The six-race card got underway with a joint Fernie and Woodland Pytchley Members race which brought all five entered horses forward to the post. Golden Milan (Lucy Wheeler) had started as odds-on favourite and was happy to let others lead the way in the early stages before making their move during the final lap. Serena Tyler’s Knowhentofoldem, however, found something in the last quarter mile and, as the favourite weakened on the uphill approach to the last, was able to surge past and claim victory by a couple of lengths. This was the owner’s first completion on the horse, which won an Intermediate race in 2015.
The 2m4f Maiden race, the second at this meeting, was one of those that reminds you that racing is an unpredictable game. To the casual observer this looked likely to be a two-horse race between 4/7 favourite Captain Cook (Sam Davies-Thomas) and Pentridge Hill (Jack Day) but Will Aprahamian and Primary School had other plans. As Sam Davies-Thomas’ ride jumped the last it had clearly lost all headway and Primary School was able to overtake with ease and win by two lengths. This victory was all the Moore remarkable because the horse has not been in training for the last ten days.
The Mixed Open Race looked to be an interesting three-way affair, with the bookmakers pricing Warne (Henry Morshead), Curraigflemens (Shane Roche) and Burtredgipandgump (Archie Wright) at a very similar level. Indeed each of these showed promise at times, taking their turns at the front before Warne began to fade with a quarter of a lap to run. Burtredgipandgump looked like he might pull off a great victory as they approached the last but in the end Curraigflemens had too much left and won impressively by three and a half lengths.
Two of this meeting’s races were qualifiers for Nationally sponsored series and the first of these was the PPORA Club Members race for Novice Riders, which qualifies the first four combinations for the National Final at Garthorpe on 21st May. The closing stages saw two horses in the hunt, with Arkose and Will Thirlby and Silvergrove (Tim Gredley) battling it out. Arkose looked to have this one, having hit the front close to home, but Silvergrove rallied and found a little more, enough to win by a head. A third win on the bounce for this horse, whose jockey Tim Gredley recently gave up life as a professional show jumper to concentrate on racing.
The second National qualifier was the Subaru-sponsored Restricted Race, which entitles the first three horses past the post to take part in the Subaru Restricted Final at Stratford on 9th June. Nick Wright’s Mr Maclennane was the top-rated horse in this one and looked strong until weakening after three quarters of the race and leaving the way open for Aunty Joan to win by a handsome margin of 15 lengths from Castle Connell in second. Owner and breeder Sylvia Busby explained, “she is home bred and runs here just like her Mother (Teeton Glaive) used to, accelerating down the hill to the finish.”
Finally the Open Maiden race was won in some style by Equus Secretus (Dale Peters). This five-year-old led from the off and pulled away from Misola Bird (Sophie Walker) to win by a dozen or so lengths. Owner Natalie Richardson purchased the horse for £600 at the Ascot sales.
Our next meeting in the Midlands Area is on Easter Monday, April, when the South Notts will host their meeting at Thorpe Lodge. It will be a six-race card which will include National qualifiers for the Timico Mixed Open series, the Red Mills Intermediate series and the Subaru Restricted series. We look forward to seeing you there.