Will Biddick extended his record seasonal tally to 64 with a Cothelstone treble on Sunday. Bathwick Scanno (Hunt race), A Real Cliché (3-mile Maiden) and Kostaquarta (Mixed Open) provided the champion-elect's three successes.
The former made all in his now customary style for a seven length win. "He's my hunting pet and I'm so pleased to have won the race," beamed delighted local trainer, Teresa Clark.
The well-hunted A Real Cliche – the eight-year-old was out for 40 days last season – cruised home by a distance to provide a popular success for his owner-trainer, West Somerset Vale master, Mike Weir. The eight-year-old, who had returned from a three year absence to finish third at Flete Park, led at the third last from pacesetter Kilcolman Wizard, who jumped right for much of the contest. "I bought him for £720 at Ascot in July 2013, but he missed last season after sustaining an overreach on the final day of the hunting season, hence the layoff," said Mike.
Kostaquarta added a Mixed Open race victory to his CV with another bold front-running display. The eight-year-old goes into summer quarters after winning three of his last four races. The win took trainer Jack Barber onto the 48-winner mark, seven behind his grandfather Richard's best-ever score.
Hennock Primary School head teacher Nicky Dunford opened her account – with her first horse – when the Emma Oliver-trained Ernest Speak was left clear by Amber River's final fence fall in the 2m-4f Maiden. "My daughter attends the school and our string goes past every day – that made the connection," explained Emma.
Tim and Irene Sage's Presentandcorrect recorded his 15th career success under regular rider James King in the Novice Riders' race. "I saw James out hunting as a 12-year-old, noted him as a keen lad and decided then that I would use him as a jockey one day," said Tim, who has provided four of James' career successes.
Charlotte Budd took time off from her catering business to saddle Restricted winner Golden Squirell. Patiently ridden by Robert Hawker, Golden Squirell forged clear of his six rivals in the straight. "I set up a wedding reception at Lydeard St Lawrence yesterday and I'm off to clear up now," smiled Charlotte. Golden Squirell, who will not enter his horsebox unless a stable companion is there to provide company, had been placed in five of his eight outings since opening his account at Cothelstone 12 months ago, so was not winning out of turn.
The three pony races were won by Finn Muirhead riding Jobanker Morning Mist (138cms Div 1), Hamish Clark with Talponciau Perfect Print (138cms Div 2) and William Cox aboard Two The Manor Born.
Hunt Members (3 ran)
1. Bathwick Scanno (IRE) (W Biddick, 1-7F); 2. Knight Blaze (N Lawton, 3-1); 3. Dandooley (D Edwards, 8-1). 6min 97s. 7l, dist. (Teresa Clark)
Open Maiden 456&7yo, 2m4f100y (5 ran)
1. Ernest Speak (IRE) (M Woodward, 5-2); 2. Four Plus (Philip Thomas, 6-1); only two finished. 5min 21s. 8l. (Emma Oliver)
Open Maiden (7 ran)
1. A Real Cliche (IRE) (W Biddick, 2-1); 2. Kilcolman Wizard (IRE) (M Hampton, 6-4F); only two finished. 6min 06s. Dist. (Michael Weir)
Mixed Open (5 ran)
1. Kostaquarta (IRE) (W Biddick, 4-5F); 2. Theatre Evening (IRE) (T Bishop, 11-4); 3. Glenwood Present (IRE) (J Newman, 7-2). Dist, 2l. 6min 02s. (Jack Barber)
PPORA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) (6 ran)
1. Presentandcorrect (IRE) (James King, 1-2F); 2. Vertige Dore (FR) (Miss E Pickard, 5-1); 3. Lajdaal (USA) (D Andrews, 14-1). 6min 07s. 20l, ½l. (Tim Sage)
Restricted (7 ran)
1. Golden Squirell (IRE) (Robert Hawker, evensF); 2. Templeton (IRE) (Jamie Thomas, 7-1); 3. Cider 'N' Black (D Noonan, 25-1). 6min 05s. 8l, 1l. (Charlotte Budd)