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Sunday 26th February 2006

by Liam Hale

photos by Ann Riggs

Williams trebles up in chase for title

Nick Williams kept up his good association with the Cath and Evan Williams team by riding a treble aboard Montys Island (restricted division one), Ballylusky (Mens Open) and Flying Druid (Maiden division one) to keep in touch with current leading man Richard Burton.

Monty’s Island easily took the first division of the restricted from the promising youngster Fully Loaded (Charlotte Tizzard). The winner had been successful at Erw Lon last weekend and again ran his rivals into the ground with Fully Loaded not being able to bride the gap between himself and the easy winner. Abrakadalpa (Rachel Reynolds) tried to keep tabs on the winner early but tired into third; this gelding should be up to winning a small race over the coming weeks. The winner looks in good heart at present and looks another Cath Williams horse to follow.

BB Boy and Star of William jumping in the Restricted Div1

Johnsair who finished 4th in the Restricted Div1

Ballylusky trounced the Mens Open field in the style of a good horse. The Lord Americo gelding jumped well, a problem, which was present when jumping fences under rules, throughout and readily pulled clear from Rhys Jenkins and Lough Ennel who had performed well at this meeting last year. The Rucker family have another good horse on their hands and if his jumping holds up looks well up to scoring in hunter chase class and possible in a higher grade. A 30,000gns Doncaster purchase out of the Jonjo O’Neill yard, he is a serious horse to follow throughout 2006.

In the Maiden Div One, Flying Druid was a tired horse when he seemed to step into the last but his experienced jockey sat tight and got his mount going again after the last to score from Dans Blarney (Dai Jones). The winner was already well clear when he made a mistake at the penultimate obstacle and then the last but was always to far clear from the remainder. This was the geldings first point to point run after showing placed form in bumpers, three times, and over hurdles, once. Flying Druid looks like a likely improver for the switch to points and should follow up if his jumping improves. The one to take form the race could be Richway (James price) who was the winner’s closest pursuer when unseating on the flat before four out.

The Williams team are currently in great form and worth following over the coming weeks. Nick Williams currently looks like Richard Burtons only threat for the Men’s Title and with the backing of Evan and Cath Williams he has some nice horses to ride this season so more winners will prevail.

The Hunt members race got the day on the way and was won by Killy Lass who battled on well to close on the long time leader and favourite St Helier, whose jockey James Stephens is still seeking his first success. The Tom Faulkner trained and ridden mare was behind early but had the measure of the second before the last to win by five lengths. The winner had shown promise under rules, second in a handicap chase at Towcester, and is an improving mare that is only lightly raced.

St Helier (2nd in the Members)

The second division of the split restricted went to Kings Euro and William Oakes who justified favouritism to hold of another Williams horse in Saddlers cruiser, this time ridden by James Tudor. The winner was always handily placed and the gelding that had finished third in his only 2006 run at Chipley Park never looked like being caught by his pursuers. Mr Don (Hywel Evans) finished third with the Grey Kid (Kyle Yates) showing promise in storming home from a long way back for fourth place. The winner is a young improving horse, six, and looks a likely improver from the Welsh area.

The field; restricted Div 2

Kings Euro winner of the Restricted Div 2

Grey Kid (3rd in Restricted Div 2)

The ladies race was eventually won easily by Bobosh (Lucy Rowsell) after the challenging Jolitan (Rilly Goschen) attempted to run out after the last. The winner, who was successful at Erw Lon last week, may be seen to be a fortunate winner as a good finish looked in prospect. This left Joyeaux Royal (Chloe Roddick) to finish second, Chestnut Wood (Isabel Thompsett) third and the reluctant Jolitan to finish fourth, after stopping to a walk. The winner has shown good ladies form in 2006, second to Red Brook lad at Larkhill, and looks to be capable of stepping up into hunter chase class. The eventual fourth Jolitan has shown reluctance in the past but looks one to be on the right side of if he is in the right mood.

Ladies Open - Ballyalbert on the first circuit

Ladies Open - Do It Once and Alpha Eight on the first circuit

Another recent Erw Lon scorer Oneofthemongoes and Tim Vaughan followed up last weekend’s success with another comprehensive display in the Intermediate. The winner was handy throughout and battled on well when joined by two challengers to beat the battling back Buckland Boy (William Oakes) by four lengths with a further three lengths back to Who’s Eddie (M Harris). The winner jumped well at the head of affairs and looks to be an improving sort who can step up in grade in the near future. Buckland Boy, same connections as earlier scorer Kings Euro, who had shown promise at Chipley Park should not be to long before winning in 2006.

James Tudor rode the Cath Williams trained Cyindien in the final race of the day where the hot favourite was out pointed after the last by Rachel Reynolds and Dunmanus Supreme who had made relentless ground from three out. The second horse was handy throughout and tried to stretch the filed from the final circuit, the Williams team may find it hard to work the oracle with this nine year old that is with his third trainer in the last year. The winner went ahead before the last but slowed into the last to give Cyindien the impetus but the gutsy mare having only her second run battled on well with Chestnut Annie (Paul Sheldrake) a long way back in third.

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