Pendle Forest & Craven
The Pendle Forest and Craven held their meeting at Heslaker near Skipton this weekend and as the season draws to a close jockeys, owners and trainers will all be fighting it out to win their respective championships.
Mary Sowersby was the trainer in form on the day with a double, but the most impressive feet came in the Mens Open, where she saddled the first three home, something husband Mike Sowersby accomplished over 20 years ago. Ask Bobby was always at the head of the field and stayed on well to beat the revitalised Snizort who has responded well to several jockey changes. Major Shark ran a much better race than his recent form to take third. The hot favourite Pristine Condition, unseated at the first.
The next part of the Sowersby double came in the Novice Riders Race and saw Charlotte Cundall get an excellent run out of her fathers mare Smart Thinker. Charlotte and her mount made good headway four out and leading over the second last they stayed on extra well to beat Jack Greenall who was always prominent aboard No Complaint, however had little response to Charlottes driving finish and looks a jockey going places. O’gara was always driven along by Harriet Bethell, but this out and out stayer kept on for third and should be able to find a Restricted.
Two brothers John and Chris Dawson continued their battle for the jockey’s title, with John now drawing level and the pair tied for first place. John notched another winner on the boards in the Restricted final, with the useful looking The Poor Man trained by Sarah Dent and owned by the Mordon Enough Partnership. The Poor Man was always travelling well as he took up the lead four from home and with the race in the bag at the last he stayed on well to win a shade cosily. Caroline Bleakely, who is part owner of the winner, almost sold him as a hunter, however decided to run him to see how good he was and has now turned into a revelation as his form figures in Ireland were woefully disappointing. Lem Putt looks an exciting horse as well back in second with Mr Gossip who was never really in the race back in third.
Division 2 of the Open Maiden saw Mark Walford steer the useful looking Right Enough home to win on only his third racecourse appearance. Right Enough was always well in rear but made good progress on the final circuit, Walford and his mount went to the lead at the last and stayed on well to win nicely. The horse was owned by David Jones who was leased the horse by Tim Walford after he won a competition at Tims open day. Tim Walford bought the horse along with several others as a 2yo unbroken, out of a field and this exciting five year old is now expected to race under rules next season. Gunner Snow continues to improve and fought all the way to the last but only managed second, whilst Yerwot showed plenty of promise in third.
The Confined race saw an excellent ride by Miles Seston to win aboard Noble Persian. The pair set a furious pace from flag fall, however favourite backers began to panic as Noble Persian made a bad mistake at the last which allowed Sestons partner Joanna Mason and her mount Wantage Road to come with a strong late challenge, however missed out by a head. Paul Frank and Fox Point were back in third.
The Ladies Open saw an impressive display from Narcisco who has bounced right back to form recently and went on to justify his short odds. Held up in rear, Jacqueline Coward lead at the last and sprinted clear to win emphatically. Optimistic Harry stayed on well for second along with promising young rider Samantha Drake and Baltrasna who looked a shade too keen, however ran a much improved race back in third.
Samantha Drake went one better in the Members race where she rode Queen Of Diamonds, who is now looking a good investment after been purchased for only 1600 at Doncaster May sales last year. The pair were never headed and came home to win easily, with General Grey plodding on for second and Wherethat who looked a difficult ride for Jo Foster back in third.
Members Queens Of Diamonds Miss Sam Drake 4-5FAV