THE eleven year old Classic Chance travelled from Wales to beat a decent 14-runner Mixed Open field at Chipley Park. Walter De Wodeland looked an assured winner when sent ahead on the bottom bend , but Jo Buck's mount faded from the second last, leaving the staying on Classic Chance to hold Ballydub in a neck and neck finish. Different Trades kept on to secure third place, but the market leaders Ask Again and Bishy Barnaby were well beaten. Classic Chance is jointly owned by his breeder Justin Bryant and Peter Mills, and was a winner with her first runner from the Cowbridge yard of Angela Ray. 22 year old Byron Moorcroft, who reverted to amateur status last autumn having ridden around 25 winners as a conditional, was the successful jockey.
It was a memorable day for 17 year old James Cowley who partnered Barney's Mate to victory on his first ride in the Novice Riders' race. The winner was chased home by Thisthatandtother (Harry Derham), with Nobody Tells Me a creditable third. Barney's Mate runs in the colours of the Axe Valley Racing Club, a small syndicate run by Richard Barber, who saddled both the winner and the runner up. The winning jockey, who is based with Paul Nicholls, looked very accomplished. "He is one of the best lads in the yard and we have already applied for a conditional licence for him", said the champion trainer.
A massive field of 19 had contested the Novice Riders' event, and the same total also faced the starter for the Restricted won by the improving seven-year-old Bleuvito. Will Biddick was partnering his fourth winner of the season as Bleuvito outstayed How Are You Going on the climb to the post. An Irish Maiden winner last May, Bleuvito was bought at Ascot in July by his Herefordshire based owner/trainer Stan Turner, who acts as clerk of the course at Garnons. He will perform the same duties when the meetings currently held there move to Aramstone next year.
Ian Chanin enjoyed a welcome change of luck when steering home Ned The Post in the Intermediate. "He jumped great, travelled great and stayed well", was the rider's jubilant post-race summary. "This is my first winner since I won an amateurs race on the flat at Windsor just before I broke my leg", he added. That injury was sustained 15 months ago whilst schooling for Polly Gundry and Ed Walker, causing him to miss the whole of last season. It was fitting that Ed Walker saddled this winner, who is owned by Roger Maggs.
Ed Barrett is another young jockey attached to the same yard, and rode the fourth winner of his career when Dollydo just outbattled Sarika in the first Maiden. This proved to be a real family success since the credit for training home-bred Dollydo goes to 14 year old Joe Ponting. "He does everything at home with the mare", said Joe's father Pete. "We are at Cromhall, near Bristol, and don't have an all weather gallop so we just go in the field". Young Joe is something of a pony racing star and has ridden winners at Newmarket and Goodwood.
Come What Augustus and Richard Woollacott won the Hunt race for the third successive year at the expense of another previous winner of the race Hollandia. "We may go for a hunter chase at Taunton next month" said the champion jockey who trains the prolific winning nine-year-old for Bill Westacott.
PPORA Club Novice Riders'
Maiden Division 1:
Maiden Division 2: