by Emma Forman
Photos of the meeting: South Notts at Thorpe Lodge.
A large crowd enjoyed the warm, sunny bank holiday weather at Thorpe races on Easter Monday where Dale Peters enjoyed a double and a photo finish when Bardista won the Restricted race was just one of the thrilling finishes to be enjoyed.
The lack of rain in recent weeks has made it very hard to maintain safe racing ground so the team at Thorpe Lodge must be commended for the huge efforts they made in the run up to this fixture for which competitors and connections alike are grateful.
The feature Mixed Open race sponsored by Triangle Kia, a qualifier for the Timico Mixed Open Final at Cheltenham and the Skinner’s Ladies Open Final at Stratford, was won by Stephen Wiles’ BadBad Leroy Brown ridden by Philip Armson. The 7 year old, the winner of a Hurdle race in 2017 at Hereford when trained by Ollie Greenall, had shown some promise in point to points but is probably at his best at a distance shorter than 3 miles. If he comes out of the race well, he may run next Sunday at Easingwold, one of the easiest 3 mile trips there are and this could be just to his liking.
Dale Peters started the day with a win in the first race the PPROA Club Members Conditions race sponsored by the Frank Key group. Here Bi Quini Tiep had to battle to get the better of Merrydown Black and Sophie Walker who kept finding more before the grey Bi Quini Tiep asserted after the final fence to win by two and a half lengths. “He is a little monkey and made me work for that! He has had ulcers and has been better since the weather improved and we have been able to turn him out to get some grass.” Said Peters who trains the eight year old for Jon Balding.
The Dale Peters double was completed in the Four, five and six year olds open Maiden race sponsored by the Fernwood Group with the five year old Trio D’Ecajeul who finished alone and is now on the market. “That was a messy race; he always jumped well and has been really easy to do at home. Two and a half miles would be more to his liking and he will make into a nice horse for someone now. He will either be sold at the Goffs UK May sales or the Tattersalls Ascot June sales.” Commented Peters.
A trip to Cheltenham could be on the cards for Silcock & Partners Intermediate winner the aptly named Cheltenham de Vaige, trained by Sally Randell for Matt and Sally Burford, who is now qualified for the Connolly’s Red Mills Championship Final Hunter Chase on 3rd May. “He couldn’t have done it any better and he may go to Cheltenham if he comes out of this well.” Said winning rider Hannah Lewis. The second horse Somervieu ran in a visor and has been waiting in vain for his favoured soft ground all season.
The closest finish of the day came in the Frank Key Group Restricted race where Bardista and Alex Vaughan Jones just beat Worthapunt and Tom Chatfeild-Roberts. “That was very exciting and Alex hasn’t had to work so hard all year!” said his delighted Mother Alice Vaughan Jones who owns the horse in partnership with Gary Luck. The winning trainer was Gerald Bailey whose wife Caroline had earlier had a winner on the track at Huntingdon where Lord Sparky obliged in the MansionBet Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle race.
Racing concluded with the Barbara Hardstaff Memorial Open Maiden race, kindly sponsored by Arable Alliance; here it was Sturmwind and George Chatterton who got up to win in a close finish by a length and three quarters. “All credit due to Marika Hutton the winning owner; she does all the work at home herself.” Said the winning rider who is currently disputing the Midlands area novice rider championship with Sophie Walker. Marika was quick to thank Stuart Morris for letting her use his gallops to train the eight year old. Master Campbell, trained close to the course at South Clifton by Becky Crosbie Starling, ran a gallant race to be second and is another horse who would be better with some cut in the ground.
Racing in the Midlands area resumes at Garthorpe next Sunday with the popular Quorn fixture.
Results from Thorpe Lodge
Race 1 – Members
1st BI QUINI TIEP (Dale Peters) 2/1
2nd MERRYDOWN BLACK (Sophie Walker) 11/4
3rd MR MACLENNANE (Archie Wright) 4/5
Race 2 – Mixed Open
1st BADBAD LEROY BROWN (Philip Armson) 4/1
2nd WARDEN HILL (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts) 7/4
3rd BURTREDGIPANDGUMP (Archie Wright) 11/10
Race 3 – Intermediate
1st CHELTENAM DE VAIGE (Hannah Lewis) 7/4
2nd SOMMERVIEU (Philip Armson) 8/1
Race 4 – Restricted
1st BARDISTA (Alex Vaughan-Jones) 10/1
2nd WORTHAPUNT (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts) 8/1
3rd BASK IN THE GLORY (Dale Peters) Evens
Race 5 – Open 4, 5, 6, 7 YO
1st TRIO D’ECAJEUL (Dale Peter) 5/2
Race 6 – Open 8 YO+
1st STURMWIND (George Chatterton) 6/1
2nd MASTER CAMPBELL (Tom Strawson) Evens