Devon & Somerset Staghounds at Holnicote
|Words by: Brian & Gill Armstrong|
|Preview Results Report|
The Devon & Somerset Staghounds at Holnicote
– Sunday 5 May 2013
Quedillac and Radetsky March can fight out the finish of the 10-entry Devon & Somerset Staghounds Ladies’ Open at Holnicote near Minehead this Sunday. The former has won five races between the flags and showed his recent wellbeing by providing his enthusiastic Isle of Wight owner Hazel Goody with an 88th birthday present win at Larkhill. Radetsky March, winner of six races under Rules for the Mark Bradstock stable, impressed when completing a February Hunter Chase double for Sally Duckett before not being disgraced when pulled up in the Cheltenham Foxhunter. Opposition may include 2011 winner Miss Midnight, Bishops Court winner Doof, who made the early running at the Seavington, prolific winner Rainbow Tree and the interesting Rio Gael, who won seven races under Rules for the Peter Bowen stable. Quedillac can get the better of Radetsky March.
Newton Abbot Hunter Chase winner Parkam Jack will be supported to follow up in the Men’s Open. Stable companion Whizzaar, winner of 10 of his 19 point-to-points but always behind when pulled up at Larkhill, and the consistent Mustangsallyrally are two other contenders. Round Tom led his rivals a merry dance when winning at the South & West Wilts and is selected to get the better of Parkam Jack.
My Minds Maid and Dashing John, first and second at the Seavington, can renew rivalry in the Novice Riders’ race. Radetsky March holds an engagement and must be considered if connections take up the option, but Barneys Mate, a standing dish in these contests and Bishop’s Lane, who beat subsequent Axe Vale winner Fiulin easily at Cothelstone, are the two to choose from.
Mister Moonax completed a hat-trick at Kingston St Mary and can make it four out of four in the Hunt race for the Hawkins family, who could also be represented by 2012 runner-up Holcombe Hitman. Gerald Greenway has entered five-time Rules winner Justabout, but Keith Cumings has a strong hand with Gonethatway and the enigmatic The Wealerdealer and his chosen runner may chase up Mister Moonax.
The Confined race has attracted 12 entries including Cothelstone winner Dandooley and Checkerboard who gave Flanshan a race at Stafford Cross on Sunday. Course winner Eslin Bridge made a promising reappearance to be third at the Axe Vale last Sunday and gets the vote.
Buster, who was third to the unbeaten Thomas Brown at Larkhill, and John Clayton, a good runner-up to the impressive Silver Phoenix at Kingston St Mary, look the two for the Restricted. Old Grange beat subsequent winner Caspian Piper at Ston Easton and can complete the placings.
Gospel Preacher has been second, third and fourth in his three outings this season and can finally get his front in the Maiden.
Hunt Members (2 ran)
1. The Wealerdealer (IRE) (W Biddick, 4-5JF); 2. Mister Moonax (IRE) (Miss H Hawkins, 4-5JF). 6min 47s. 2l. (Keith Cumings).
Open Maiden (9 ran)
1. Noble Legacy (Jamie Thomas, 3-1); 2. Go On Henry (IRE) (J Guerriero, 8-1); Vic’s Moll (IRE) (R Henderson, 3-1). 6min 42s. 1l, ½l. (Kayley Jones).
Ladies Open (3 ran)
1. Rio Gael (IRE) (Miss E Kelly, 3-1); 2. Quedillac (FR) (Miss G Andrews, 2-5F); 3. Miss Midnight (Miss S Berry, 7-4). 6min 37s. Nk, 20l. (Sam Holdsworth).
Mens Open (3 ran)
1. King’s Wood (IRE) (R Henderson, 6-4); 2. Whizzaar (Jamie Thomas, 4-7F); only two finished. 6min 34s. 25l. (Leighton McGuinness).
PPORA Club Members (Nov Rdrs) (2 ran)
1. Alroyal (GER) (J Smith-Maxwell.1-5F); 2. Mountain Appeal (IRE) (Miss R Morris, 3-1). 7min 18s. 20l. (Katherine Smith-Maxwell).
Confined (5 ran)
1. Eslin Bridge (IRE) (W Biddick, 5-4F); 2. Nobody Tells Me (FR) (James Thomas, 2-1); 3. Dandooley (M Woodward, 3-1). 6min 35s. 5l, 8l. (Steve McCracken).
Restricted (4 ran)
1. Point West (IRE) (R Henderson, 5-4); 2. Strong Saddler (IRE) (Conor Smith, 6-1); 3. Holcombe Hitman (J Guerriero, 5-1). 6min 31s. 3l, dist. (Sarah Faulks).
The Devon & Somerset Staghounds at Holnicote
– Sunday 5 May 2013
Will Biddick and Robbie Henderson each rode a double to take the Holnicote riding honours on Sunday. Will led off by nursing The Wealerdealer home ahead of sole rival Mister Moonax in the Hunt race. “Will has to keep a hold of him to make sure he doesn’t swerve, so he never wins by far”, said owner, Geoffrey Brown. “The best bet would have been a ‘three lengths or less winning distance’ either way”.
Will doubled up by producing Steve McCracken’s Eslin Bridge with a beautifully timed challenge to take the Confined. The 11-year-old had made his seasonal reappearance at Stafford Cross a week earlier. “I normally wait for end of season meetings, but this year I’ve been held up by the bad weather as well as the lambing”, said owner-trainer Steve, whose Challacombe beef and sheep farm borders the Bratton Down point-to-point course in North Devon. “Eslin Bridge isn’t the fastest horse in the world, but he keeps going and Holnicote suits him”.
Robbie achieved his double aboard Men’s Open winner King’s Wood and Point West (Restricted). The former, making his first Holnicote appearance for five years, dominated a lacklustre Whizzaar after outsider-of-three Pip’s Baby had departed at the second. “King’s Wood is a strong stayer and the natural race would have been tomorrow’s Eggesford 4-mile Mixed Open [which King’s Wood won in 2010 and 2011] but today’s ground suits him and we decided to give him a nice race”, said owner Laura Claydon. Point West picked off his three rivals approaching the last. Trained by Sarah Faulks, Point West, who won his maiden at Trebudannon in 2008, was following up his promising neck second at the Cornish track in April.
John Smith-Maxwell maintained the family tradition when opening his account aboard Alroyal, a horse owned and trained by his parents, Philip and Katherine. “I rode winners, my daughter Alex [Dunn] has ridden winners, my mother Pat Tollit rode winners [171 from 342 rides], my father John did and so did John’s grandfather Archie Smith-Maxwell and my grandfather, Major Harold Rushton”, said Katherine. “Alroyal was Charly Prichard’s first winner last season and we’re grateful to the Prichard family for selling him to us after we spoke to them almost exactly 12 months ago”.
Rio Gael rewarded his outsider-of-three backers by taking the Ladies’ Open. Patiently ridden by Lizzie Kelly, the seven-year-old led approaching the last before holding Gina Andrews’ renewed challenge aboard 2-5F Quedillac. Rio Gael won seven races under Rules before joining Modbury trainer Sam Holdsworth five weeks ago.
Denis and Rita Underhill’s Noble Legacy, who had been placed five times, deservedly got off the mark by making all in the Maiden. “He’s as safe as houses and has so much experience he’s more like an open horse”, said trainer Kayley Jones. “We thought he wanted softer ground but [winning rider] Jamie [Thomas] says he’s relished today’s firmer surface”.