There was a double on the card for Katy Price, one of the smaller trainers in Point to Pointing who had mucked out, washed and plaited both horses then driven the trailer to the Vine & Craven Hunt meeting at Barbury Racecourse. The first win came in the Ramsbury Brewery Open Maiden Race where Minellacelebration, a five year old gelding by King's Theatre and owned by Nick Elliott, gave a fine performance leading much of the way to win from Swingbridge and Flicka's Witness.
Champagne Benefit, a horse also owned by Nick Elliott, this time in partnership with Lord Lipsey gave Katy her second win in the Subaru Restricted Race. The six year old gelding by Beneficial raced prominently throughout under James Nixon, who had already won on Katy's previous runner. He took the lead with two to jump, holding on from the 5/4 favourite Soixante Six and Bletchley Castle, all three of whom now qualify for the Subaru Restricted Final at Stratford in May. "We are thrilled with today's result" exclaimed Katy who is sponsored by Cadley Equestrian. "To have a double from two runners at such a prestigious meeting with such big fields is a great result for us; we are over the moon".
Jockey Stan Sheppard and Prospect Wells were sent off the 11/10 favourites for trainer Rose Loxton in the Fuller's Brewery PPORA Club Members Novice Riders Race. Owned by Messrs Fogg, Gane & Nicholls the ten year old gelding, making a return to the track after leg problems, was given a patient ride in mid division before moving smoothly through the field to lead at the last, ahead of Be Definite and local runner Pateese.
The Willie Bryan trained Lotus Pond got the better of Cyrius Moriviere in the Barbury International Horse Trials Open Maiden Race. The pair dominated for much of the race until the second last when Lotus Pond, partnered by Willie's son Peter and owned by Willie and his father-in-law, David Smith, came back to take the lead from Cyrius Moriviere ahead of Anglingforcharlie.
The loudest cheer, however, was saved for the Penwood Racing Club's local hero, the 15 year old That's Rhythm in the Aga Mixed Open Race, partnered by his regular jockey Page Fuller; particularly as this was Page's first Mixed Open. Held up for most of the race the well backed 11/10 favourite made steady progress before skipping away from Certain Flight and Ice Cool Benny. "That's Rhythm did it again and obviously thoroughly enjoyed himself" said his delighted trainer Charlotte Fuller.
The Hunt Members Walkover gave Charlotte and Page a double; the second of the day. Charlotte advised "Niki Royal, who is owned by the Jamie Snowden Racing Club, was mightily unimpressed that she had no one to run against, especially as it was such a strong race last year". She added "I was happy with our other two entries, Overburn, despite being pulled up in the Maiden and Carrigkerry placed 4th in the Restricted, but it's been rather a busy day with four runners!"
The next Sandhurst area meeting will be the Hampshire Hunt Point to Point Races on Sunday 15th March at Hackwood Park.