Moonax stays on gamely for Hawkins

14:15 12 June 2012

Axe Vale point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 7554-22-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Axe Vale point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 7554-22-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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JANE WILLIAMS is already assured of her first National lady jockeys’ championship and took her seasonal total to 22 when Shernally took the Ladies’ Open at rain soaked Bratton Down, writes Granville Taylor.

This 10-year-old chestnut mare had already provided four of her winners this year, and had put trainer Dick Baimbridge into the record books when becoming his 500th winner at Paxford on Easter Monday. Although not fluent at her fences, Shernally joined Light Touch at the last and found too much pace for that rival on the climb to the judge.

Will Biddick has the Men’s title firmly in the bag for the first time, but failed to add to his 42 winners with just two fourth places on each of his rides on Sunday. Arbour Hill staged a remarkable fight back to win the Men’s Open under Mark Wall.

After leading for over a circuit, the tubed gelding dropped right away and was only fifth going to the last. Ocean du Moulin looked an assured winner there, but Arbour Hill flew on meeting the rising ground and got up to beat Ocean du Moulin by a neck. This race could have decided the National Novice Riders’ title, but Joe Hill’s narrow defeat and Harry Bannister’s unplaced effort on Ganbei left both teenagers on the nine winner mark. Umberleigh here they come!

The Novice Riders’ title for ladies’ is also still in the balance. After failing to ride a winner at the weekend, Charlotte Prichard remains on the ten winner mark, but Cornwall’s Leanda Tickle is still one behind. Leanda’s best chance of drawing level on Sunday came on Midnight Marine in the Hunt race, but he proved no match for Richard Woollacott’s mount Come What Augustus. Veteran owner Bill Westacott’s gelding had broken down last year and was making his seasonal debut. “He was fired last year and we need to look after his legs, but he will hopefully go hurdling this summer,” reported Kayley Jones, who was saddling her seventh winner since taking over the yard’s point-to-point licence last month.

“He loves Bratton Down,” exclaimed 19-year-old Hannah Hawkins as her mount Mister Moonax added the Restricted to last week’s Exmoor success. This time Richard Woollacott had to play second fiddle as Mister Moonax swooped on Midnight Whisper at the crest of the hill to get home by a length. Hannah did well to keep the partnership intact when her mount pecked badly at the penultimate. Mister Moonax has been a very useful schoolmaster since being bought by Simonsbath based Andrew Hawkins at Doncaster four years ago

Eslin Bridge is also trained close to the course and had been runner up to Mister Moonax at the Exmoor. He filled the same position in the Intermediate this time behind Amber Love, who was driven clear by Darren Edwards in the home straight. The winner is trained by Julie Pocock for the Amber Love Racing Club which consists of Vic Squires, Ken Ford and Phil Hemmings. “She ran well last time at the Axe Vale but lost two shoes that day,” said Vic Squires of their winner.

Molland Gayle stayed on gamely to beat her 12 opponents in the Open Maiden under Ian Chanin. This six-year-old Doctor Massini mare was bought at Ascot two years ago and has several placings to her name. She is trained by Robert Chanin who said, “We decided on more positive tactics this time as she tends to race freely.” The mare is owned by Robert and Ian Chanin alongside Brian and Loraine Kelly and Sue Knox.

Hunt Race (Winston Pincombe Land Rovers)

1 Come What Augustus (R Woollacott); 2 Midnight Marine (Miss L Tickle); 3 Court Brack (Miss E Kelly); 6 ran; 4l; 1/2l; 6mins 22 secs

Open Maiden (Stags)

1 Molland Gayle (I Chanin); 2 Floral Patches (J Guerriero); 3 Miss Cupcake (E Glassonbury); 13 ran; 3/4l; 1l; 6m 20s

Intermediate (Saul Kidston, Exmoor Hay & Stra Ltd)

1 Amber Love (D Edwards); 2 Esloin Bridge (M Hampton); 3 Furmagiatt (J Thomas); 7 ran; 8l; 7l; 6m 4s

Men’s Open (Friends & family of the late Sid Tarr)

1 Arbour Hill (M Wall); 2 Ocean du Moulin (J Hill); 3 Certain Flight (M Miller); 7 ran; neck; 1l; 6m 7s

Ladies’ Open (Greenslade Taylor Hunt)

1 Shernally (Miss J Williams); 2 Light Touch (Miss V Wade); 3 John Daniel (Miss A Bush); 6 ran; 5l; 6l; 6m 13s

Restricted (Eastleigh Care Homes)

1 Mister Moonax (Miss H Hawkins); 2 Midnight Whisper (R Woollacott); 3 Skating Home (R Hawker); 10 ran; 1l; 7l; 6m 12s

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