Fixture congestion caused by two successive bank holiday weekends, coupled with difficult ground conditions in the dry spell led to a distinct lack of runners.
Josh Guerriero and Micheal Nolan were the jockeys to follow at Vauterhill, winning five of the six races between them. Guerriero's first success came when The Patriarch Game walked over for the Hunt race. The nine-year-old turned out again to beat Henri Prends Garde and Mistified in the Confined, making all the running and drawing clear of his opponents to score by 20 lengths.A tough gelding, the dual winner is trained by Jill Dennis at Bude for a large group of owners called The Swallowtail Partners, headed by Stevenstone point-to-point secretary Jane Wickett.
Guerriero's other winner was Prince de Bersy who relished the firm ground to beat odds-on favourite Deimne and Hi Tech Man in the Mixed Open. Prince de Bersy is trained by Ashley Farrant for his joint owners Ruth Burrows and Ben Robarts. Ben normally rides the eight-year-old but is currently sidelined with an injured shoulder. Farrant said of his winner, "he had to be box rested for a month after damaging his coronet band in February and it is always difficult to get the weight off him."
Micheal Nolan is the leading novice rider in the country, and his double took him to the 13-winner mark for the season. He partnered Midnight Marine to win the Restricted for joint owners Ray Burrow and Carol Norman, who purchased the Midnight Legend gelding last August. The young Irish jockey, who joined Philip Hobbs six months ago with three victories to his credit in his native country, followed up when Living The Dream took advantage of some wayward jumping from his sole opponent Party Pictures in the Intermediate.
Sweet or Chips fought off the challenge of Finisklintown and Lady Killer Queen to win the Open Maiden under Merv Woodward. The ten-year-old is trained at Wheddon Cross by Patrick Picton-Warlow for his mother Rosabelle. "It is her first ever winner. He has had a few problems and must have fast going," remarked the trainer.