by Pete Mansell

Strength and determination are two of Tim Stephenson main attributes and he needed both of them when he partnered Better Future to victory in the Mens Open at Sundays South Herefordshire meeting at Garnons.

The Castlemorton based jockey had ridden a brilliant race when Clive Hitchings 13-year-old scored at the previous meeting and this win was a carbon copy of that performance. Driven along from the start, Better Future was still a good 30 lengths behind the leaders with half a mile to run but Tim knows the gelding better than most and they gradually crept back into contention, although victory still looked a forlorn hope turning into the home straight. His persistence was rewarded when Better Future collared the long time leader Severn Magic at the last.

The 1996 Sun Alliance winner Nahthen Lad made a welcome return to form with a pillar to post victory in the Ladies Open. The 13-year-old began to tire turning from home but his hard work was rewarded when Victoria Sturgis drove her mount clear of the favourite No Fiddling between the final two fences to land the prize for Tirley Carpenter James Danahar and his wife Val.

Sedgeberrow Businessman Mike Quinlan was on hand to greet Dona Ferentis after her victory in Division I of the 2 1/2 mile Maiden. Purchased privately from Henry Daly, the 7-year-old was produced with a well-timed run by Adam Wadlow and she outstayed her rivals up the final hill.