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Southdown & Eridge
Sunday 2nd March 2008
by Mark Siggers


Another fine day saw the South East's fourth fixture of the season take place in optimum conditions at Godstone on Sunday March 2nd. It was a day that saw popular champion Carryonharry return to the winner's enclosure after his seasonal debut in the Ladies' Open, and a double for reigning area top jockey Philip Hall.

Carryonharry (Cynthia Haydon) gets home ahead of Scare Lotte

For Stuart Robinson it was a day of mixed fortunes. His first ride, former Grand National horse Lord Atterbury, had the race at his mercy when falling at the second last. An hour later, on board his father David's Bee An Bee, he scored an impressive win in the Men's Open. A week earlier Bee An Bee had run out at Charing, putting David Robinson through the wing of a fence. David, a 66-year-old grandfather, is now wearing a head cage to protect a broken bone in his neck. Mindful of his mount's possible waywardness, Stuart aimed him firmly at the centre of all 18 of Godstone's fences and brought him home ten lengths clear of previous Godstone open winner Noakarad De Verzee in the fastest time of the day.

But Stuart was back on the floor in the final race when Our Samson, one of three runners in the Hunt race, failed to negotiate the 12th fence. This went to the 14-year-old Little Farmer, ridden by Philip Hall to complete his double after Glenbower Woods had won the 2m4f Maiden race.

Nathos and Heather Kemp were the pairing to profit from Lord Atterbury's fall in the Confined, while Cynthia Haydon and Carryonharry, who won six Ladies' Opens in 2007, began their season by giving a stone and a beating to the promising Scare Lotte.

Heaven Is Above, looking for his third win of the campaign, started the Novice Riders' race as favourite and was going well when falling. Georgina Andrews and Moving Earth took command to beat Buckland Boy by eight lengths.

The next meeting, at Detling on Saturday March 8th, features the spectacular four-mile Kent Grand National as well as pony racing (11.15am). The main programme starts at 1.00pm. Admission is £20 per car (£10 for single occupancy and £5 for pedestrians).

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