SATURDAY 20 APRIL 2002
by Pete Mansell
A capacity crowd witnessed one of the best Dudley Cup's of
recent years when Greenwich extended his six race winning sequence with a
hard fought victory over Lord Harry in land one of the most prestigious
prizes that the sport has to offer during Saturdays Worcestershire meeting
at Chaddesley Corbett.
Robert Biddlecombe's mount stormed into a clear lead at the
15th and gained what proved to be a decisive advantage climbing
the hill for the final time. 6 lengths clear entering the home straight,
Greenwich had sufficient reserves to hold Lord Harry challenge over the
final three fences.
Marilyn Scudamore took three runners to the meeting from her
stables at Naunton in the heart of the Cotswolds. It turned out to be
unforgettable afternoon with Greenwich taking the Lady Dudley Cup in the
colours of Jenny Powell, Gypsy Cricketer followed up with an impressive
victory in the Restricted and Zaffaran Winds provided the perfect ending
by beating the favourite Frog Street in the Mares Race.
Biddlecombe employed "Greenwich tactics" to land
the Restricted on Gipsy Cricketer. He set sail for home on the run to the
15th and had little difficulty seeing off the challenge of Mick
Mackie over the final three fences.
Zaffaran Winds made it three wins out of three for the
Scudamore/Biddlecombe combination when the 7-year-old scored a surprise
win in the Mares Race. The West Country raider Frog Street was installed
as favourite for this race, but she lost vital ground up the final hill
and by the time she responded Zaffaran Winds had gone beyond recall. The
winner is jointly owned by the trainer and her son Michael, but he was
unable to attend due to commitments for the Gloucestershire Under 19's
15-year-old Hindlip schoolboy Tom Weston could be in for an
exciting time when he starts race riding next year. Caught at Dawn has
proved to be a useful acquisition because he scored his second win of the
season in the Members.
Kidderminster jockey Michael Keel was in the saddle on this
occasion and they were never in danger of defeat after seeing off the
challenge of Andre Lavel turning into the home straight.
Keel was following in the footsteps of his grandfather Jack
Fowler who won 16 races at this fixture between 1933 - 1954. A
presentation was made to the family to mark his 50-year association with
this meeting. This must have been a particularly poignant moment because
it was later reported that Fowler had died during the early hours of
Richard Burton started the day two winners ahead of his
nearest rival Julian Pritchard and both Championship contenders left the
meeting with just one winner. Burton was the first to score when he showed
an impeccable sense of timing to land the Confined for Ken Hamer and his
daughter Corinne Swarbrick who trains the 9-year-old at Shifnal.
Pritchard levelled the scores with an impressive win on The
Kings Fling in Division II of the Maiden. Burton's mount Dantes Inpharno
was backed as if defeat was out of the question but they were not in the
same class as the winner who scored a facile win in a very fast time.
Two jockeys based in the Malvern area both enjoyed success over the weekend. Castlemorton's Tim Stephenson partnered Better Future to success at Brampton Bryan on Saturday and then steered the Sue Troughton owned and Mike Daniells trained Smile Pleeze to victory in the Mens Open at Sundays Atherstone meeting at Clifton on Dunsmore. Eastnors Geoff Barfoot Saunt had the proverbial steering job on Broadbrook Lass at the same meeting.