Tony Hogarth's evergreen gelding, Molten Brown proved that age is just a number by winning the World Horse Welfare Conditions Race for the third year in a row on Sunday's Lauderdale card at Mosshouses.
Well ridden by Joanna Walton, who celebrated her 25th birthday the following day, the 14 year old moved smoothly into the lead after three out before forging clear from the next to score by eight lengths from Pyjama Game (Lucy Brown), with Up To Al (Abby Robertson) in third place.
Another seasoned campaigner, Abbeyview has been revitalised this term since being fitted with a tongue tie for the first time at Corbridge back in late February. He set a new course record time when landing the Ladies Open that day under owner/rider, Laura Fenwick and has tasted defeat in only one of his subsequent four starts. In his latest impressive victory in the Scottish Fuels NPPA Conditions Race, the 12 year old made virtually every yard of the running under top weight of 12st 11lb and coasted home twenty lengths ahead of Great Gusto (Will Ramsay) with Whiteabbey (Amie Waugh) a further length away in third. He loves fast ground and might take some catching at Witton Castle next Monday.
Despite having to concede 17lb to Habbie Simpson and 4lb to Damiens Dilemma in the Davidson Land Services Ladies Open Race, Winged Crusader (Amie Waugh) hardly gave his supporters an anxious moment as he led all the way to score by three lengths from Habbie Simpson (Tabitha Threadgall) in the best time of the day. This was his 7th win in a row and leaves him only one behind Timmie Roe in the National Leading Horse standings. Simon Waugh's charge is entered in both Open Races at Witton Castle next Monday as he bids to keep the bandwagon rolling.
Cave Hunter made it 14 wins from 21 starts between the flags since being bought by Moffat farmer, Niel Manning in August 2013 at Doncaster Sales in the Colin Wood Memorial Men's Open Race. Ridden for the first time by the in-form Nick Orpwood, the Wendy Hamilton-trained 12 year old was kept up to his work all the way and his solitary rival, Pena Dorada (Connor Wood) was never more than two lengths ahead.
Nick's mount got a great run up the inner heading out on the final circuit before taking it up five out and had things under control from three out. The race was in the bag when he almost walked through the next but it didn't halt his momentum and he still had five lengths in hand at the line. Wendy's son, Tom rounded off a great day for the family with his 70th career Pointing winner on Gabbys Cross in the Bree Maiden Race for 4 year olds at Monksgrange.
Ailsa McClung, 21, shares the lead in the Northern Area Novice Riders Championship with Lyall Hodgins and Tabitha Threadgall following her first winner on Afterclass, who walked over in the Dalgleish Subaru Restricted Race.
Only 3 of the 8 entries faced the starter in the concluding Iain Jardine Racing Club and Browns For Beds Open Maiden Race but it turned out to be a closely-fought contest and there was still nothing to choose between them two out. Rory Bevin's mount, Dressedforsuccess met the last on a perfect stride and gained ground in the air before staying on best to secure a two lengths verdict over Midnightmistress (Joanna Walton) with the promising Tip Stream (Nick Orpwood) a similar distance away in third.
This was a first training success for the 6 year old's owner, Jamie Latham, who can choose between working his charge on the beach at Flookburgh or on Jimmy Moffat's gallops at nearby Cartmel. The next target for the winner is the Fraser Cup Maiden Hunters' Chase at Cartmel on May 27.
The main action was preceded by 2 pony races which both had 8 runners. The 138cm and under Carnival Chaos Novice Riders contest went to Larkfield Lad (Jake Dickson) from Kalusta Jacobean (Enya Currie) and Barnview Revelation (William Hamilton).
The 148cm and under George Crawford Legacy Trust contest was won by the in-form Indian River (Shay Farmer) with the minor placings filled by Hawkesfield Flyer (Joshua Thompson) and Dino Royale (Frances Cromarty).
The final meeting of the Northern Area season is the Haydon at Hexham Racecourse on Saturday 18th May, where a seven race card starting at 2pm will, as usual, be preceded by 2 pony races.