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Easter Monday 28th March 2005
by Liam Hale

Baimbridge and Allen get their Easter treats

Dick Baimbridge and Claire Allen took the honours at the gloriously sunny Paxford with an effortless double in the Ladies and Restricted races courtesy of the consistent Titus Bramble and The Wee Bishop.

Titus Bramble was opening his account for the season after four placings including a second behind Nicky Shepperd’s useful eight time scorer last term Upton Adventure. The odds on favourite was prominent throughout and jumped to the lead four out from Campden Kitty and after drifting after the last ran on well to score by and easy two lengths from Catfish Keith (Miss S Duckett) who ran well and showed his worthwhile form since joining the pointing field. The winner looks one to follow know that he has got his head in front, and seems to have recovered from summer illness, and can build on this success under the competent Claire Allen.

Allen and Baimbridge completed a double for the day with additional entry The Wee Bishop in the competitive looking Restricted Open race. Zara Phillips Manor Down was prominent throughout until The Wee Bishop took it up four out to run on well to score from the progressive Granoski Gala (Ben King) who had won her only previous start at Didmarton and this six year old is one to follow in the future. The Winner sprinted well away from the field and this easy winner looks the type of horse to progress for the Baimbridge camp in the future. The Wee Bishop capped a good day for the Baimbridge team along with Claire Allen, who looks confident in the saddle and since arriving on the scene this season has impressed with her role of riding for the powerful stable.

The Hunt Members race was well won from the front by L’Idefix and Belinda Keighley. The Ex Hurdle and chase winner, for Tom George, was in front at every fence and won well in first time blinkers at the ripe old age of thirteen! The winner’s task however was made easier after the first fence departure of two fancied runners in View Hollo and the promising favourite Coffee Morning. Forest Ivory ran on well for second but was never going to catch the impressive winner who now may have limited opportunities but could follow up in a weak race if ridden similarly in the future.

The Intermediate race was one by the capable but temperamental Misty Ramble (Liam Payter). A winner at Thorpe Lodge this season showed him in good light but his other too runs saw run outs, but today there was no sign of this and the Roselier gelding ran on well to beat another recent winner Landing Rights (I Howe) after kicking on four out to hold on by two an a half lengths. The winner won in the same time as the Ladies open and could be worth following if in the same mood over the coming weeks.

The Mens Open looked a real Easter treat on paper with some popular local horses such as the progressive Dunston Bill (Alex Puddy), on a four timer, Well Ted (Julian Pritchard) and Katarino, successful in the Triumph hurdle in his heyday, partnered by recent Cheltenham Victor Sam Waley-Cohen. Dunston Bill assumed his normal position at the head of affairs leaving Katarino in the lead when falling eight out. This left the odds on Katarino to cruise home ten lengths to good for the battling on Bambridge stalwart Well Ted, who can be found easier opportunities in the future. The winner who won easily for his in form jockey and followed up a recent Didmarton victory in ease and will be worth watching when sent Hunter chasing, possibly at the Cheltenham Hunter Chase Evening. Love at Dawn (P Mason) has been progressing well this season and ran on well for second and should be capable of scoring at Open level.

The Younger Horse Maiden saw a first time out win for Solid as a Rock (Polly Gundry) who had made the long journey from Ollie Bush’s Cullompton yard worthwhile. The promising five year old was off the pace early then made smooth headway on the second circuit to take it up four out to run on well. Coming to the last the leader was well clear but a bad mistake meant that Master Jubb (A Phillips) could get within two and a half lengths of the winner and doing so showing his first worthwhile form. The second should be capable of winning a maiden whereas the winner hailing from a successful West Country yard, had good horse such as Bright Approach in the past, looks a horse with a very bright future ahead and possibly a future West country star.

The final race of the day, the older horse maiden was well won by Gibraltar Bill (Tom Ellis) who was left in the lead on the final circuit to run on well from his toiling rivals. Alison Dare’s Knighton Star (Julian Pritchard) was left a poor second two out and may be capable of capturing a poor race in due course. The lightly raced winner had been running well in defeat and showed improved form to run right away with this maiden. Gibraltar Bill could be interesting in the coming weeks.

The Hunters had fun after racing with the Memorial Trophy Hunt Challenge which saw seven horses and riders compete over one lap of the track, minus the open ditch.

Future Superstar: Solid as a Rock

Sure fire Future Winners: Katarino, Titus Bramble

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