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Saturday 20th March 2010
by Laura Ellis

Official Ground: Good to Soft (Getting softer throughout the day)

Despite the ever-present rain a huge crowd turned out to see the V.W.H meeting at Siddington.

As the remaining spectators queued to enter the course brothers Richard and Peter Mason fought out the Hunt Members with Port Talbot (Peter) eventually getting up to beat Overbury Pearl (Richard) by 4 lengths.

The Confined Hunt Conditions Race provided the first of the close finishes during the afternoon when May Be Possible (Tom Garner) saw off the even money favourite Sheknowsyouknow (Mark Wall) to win by a neck in 6.07 respectively. Always in the first three May Be Possible kicked clear at the 13th and stayed on well under Tom Garner.

The second close finish of the day came in the Restricted Race where Le Millenaire (Adrian Wintle) saw off the ever-present challenge of Hivikos (Mark Wall) to get up by half a length. The winner waited-with in mid division made strong headway after the 11th to join Hivikos and despite the latter getting the better jump at the penultimate fence it was a test of stamina and Le Millenaire rallied under a strong drive from Adrian Wintle.

The jumping display of the day came from Overlut in The Mixed Open with Rhys Hughes aboard. The pair jumped off in front and were never headed to come home a distance in front of the only other two finishers Lord Alfred (Adrian Wintle) and the favourite Molostiep (Will Telfer) a further 10 lengths behind. With today’s perfect round of jumping, a Hunter Chase winner last season, Overlut will undoubtedly return to the bigger obstacles later in the season.

David Griffiths rode his first ever winner in the Novice Riders Race when Malletton saw off the challenge of the well-fancied Tuesday’s Child (Rory Akerman) by 10 lengths and Freedomofthecity (Laura Thomas) a further 20 lengths behind in third. Defying some moderate form Malletton travelled confidently in the rear of the field to make strong headway after the 13th fence and catch long time leader Tuesday’s Child before kicking clear 3 from home.

David Griffiths quickly followed up his first winner with another when Opium Du Bois continued his run of consistency to win the Pegasus Club Members Race. David kicked clear 4 out and saw off the challenge of Top Ram (Neil Henderson) by a distance and Hi Ho Silver (Richard Spencer) 8 lengths futher behind in 3rd. Always in the first 2 the winner made stealthy headway after the 12th fence to catch long time leader Hi Ho Silver 4 fences from home.

The biggest field of the day went to post for the last race of the day, The Open Maiden race. In The Circle improved on his 2nd at Larkhill earlier in the season to come home 2 lengths in front of Bayridge Mick (Isabel Tompsett). The winner, always handy, made headway to take over from early leaders Normal for Durlow (Liam Payter) and No Pressure (Chloe Boxall) at the 10th and overcame a slow jump at the last to complete in 6 minutes 28 seconds.

A good days racing with some competitive finishes. For me, ride of the day was from Rhys Hughes aboard Overlut in the Mixed Open and one for the notebook Bayridge Mick who was patiently ridden and shouldn’t be far away next time.

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