedar Chief/Hannah Wintle, The Wiley Kalmuck/Zoe Turner, Dramatic Quest/Michelle Woods, Wings Of Hope/Kim Pullen ( ur 4th)
The two market leaders were most disappointing. Lucent from Alan Hill’s local yard, a winner here on his last visit over 2m5f was a well backed favourite being backed in the ring from 6/4 to 5/4, he never really got competitive and was pulled up three out, the same could be said for Mr Cee who also pulled up, maybe that just didn’t like the rain softened going. Also Ran (all pulled up) Allfriends/Guiseppe Gigantesco, virtually to after 3rd fence and jumped a fence behind thereafter, Carvilla/Olivia Maylam, La Ganadora/Dickie Barrett, Moss Mor/Henry Kinchin.
Runner up was Sorbiediditmyway for Jamie Goss who tried to make all and put in some great jumps, Odds on favourite was Ten Pressed Men for Adrian Wintle, held up he could only run on at one pace. Also Ran, Classey Lady/Rosie Goodwin, pu 3 out, It Might Bounce/G.Tawell, to 3 out, pu, Teresa Tank/Henry Kinchen, fell 7th, Troule Loves Me/James Ridley pu 13th
There was no single occupancy today at Kingston Blount.
Despite asking at the entrance, it was £20 per car, unless you wanted to pay £12 to park alongside the horseboxes in an adjacent field with no views of the course.
I was very interested in Alan Hill’s letter in last weeks “Weekender” in reply to a disgruntled racegoer. He stated that “we have been warned that at other courses people have been dropped off the course to avoid paying” although at Kingston Blount there is a charge of £5 for pedestrians anyway. The instructions from the National PPSA are clear, a discount should be offered without question. The committee agreed that for all 2007 meetings a discount must be given for single occupants.
The prestigious Stratford-on-Avon meeting charged £14 into Tatts to see top class Hunter Chase action(even cheaper if you booked in advance). Having received no discount either at the Barbury Castle meeting, it is becoming expensive to follow racing between the flags. The attendances have tended to be down this season and I wonder whether the high admission prices have anything to do with it. There now appears to be better value for money for racing under rules. I have found Al’s spreadsheet detailing the admission prices very useful indeed and would like to thank her for her efforts, it would be good to see it in use again next season.