Will Biddick equalled Oliver and Thomas Greenall's British record of 56 winners in a season at Cothelstone. The champion-elect made all the running aboard Kostaquarta in the opening Confined before holding off Josh Newman's challenge aboard Glenwood Present, who had jumped the last virtually upsides.
Josh gained compensation by landing his first-ever double, although Gunner Be Quick's Men's Open walkover took some of the gloss off the achievement. Josh initiated his brace aboard Sea Bear, who led throughout the Restricted. "He's been suited by making his own running and has got into a fluent galloping and jumping routine," said Josh's aunt, Chloe Newman, who trains Sea Bear for Thorncombe owners Robert and Janet Gibbs. "He could be the sort to make a hunter chaser next season."
Alottamo raced a distance clear for most of the 2m-4f Maiden to provide a first win for owner Nick Jenkins, trainer Scarlett Major and 19-year-old jockey Richard Patrick, who works for Pembrokeshire licensed trainer Peter Bowen. "I worked for [Bridgend owner-trainer] David Brace last season and he kindly sold Alottamo to me privately," explained Scarlett, who rides out for Merthyr Mawr point-to-point trainer Jonathan Tudor. "They've called me 'Charlotte' in the racecard, but I don't mind. In fact, I took it as a good omen following all the recent publicity about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby, Princess Charlotte."
Tim and Irene Sage's Presentandcorrect relished the fast surface to take the Novice Riders' race under Laura Scott. "I'm pleased that this moves him off the 13-career win mark and proud that he's raced for 10 consecutive seasons," said Tim, who booked Laura on the advice of Presentandcorrect's regular rider, Mark Wall.
Florence Mary earned the evening's biggest cheer by taking the Ladies Open for Weston & Banwell point-to-point secretary, Jeff Fear. A second career success for 17-year-old Kings of Wessex Academy, Cheddar, student, Lucy Mager, who is in the middle of her A/S Level examinations, Florence Mary asserted over Amber River in the straight after their sole rival, Nishay, had swerved and ejected Emma Moseley at the fourth.
Gleann Ri shrugged off a catalogue of misfortunes to open his account in the 3-mile Maiden. "He suffered a saddle puncture which necessitated a 12-week absence last season, was kicked at the start at Larkhill, knocked over at the Beaufort and slipped up at the Seavington, so I think he deserved this," smiled Mary Tory, who trains Gleann Ri for Libby Legg – celebrating her first success as an owner – and jockey Chloe Swaffield's father, Tim Swaffield.
The three pony races were won by Elena Nikou, 12, aboard Dutchess (138cms Div I), Lewis McDonald, 12, riding Helsington Vanetta (138cms Div II) and Ben Godfrey, 15 on Calypso (148cms).
Confined (5 ran)
1. Kostaquarta (IRE) (W Biddick, 10-11F); 2. Glenwood Present (IRE) (J Newman, 7-2); 3. Merry Terry (M Legg, 12-1). 6min 11s. 1l, 20l. (Jack Barber)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f (5 ran)
1. Alottamo (IRE) (R Patrick, 6-1); 2. High Priority (J Newman, 1-2F); 3. Seero (M Legg, 6-1). 12l, dist. 5min 42s. (Scarlett Major)
CA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) 7yo&up (10 ran)
1. Presentandcorrect (IRE) (Miss L Scott, 5-4F); 2. Vertige Dore (FR) (Miss E Pickard, 16-1); 3. Jopero (Miss H Welch, 20-1). 6min 12s. 6l, 3l. (Tim Sage)
Restricted (5 ran)
1. Sea Bear (IRE) (J Newman, 4-5F); 2. Wyndcrest (IRE) (G Hiscock, 7-2); 3. Millenary Magic (IRE) (M Legg, 12-1). 6min 09s. 6l, 20l. (Chloe Newman)
Mens Open (1 ran)
Gunner Be Quick (J Newman); walked over. (Monica Tory)
Ladies Open (3 ran)
1. Florence Mary (Miss L Mager, evens); 2. Amber River (Miss T Pook, 6-1); only two finished. 6min 35s. 2½l. (Emma Mellor)
Open Maiden (2 ran)
1. Gleann Ri (IRE) (Miss C Swaffield, 1-3F); 2. Well Nigh (IRE) (D Noonan, 2-1). 7min 01s. Dist. (Mary Tory)