Taunton Vale Harriers
Rupert Tory, 32, achieved an ambition by riding his 10th career winner when Gunner Be Quick took Easter Monday's Taunton Vale Harriers Men's Open. Gunner Be Quick, owned and trained by Rupert's parents, Norman and Monica Tory, led three out and sealed victory with a superb jump at the last. "I started with Mum's brother, Robert Alner, and really got the bug when I galloped alongside Cool Dawn just before he won the Cheltenham Gold Cup", said Rupert. "That was a dream come true and so was Flyers Nap winning twice at the Cheltenham Festival for my grandparents, Jim and Anne Tory. I'm in my 10th season now, and riding 10 winners is just as big a milestone to me".
Micheal Nolan took his seasonal tally to 11 and went clear in the National Novices table with a double – his first – for Bampton trainer Cherry Winzer. Three Half Crowns benefitted from first-time cheekpieces and the good-to-firm surface to lead over the last three fences in the Restricted.
Tomerose made all in the Older Horse Maiden, although sole rival Shield Of Zeus (Emma Pugsley) closed to within ¾ length at the line. "David bought the horse from John Carr in Ireland and named him after his parents, Tommy and Rose", said Sue McAllister, partner of the winning owner, Bideford property developer David Hooper.
Ian Chanin also reached the 11-winner mark on Robin Pike's Rockwithacaveman, who finally got the better of Busy Buzzard (Michael Heard) at the last in the Confined. "He's very genuine, always jumps well, and when I asked him for a big one at the last, he came up for me", said Ian.
Own Line is Wincanton bound after his easy Ladies' Open success under Cranmore trainer-rider Sarah Gould. "Sarah wants to go for the Wessex Area Champion Hunter Chase on 11 May and hopefully the course and fences will suit him", said owner John Gould, Sarah's father.
Glacial Call, jumping superbly under Jamie Thomas, landed the opening Hunt race for owners Chris and Jane Brake. "She needs competition as she never does more than asked, but her jumping has always kept her in her races", said Jimmy Frost, husband of winning trainer, Nikki.
Gillingham farrier Tigga Barnes, 40, took the Young Horse Maiden on Wilde Thing for West Bagborough owner-trainer Alison Sherwin. Wilde Thing went clear three out and already had the race in safe keeping when nearest rival Little Moor refused and unseated Robert Hawker at the last.
Milly (Hattie Heal) was a comfortable winner of the 138cm pony race and Calypso (Harry Cobden) just got the better of Qwertyuiop (Vicky Merriman) after a tremendous duel up the straight in the 148cm contest.