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Vale of Aylesbury with Garth & South Berks
Saturday 3rd April 2010
by Claire Hart


Whilst everywhere else in the country was victim of pouring rain and soft ground, amazingly here the sun shone and the going was good.

Five went to post in the opening Confined, where BON ACCORD (James Tudor) was sent off the odds on favourite. From 6 out BUCKBY LANE, (Sam Waley-Cohen) quickened the pace and from there was in command, the two of them were in a battle from 2 out and it was a tight finish with BUCKBY LANE just holding on.

‘I hunted him hard and wasn’t sure whether or not we would run him again but he was so well so we have, he has been running brilliantly finishing 2nd in 3 hot Mens opens this season, he really deserved to win here’ said trainer Jane Starkey ‘I am very grateful to Robert, (Waley- Cohen) for the use of his gallops’ she added. ‘He is back to his very best today, he needs a flat galloping track’ were jockey Angela Ruckers’ sentiments after winning the competitive Ladies open aboard HONEST ENDEAVOUR.

Kicking on from 2 out the winner and BALLADEER (Gina Andrews) drew clear from the 3rd DESERT TOMMY (Claire Hart) and 4th SHOUDAWOUDACOUDA (Hannah Lewis) and in the end HONEST ENDEAVOUR won by 2 lengths.

Only four went to post in the Mens Open, where CHILLING PLACE (Ben Tuckey) was sent off the hot favourite. MORE TROUBLE (James Tudor) tried to lay a challenge from 3 out but CHILLING PLACE kept finding more and was a comfortable winner in the end by 12 lengths being eased down. BLUE SOVEREIGN (Henry Kinchin) was 3rd beaten 12 lengths too, only 3 finished. ‘I would love to find a hunter chase for him as he is so talented but opportunity is so limited because I struggle with the lighter weights ‘ commented jockey Ben Tuckey.

Most exciting finish of the day came in the Restricted where Kim Smylys’ mare KEEL ROAD came out the best in a 3 way battle to the line. From 3 out BETAVIX (Ben Tuckey) who was favourite, DUSKY LORY (Ian Bostock) and KEEL ROAD (Nick Sutton) drew clear. ‘Gyles will steal this one now to run under rules’ laughed Kim. ‘Donald McCain trained her last season and felt that a period point to pointing would improve her’ added Gyles. The mare is owned by the same owner as PEDLARS CROSS who won at this years Cheltenham festival.

Andrew Mobleys’ gelding, ASTROP ROAD (Kevin Merry) got off the mark here in the maiden. He was in command from the second last. Andrew was quick to praise the Jockey ‘Kevin broke this horse in years ago and he has intensively schooled him in the last 10 days, this horse is not straightforward and a complete monkey. JOLT (Jonny Bailey) was much improved to finish 2nd and 3rd was A BIT OF A BARNEY (Tim Lane).

Biggest cheer of the day came in the Hunt Members race where only 3 went to post. Outsider of the 3 MR NABORRO (Tom Brockett) took the initiative and made the race his own turning down the back for the final time. Soon 15 lengths clear of favourite BYNACH MHOR (Gaby Hill) the only worry came when MOST DEFINITLEY (Tim Underwood) was closing down coming to the last but blundered and unseated Tim. This was a first success for 23 year old Tom Who bought the horse himself mid way through last season. ‘He has always wanted to win here, it is our local track, this means the world to us all’ said an emotional step father Rory Lather. Trained by Toms’ mother Karen Lawther this was a family affair and to me an example of what point to pointing is all about.

Overall a super days racing, one to note would be DUSKY LORY who was 3rd in the restricted following several jumping errors and only beaten half a length.

Ride of the day I felt was Tom Brockett who stole the race from a long way out.

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