Vine & Cravents
A bank Holiday crowd approaching 4,000 enjoyed competitive racing at Hackwood Park on Monday.
Twenty year old student Claire Douglas maintained her lead at the head of the National Novice Lady Riders list with a narrow victory in the Caviste PPORA Club race on Presenting Express.
The race was not without incident as Claire was cautioned by the stewards for failing to ride out her horse approaching the finish, and the rider of the half length second, Danny Hisketts, was fined £150 for dropping his hands on Mnason on the run-in from the last fence.
The stewards clearly took the view that the latter should, and could, have won the race had he been ridden out. Nevertheless – it was harsh judgement on a young lad having his first race ride.
Claire Douglas was riding her sixth winner of the season and Presenting Express’s trainer Jenny Gordon is now clear on the leaderboard for the Hampshire courses trainer’s championship.
Sarah West, with 33 winners to her credit, is far from a novice. She duly steered her father’s odd-on eleven year old Ask Again to a comfortable win in the J Passey Centenary Open race. Sarah is secretary to leading NH trainer Paul Nichols – ‘It was a rush to get here from Somerset as I had to declare all Paul’s Grand National and Aintree horses before I left the office,’ said the rider. ‘I train Ask Again in my lunch hour having ridden out first lot for Paul in the morning’, she said, ‘and this is the tenth winner I have ridden on him.’
Ben Bentley, 19, who works for trainer Henrietta Knight, rode the second winner of his career on Brigadier du Bois in the Fontwell Park sponsored Novice Riders race and 17 year old Millfield schoolboy, Freddie Tett, a veteran of pony racing at Hackwood, rode his first winner over fences at his second attempt on Noadibou in the Fullers Brewery Hackwood Park Club race.
Fontwell Park Premier Grandstand – Novice Riders
J Passey Centenary Mixed Open
Harwoods Landrover Maiden
Caviste PPORA Club
Berry Bros. & Rudd Maiden
Fullers Brewery Hackwood Park Club