VETERAN rider Phil York stole the show with a treble on Legal Ok, Timmie Roe and Streets Of London at the Tedworth Hunt meeting at Barbury Racecourse, near Marlborough, on Sunday.
York got off to a flying start in the Simpsons Subaru Restricted Race when Legal Ok, from his Effingham stables in Surrey, made a stunning British debut between the flags. Quickly establishing a massive lead, the seven-year-old had the race in safe keeping when Double Cool unseated at the second-last, and York was able to let his mount coast home by a distance from Matts Legacy and Byron Moorcroft. Formerly with Stuart Edmunds, the son of Echo Of Light had spent last year on the sidelines after fracturing a pelvis. York said: "He had a reputation when he came to me and even I found him unridable and I thought 'Oh my god, what have I done buying this'. He had an injury which slowed us down a bit and it's only been in the last three months that he has gone to the gallops and worked like I wanted him to."
York made it a quick-fire double when Timmie Roe completed a six-timer in the British Racing Club and Prestat Chocolates Six-Year-Olds And Over PPORA Club Members' Race for Veteran & Novice Riders. The eight-year-old produced another slick round of jumping, bar paddling through the fifth-last, to cruise home eight lengths clear of Moreece and Luca Morgan. Owner-trainer Tim Underwood, who is based at Beedon, near Newbury, said: "He is going to have a fortnight off and then he will go to Lockinge. He worked so well on Friday I thought he could run." The win saw Timmie Roe go one clear of Navanman and Winged Crusader in the Connolly's RED MILLS National Champion Horse standings.
Underwood notched a double when he supplied York with the third leg of his treble as Streets Of London made it four wins from his last five starts in the Awdry Bailey & Douglas Solicitors and the Friends of the Tedworth Conditions Race. York's mount duelled with Benemeade and Moorcroft down the back straight for the final time, before pulling away after the third-last to record a five-lengths victory over his market rival. Underwood said: "Yorky reckons he is smart - I don't know how smart. To be fair the second gave him 9lbs and was having his first run of the season whereas my horse was fit."
The double sealed the Dubarry Leading Trainer Award as Barbury's top handler for the Beedon handler for a third successive season - having shared it with Phil Rowley
12 months ago - and saw him presented with a £1,000 voucher for the Irish clothing company's products.
Peter Mason's decision to let Pithivier take his chance in the JM Finn & Co Mixed Open for the Tedworth Gold Cup was rewarded with a clear-cut victory. The nine-year-old, winner of the 'classic' Lord Ashton of Hyde's Cup at Cocklebarrow in January, had been pulled up at Kingston Blount seven days earlier. But with the gelding in good heart, Mason, who trains at Ablington, near Bibury, gave the green light for his charge to line up in the 3m 6f contest. Wearing first-time cheekpieces, his mount moved sweetly behind the pace-setting Beneficial Joe before going clear after the fourth-last to pass the post six lengths ahead of the staying-on Vincitore and Sarah Rippon. Mason, who owns Pithivier in partnership with his wife, Niff, and Sally and Hamish Anderson, said: "He seemed well and we heard one or two of the others weren't running, so we thought it might not be as competitive as last week. He made a mess of the second-last due to jockey error, but he managed to keep going and I knew he had a bit left."
Stratford-upon-Avon-based Richard Evans got a 'big kick' out of seeing his home-bred Hott Lips finish with a flourish to take the Jockey Club and the Butterworth Family Open Maiden for Mares and Fillies over 2m 4f. The seven-year-old had three rivals in front of her turning into the straight, but Lucy Turner produced the daughter of Midnight Legend to storm through on the run-in and beat Nos da Cariad and Katie Sinclair by two lengths, with Ballydorn third. Evans, rider of Grand National regular The Pilgarlic in the 1970s, said: "I have spent a lot of time with her at home, so when you get a winner of a point-to-point it is lovely. He bred Hott Lips out of his mare, Major Hoolihan, with the pair named after the character in the American TV series MASH, and he added: "She is bred from quite a good family and hopefully we will put her to stud one day." It was a first pointing win of the season for Turner, who had ridden for her boss, Venetia Williams, in the conditional jockeys' and amateur riders' race at Aintree the previous day. She said: "It was amazing to ride at Aintree on National day. That was something else, but to come here and have a winner is even better."
On an afternoon when all six favourites obliged, Diplomatico opened his account for Moorcroft and Jason Warner with a runaway victory in the Ramsbury Brewing & Distilling Four, Five And Six-Year-Olds Open Maiden over 2m 4f. Moorcroft took over the running at the sixth-last and his mount soon went clear to score by a distance from Courtly Love and York. Warner said: "We bought him in the summer off David Bridgwater. He has improved a bit and got a bit of confidence. It wasn't a very good race, but he could only win it." Moorcroft added: "He goes on better ground and when he ran at Bangor it was way too soft for him."
The two pony races, sponsored by Keyflow Feeds, both went to Sussex raiders. Jack Dace, 11, from Billingshurst, took the first contest on Dillans Girl, who completed a seven-timer with a 20-lengths triumph.
Ashley Lewis, 11, who lives at Ardingly, then made it four victories from as many starts aboard 10-length winner Bongo Bay in the second race.
Rounding off the action was the William Bartholomew Party Organisers Tedworth Hunt Charity Race, with Nikki Rickman, estate manager at Rockley Manor, repeating her win of two years ago on Eric.