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Saturday 18th March 2006

Report & photos by Liam Hale

Trigger happy Green reviewing title aspirations

Rachel Green doubled up at Howick in her quest for the ladies title with two progressive types both trained by Richard Barber. The first of those victories saw a bloodless victory for Gaye Trigger in division one of the restricted. The well-regarded type barely had to break sweat to beat Nick Williams on Flying Druid, maiden winner at the course three weeks earlier. The first two pulled well clear of the remainder and Rachel green seemed to be sat motionless two out to out sprint the Cath Williams trained Flying Druid, who had been prominent throughout. The winner looks highly progressive and is worth following in a higher-grade. Flying Druid looks capable of paying his way around the welsh circuit but could not handle the finishing pace of Axe Valley racing’s Gaye Trigger.

Gaye Trigger

Reviewer recorded another facile victory in the ladies easily seeing of the persistent challenge of Club Royal (Lucy Rowsell) with the minimum of effort. The front running Classi Maureen (Jodie Hughes), pulled up favourite of a Hereford hunter chase on her last start, fell early on and was too early to predict her fate. Paul Nicholls was in attendance after a successful Cheltenham, three festival wins, to witness the Chloe Roddick ridden/trained Joyeaux Royal fade into fourth. Club Royal showed improved form to chase home the easy winner and should be found an opportunity in Wales. Richard Barber has uncovered another useful Ladies performer and future success for the combination look ominous for the title seeking Green. Green and Barber teamed up for a bloodless double with two horses looking capable of stepping up on what they have shown.

Reviewer leads from Club Royal

Another challenge for the national title is that of Nick Williams who recorded an easy win on the Cath Williams trained Ballylusky in the Toureag qualifier Men’s Open. The winner overcame a recent unimpressive schooling session to win as he liked with little sign of the jumping problems, which plagued his progress under rules. The consistent Buckland Boy (William Oakes) settled for second but was never nearer the impressive winner who was sent on with a circuit to run. The expensive purchase looks capable of at least hunter chase class and could again be seen to good affect under rules.

Ballylusky jumps the last

The second division of the maiden provided a dramatic result for the Cath Williams team as her odds on favourite Cyindien, placed second at the previous Howick meeting in 2006, came to re-challenge Up to the Minute (Polly Gundry) between the penultimate and last fence when the saddle slipped on the Williams runner and Cyindien was pulled up before the last by James Tudor. Up until this point the two were locked with both jockeys in pursuit of victory. This left Polly Gundry and Up to the Minute to power home to finish unchallenged Lucy Rowsell finished second on Little Ed but was never nearer the winner. Cyindien remains frustrating but can surely break his maiden status after 22 runs under rules and this is second attempt between the flags. Up to the Minute’s win saw three West Country trained winners.

James Tudor went on to gain compensation in winning the next division of the maiden on the Alan Hill trained Divine Mist. The Roselier grey battled on well to go clear three out to finish ahead of the staying on Dagenham Yank (Tim Vaughan). The winner had initially shown promise for Jonjo O’Neill under rules but founder it harder to adapt to point-to-point fences in 2005, six non-completions. The odds on favourite American idol (Nick Williams) took up the running five out but seemed to weaken in the shape of a non-stayer.

The grey, Divine Mist

Killy Lass and Tom Faulkner followed up their recent course members win leading the same three horses home in the second Curre and Llangibby hunt members race of 2006. The mare followed up her win in similar style to that of three weeks ago, being dropped out early to lead three out under a patient Tom Faulkner ride. In behind this left St Helier (James Stephens) and Rushing again (James price) to fill the same place spots which they had filled in the previous Curre and Llangibby Hunt race. The winner currently looks in good heart and can build on her two hunt members wins in 2006.

Killy Lass

The second division of the split restricted went to the well supported Bally Edgar (Ran Morgan) trained in the Cotswolds by Jelly O’Brien (Nee Nolan). The winner was having only his second career run but battled on well to defy Paddy Johno (A. Milne), recent winner, and the fast finishing Grey Kid (Kyle Yates) a further three lengths back in third. The winner a seven year old Anshan gelding looks progressive and can build upon this pleasing career start. The race was run at a fast pace with the locally trained Wee Junior (Rhys Hughes) taking the field along at a fast clip. The grey was still in the lead two out, but his pursuers were closing, for him to fade into fifth. This was the first form the grey had shown since his maiden win at the course in 2003 and this outsider should be watched next time when turning out in Wales. The second and third both showed promise and should not be long before they regain the winning thread. The well-supported winner looks capable of stepping up in grade and is a potentially improving lightly raced youngster.

Bally Edgar

Lough Ennel was a 2005 Howick Mens Open scorer and had finished a creditable second to Ballylusky at the previous meeting. The winner showed his creditable open form to outclass his rivals in the confined sprinting away from Orbicularis (Tim Vaughan) who looks capable of stepping up on this placing next time. The third Kings Euro (William Oakes) has had a successful start to the season, placed and a winner at the previous meeting, but could not keep up with the winner who sprinted well clear. Open class looks the next stop for Lough Ennel as he showed his class in this strong confined.

Division one of the maiden went to the Dai Jones ridden Dans Blarney. The winner again had shown form at the previous meeting and confirmed his superiority over Mr Fisher (Rhys Hughes) who had finished third in the same maiden at the first meeting. The winner was under strong pressure fully a mile from home but battled on in determined style under the course’s leading rider, 2003-2006. Mr Fisher stayed on strongly at the previous meeting and suggests that a small older horses maiden may be within his grasp.

Dans Blarney

By the end of the bumper ten race card the bookies ring was looking barren with few remaining, but this did not stop Bowdens Lane and James Tudor battling on strongly to deny Mr Don (Hywel Evans). Tudor who was making up for his earlier race drama and a fall on favourite Topol in division one of the maiden to register a double for the day. He had the favourite Bowdens Lane in the lead five out but he had to pull out all the stops to out battle Mr Don who again joined the leader two out. The pair was joined at the last where the weary Bowdens Lane battled on well prevail. The winner was greeted in the paddock by the Stephens family including Robert Stephens, conditional jockey, who looks to be recovering well from his injuries sustained a horrific fall at Uttoxeter in February where he sustained multiple facial injuries. The winner had looked unlucky in 2006 when he ran out as a favourite and could progress and the runner up Mr Don showed his first glimpse of form which could see him win a small maiden.

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