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Kimblewick at Kingston Blount
Saturday 21st April 2018
by Russell Smith

ALAN Hill has set his sights on more glory with Supreme Danehill after his charge completed a hat-trick of wins in the Philip Scouller Memorial Southern Grand National Mixed Open at the Kimblewick Hunt meeting at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor.

The Aston Rowant trainer's ten-year-old had disappointed on his previous two outings when third at both Wincanton and this course. But following treatment for a strained stomach muscle, he bounced back to his best under Gina Andrews, who was in the saddle, with Hill's son, Joe, successful on the gelding in the four-mile marathon for the last two years, sidelined with a cracked vertebra. Dictating the pace from the outcome, the four-times ladies' champion sent her mount clear on the final circuit, and the 11-8 favourite made light of his maximum 12lb penalty to cross the line an eased-down eight lengths ahead of En Passe. Supreme Danehill is owned by the Sunday Night Partnership - a group of point-to-point enthusiasts, who could now be set for a couple of big days out with the son of Indian Danehill. Hill said: "Obviously the horse is back to what he was. Gina suits him like Joe. He is a horse that you have got to keep digging away at. He could go to Cheltenham for the four-miler and maybe to Stratford." Andrews added: "That is how he likes to go from out in front and he is an awesome jumper."

Hill and Andrews were completing a double after Changeofluck showed his appreciation for a return to a sounder surface by taking the Confined Race, sponsored by Oakham Inns. The ten-year-old took up the running from Pithvier approaching the last fence and was going clear when that rival fell, leaving Velvet Royale to finish a five-lengths runner-up. Heather Munn, who owns Changeofluck with Wendover neighbour Diana Clark, said: "Last time the ground was just too wet and he didn't like it. Today it was perfect." Andrews said: "I have never ridden in a race when it has still been so tightly packed over the few final fences. I almost got stuck in traffic and couldn't get out, but he quickened up well."

Owner-trainer Tim Underwood's masterplan for Tempelpirate to turn the tables on Barbury conqueror Hawkhurst paid dividends with the 11-year-old recording a 20th career success in the PPORA Club Members' Conditions Race For Novice Riders, sponsored by Field Seymour Parkes. Craig Dowson executed Underwood's tactics to perfection, holding up the 11-year-old before pouncing at the last to power away for a two-lengths triumph over the Hill-trained favourite. Underwood, who is based at Beedon, near Newbury, revealed that the son of Black Sam Bellamy had an excuse for his last run. "He tore a shoe off going to the start and bashed into the back of his heel and never travelled," he said. "I told the lad who rode him well we will only beat him on tactics, not on merit." Dowson added: "It was one of those plans where it is make or break and when it works out you are happy."

Underwood made it a double when Cnoc Sion took the Open Maiden, sponsored by NorCal Vets of Thame. Phil York sent the eight-year-old into the lead four from home, and he galloped on strongly to pass the post four lengths clear of Clay Allison. Underwood, who bought Cnoc Sion from Martin Oliver two years ago, said: "He had some cracking Irish form. He beat The Dutchman half a length when he was second in a maiden point-to-point. Last year I couldn't get him sound and he has just got to have quicker ground."

Katie Sinclair was thrilled to record her first winner on just her second ride when Moscow Chancer took the Eight-Year-Olds And Over PPORA Club Members Conditions Race, sponsored by the Ashley Wilde Group. Sinclair, 18, took up the running on the 12-year-old, owned and trained by Andrew Campbell at Condicote in Gloucestershire, just after halfway in the 2m 5f contest for horses which haven't won since November 2015, and her mount had enough in reserve to hold off Ballinroab by half a length. "It's very exciting," said Sinclair, who hails from Dundonald in County Down and now works for Fergal O'Brien after starting off with Peter Bowen. "Going to the last I thought please don't fall and he just winged it. He gave me a great feel." Moscow Chancer was running for the first time for 14 months, and Campbell explained: "A year ago he should have run in the Foxhunters at Aintree, but couldn't because he had a heart murmur. We had him checked out and he went on an ECG and we desperately hoped that it was a virus."

An Scairp gave Hannah Mahon's Morton Bagot stables, near Henley-in-Arden, a winner with her first runner of the campaign when making a successful debut in the Guy Luck Memorial Four, Five And Six-Year-Olds Open Maiden over 2m 5f. "It's a bit belated in the season," said Mahon. "He has been ready to go for two months and we have been waiting for the better ground." The six-year-old crossed the line half a length ahead of Kalinite, but rider Ali Stirling felt the 16-1 shot had more in hand. "He was just a dream to ride and he did it pretty easily really," she said. "They have a nice horse." An Scairp was rewarding the patience of owner Alison Hyde, who bought the son of Scorpion as a three-year-old at the Derby Sales at Tattersalls. "It has taken quite a while, but he is a big horse and the bumpers didn't go to plan and he needed time," she said.

Whin Park could return to run under rules after following up his Lockinge maiden win by taking the Restricted Race, sponsored by PC Turner of Farnborough in good style. The six-year-old has benefited from a change of scenery since moving to Howard Pauling's Chadlington stables, near Chipping Norton, after being in training with his son, Ben. Taking up the running at the third-last, Peter Mason's mount held off Bally River Boy by two lengths. "He is learning all the time," said Pauling. "He is getting a bit handier at his fences and always had the class to do that." Owner Sue Davis commented: "I think he will go back under rules, but we are in discussions. He has grown up."

Thomasina Quesnel, from Sydenham, near Thame, triumphed on Miss Independanze in the Print Concern Invitation Challenge Charity Race, a six-furlong event for non-thoroughbreds and riders who have never ridden in a competitive race. The event is expected to raise around £600 for the Air Ambulance.

Lawney Hill and Ravethebrave then turned the inaugural Old and Bold Scurry, sponsored by Manor Mix Concrete, over 1m 2f into a procession. Tim Sage was left dazed after being unseated from Presentandcorrect at the top of Crowell knoll and was taken to hospital for a precautionary check-up. The race is set to raise more than £2,500 for the Injured Jockeys Fund.

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