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Melton Hunt Club
Sunday 10th May 2009
by Graham Taylor

by Graftonwood

Although fields were unusually small for this Melton Hunt Club meeting, some exciting racing, coupled with close finishes, were the order of the day, when Garthorpe was the venue for this annual meeting. Leading national rider, Tom Greenall was in top form and finished the day with four winners.

Two Pony races preceded the opening Point to Point race and these two races were won by Finbarr, ridden by twelve year old, Catherine Dwyer and The Bosy Hobbit, who was ridden by fourteen year old Alex French.

First Pointing race of the afternoon was The Brookie Memorial M.H.C. Members Conditions Race, sponsored by friends, Richard Turner and Nick Cheyne. A total of nine horses went to post. This was won by the first of Tom Greenall’s mounts, Phenix Jack. The six year old was always close up and looked the winner going to the last fence. Valance, the mount of Richard Armson, took second place with Forget The Ref a well beaten third.

Phenix Jack (Tom Greenall)

Six horses were declared for Race Two, The PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders. This was kindly sponsored by Mr & Mrs Tim Wood. The winner here was the hot favourite, Tribal Venture, who was winning for the fifth time this season. Rider, Ollie Murphy had the grey well up with the pace and won comfortably from Rare Gold and Rockley Beach.

Tribal Venture (Ollie Murphy)

A delighted Anabel King with Tribal Venture

Only two horses were declared for the main feature race, The Marie Curie Foundation Members Novices Championship which was sponsored by Marshall Land Rover of Melton Mowbray. Leading local rider, Richard Armson had his mount, Doctor Kingsley always in pursuit of the market leader, Snake Rave, who gave Tom Greenall his second win of the afternoon.

Snake Rave (Tom Greenall)

Only a field of two turned out for The Ladies Open Race, sponsored by Vision Express, also of Melton Mowbray. However this turned into a good contest with favourite, Mooramana disputing the lead with the Hutchinson horse, Free, for most of the race. The former however produced the best finishing speed on the run in to win by just over a length.

Mooramana (Freya Hartley) gets the better of Free (Gemma Hutchinson)

Next race up was The Volkswagen Touareg Mens Open Race and three horses went to post here. This race gave Tom Greenall his third winner of the day. Riding the Cherry Coward trained, Sonevafushi, he never looked like relinquishing the lead and easily held off second placed, Cheyne, with outsider, Mambo Des Mottes a distance back in third.

Sonevafushi (Tom Greenall)

Sixth race, The MHC Members Conditions Race was kindly sponsored by Prince Petroleum and this attracted a field of six. This race produced the closest finish of the day and gave Tom Greenall his fourth victory. The Middleton trained ten year old, Lou Du Moulin Mas set a fast pace in front and just held off the late challenge of Sovereign Quest, the mount of Richard Armson, by a head. Kjetil, from the Bailey stable, took third place.

Final race on the card, The Open Maiden Race was run over a distance of 2 ½ miles and here, Chris and Antonia Bealby kindly sponsored. A field of six went to post. Winner here was the promising five year old, The Legal Limit, ridden by Matt Smith. Always in touch, the gelding drew clear to beat early leader, Ocean Fou with Castleconner Lad ten lengths away in third.

The Legal Limit (Matt Smith - right) comes home ahead of Ocean Fou (Nick Pearce - left)

Next Midlands Area meeting is the Meynell & South Staffordshire, to be held at Garthorpe, near Melton Mowbray on Sunday, 24th May. First race time 2.00pm.

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