Classy mare Popaway, ridden by Immy Robinson, upset the form books by winning the Ladies Open race at the Cottesmore meeting at Garthorpe yesterday. Beaten favourite Palypso De Creek struggled to compete on this occasion, despite having eight straight wins prior to this.
The twelve-year-old winner, trained by Pauline Harkin, had nearly pulled out of the race earlier in the day because the ground wasn’t quick enough. “She needed a race,” the trainer added, “and she is just getting better with age. I think this is the best she has ever been.”
The Mens Open race was contested over the shorter 2m4f distance and was won in some style by Silver Roque (H. Morshead). The well-backed favourite wasn’t challenged, beating Old Pride by about twelve lengths, making the long drive from the Cotswolds worth while for the Vestey team.
Earlier in the day the locally owned and trained favourite Robin De Boss had taken the early spoils by winning the Members race under Dale Peters. The Waltham on the Wolds trained seven-year-old is owned by a Rutland syndicate headed by Oakham solicitor Paul Browne.
The bookmakers’ woes continued in the second race of the day when another favourite, Golden Tobouggan (Claire Hardwick), made it three wins from three this season. After a good challenge from En Passe (T. David) the six-year-old gelding pulled clear to prove he had plenty left in the tank.
The last three races of the days attracted the biggest fields. The first of these, the Conditions race for nine-year-olds and upwards was won by Hi Vic after the race had boiled down to a head-to-head with second placed Helpston (G. Andrews). Winning owner Nicholas Wright is the Cottesmore Chairman and the horse was ridden by his son Archie.
The Restricted Race saw a three-way battle between favourite Teeton Power (D. Peters), Lord Golan (T. Strawson) and Tailspin (T. David). Teeton Power had made the running but Tailspin proved that he still had reserves as the race developed. Lord Golan impressed in second after a season off.
Finally the Maiden race provided one of the best performances of the day, by Emtidaad (D. Mansell). The impressive four-year-old seemed to relish the dead ground to win well from Rainbow Bucks (J. Martin) and Le Fou Royal (A. Wright).