Saturday 1st APRIL 2000
by James Griffiths

Going : Good

Wild Edric (G Hanmer) just held on by a neck from the rallying Out Of The Blue in the opening Dreadful hunt race.

Solba (A Dalton) justified his 2-5 odds and easily won the mens open, he looks on course for another Lady Dudley Cup win this year. Watchit Lad kept on well for 2nd, although he was never likely to beat Solba.

The Ladies race was a very competitive affair, with some good horses running. Distinctive, Look In The Mirror and Name Of Our Father set off at a very fast pace and were soon 20+ lengths clear. Distinctive appeared to be getting the upper hand when unseating at the 13th (still going well). Look In The Mirror was let down by his jumping as usual making a few bad mistakes and weakening to finish 4th. The early pace set the race up for Pat Tollit's Indefence (Candy Thomas) who took it up 3 out and won comfortably. (Indefence won the supreme novices hurdle at Cheltenham a few years ago for Jenny Pitman). Alison Dare gave Rip Van Winkle too much to do and although running on for second was never going to challenge the winner. Name Of Our Father ran very well for his young rider to get third, and should find a few easier ladies races later on in the season.

Despite a mistake at the last Upton Adventure (Scot Joynes) quickened clear to justify favouritism to win the club race. This was a poor race on paper and run in a slow time (17 seconds slower than the ladies), so the one-paced, placed horses (Dainty Man and Aqua Star) are best avoided next time.

The Rum Mariner rolled back the years and quickened clear impressively to win the confined and give Candy Thomas a double. As this was his seasonal debut it wouldn't be surprising to see the 12 year old win again in this sort of company. Gold'n Shroud and Achill Sound (never nearer) were 2nd and 3rd respectively. Good For A Loan ran well for a long way.

Both restricteds attracted some good quality horses.
Division one fell to Highbridge (A Evans) who stayed on well having gone clear 4 out. This seven year-old should get many more wins before the seasons over. Lord In The Sky followed home in second, appearing one paced, although the jockey appeared to have injured his ankle during the race, which may not have helped. These two were well clear of the remainder. Ballyharry fell at the 14th when in contention, and had previously jumped very well.

Paddy For Paddy (R Burton) was all out to claim division 2 by 1.5 lengths from the staying on Wise Prince. The one-paced Percy Medlicott well-beaten in 3rd.

Outrageous Affair benefited from more positive riding to claim division 1 of the maiden, quickening clear impressively under his owner Miss R Reynolds. Dunethna was easily best of the rest and should find a maiden before long.

Need More Practice (A Evans) got up to win the 2nd maiden by 1.5 lengths despite being hampered 2 out. Border Barley got 2nd and Sutton Lighter showed his first form on his way to 3rd. Blacon Point was running well (challenging leader) until a terrible mistake 2 out stopped him, this was a promising effort, and a maiden win beckons.

Horses to avoid (at probable short prices)
Wild Edric (any race)
Out Of The Blue (any race)
Aqua Star (club, opens)
Dainty Man (club, confined)

Horses to follow
Indefence (opens, hunter chases)
Solba (Lady Dudley Cup, opens)
Name Of Our Father (open)
Highbridge (confined, intermediate)
Lord In The Sky (restricted)
Paddy For Paddy (confined, intermediate)
Wise Prince (restricted)
Dunethna (maiden)
Need More Practice (restricted)
Border Barley (maiden)
Blacon Point (maiden)