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Sunday 23th January 2011
by Claire Hart


On a freezing cold Sunday in January, the Prime Minister David Cameron was on hand to witness a splendid afternoon of racing displaying some future superstars; both human and equine.

Split on declaration The Open Maiden race division one was won by Rythym Seeker ridden by Oliver Murphy, after an unsuccessful campaign under rules whilst trained by Olivers' mother Annabel King it was decided that an attempt to win a maiden was worth a try so was sent to Antonia Bealby and it is likely that the 8yr old Gelding will now return to hurdling now that he has got his head in front.
Rocalixjide partnered by his owner/trainer/rider Sam Alwood won the second division and was bought in the summer at the sales having only ran once in a bumper, he was a first training success for Sam.

Himalayan Express provided local owner/ trainer Celia Plunkett with a popular success in the Brightwells/ PPA 2 mile 4 maiden where 6 of the 7 entered went to post; partnered here by Will Telfor, the homebred Rakoposhi King Gelding battled on well to beat Gioiello.

Doubles were order of the day for The twiston Davies camp and Sarah-jayne Davies/ Jeremy Mahot team.
William Twiston Davies who turned 16 on December 1st has had to wait very patiently for this first ride between the flags, only four went to post for the Members race and the heavily backed Battlecry, who enjoyed an illustrious career whilst trained by Nigel Twiston Davies, led pretty much from pillar to post to provide his jockey with a first ride/ first win.
Less than two hours later the young jockey showed determination and skill that usually comes with seasons experience to drive David Langdons Naunton Brook to victory in the feature race the 4 mile Mens Open. In a hot contest the Alderbrook 12 yr old who had previously been 2nd in a conditions race at larkhill earlier in the month, looked none to keen going through the stands with a circuit to run but as they headed to 6 out William had driven him back to the front and from there was always in command. Cathy reported that this was a 'particularly special victory as owner Willie the builder, as I call him, converted the barns to stables originally and built the house i live in now; he has had horses with nigel for years and has always supported us. '

Sarah-Jayne Davies trained a double here and also rode the first herself, always going comfortably Upton Springs had the measure of favourite Chiaro from the 2nd last in the AGA 3 mile 5 Ladies open to spring a 20/1 surprise. Owned by Peter Corbett who farms next door to where Sarah trains the 10 yr old mare was equipped with blinkers for the second time.
Sarah reported that she usually sticks to the training side of things and has now trained around 20 winners. Continuing the good day was Miss Lightning who was a most impressive winner of the Restricted, owned by a syndicate of friends headed by Sarahs mum it will be no suprise to see her climb the ladder with ease and is clearly liked by her jockey here Jeremy Mahot.

Most excitng finsh was in the Novice riders event, 14 went to post and turning down the hill into the straight there were 6 in with a shout. A blanket could have covered the first four but it was 10 yr old Coppingers Court who came out best, partnered here by Ian Williams amateur Jake Hodson who was enjoying a first pointing success. Previously a winner of a Restricted this was a good reward for his trainer who had always thought he was a good horse. Shannon Springs who was 2nd, Noadibou 3rd and Rathcoole Dancer 4th are sure to pick up races of this sort soon.

Though cold, a thoroughly enjoyable day with excellent racing. We now look forward to the next area meeting at Whitfield Racecourse on 6th February.

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