WILL BIDDICK extended his lead for the National jockeys’ championship at the South Devon with a comfortable Confined race success on Alpha Native, writes Granville Taylor.

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. Owned by Peter and Sandra Clarke and trained by Keith Cumings, Alpha Native was giving the Cornish rider his 11th winner of the season. “He stays and jumps well and we may go for a hunter chase,” reported connections.

Glacial Call gave 25-year-old James Legg the first winner of his career in the Novice Riders’ contest. A winner of six point-to-points and a hunter chase during the past few seasons, the mare had shown very little in her two races so far this season, but responded to every call from her rider this time. James’s parents Roger and Jennifer Legg bought Glacial Call to give James race riding experience, but the mare’s victory prompted the stewards’ to enquire about the running of the 12-1 outsider of the six runners. Better going and the application of cheek pieces instead of blinkers had brought about the necessary improvement.

Shrewd Investment had taken the first race of the season at Black Forest Lodge and the six-year-old followed up with Restricted success here ridden by Nico de Boinville who works in the Nicky Henderson yard. The winner is trained at Barbury Castle by Laura Thomas for her father Norman. “We tied his tongue down for the first time today and may send him hunter chasing,” said the trainer.

The Mamur Zapt was closing on Shrewd Investment when sprawling badly at the last in the Restricted, but his rider Darren Edwards had better luck when making all the running on Minella King to win the Open Maiden. This time Darren survived a first fence blunder on the winner, but was always holding runner-up Buster to give the rider his sixth success of the season. Minella King is owned and trained by Clare Bowles at Lovington, Somerset, but races with a Tredegar Farmers’ certificate.

The Welsh point-to-point season does not get under way until mid-February, but there have been several successful raids by Welsh trained pointers into the Westcountry already this season. Sunday proved no exception, with three more prizes finding their way across the bridge.

The Pembrokeshire qualified Makena, owned by David Evans, stayed on strongly to win the Mixed Open with her trainer Alan Johns in the saddle. The mare was always travelling well and was left clear when Border Castle refused at the second last. Alan Johns rides out for Peter Bowen and said, “I am kept busy because I also ride my own horses and spend the evenings studying for an Open University course”.

The two and a half miles Open Maiden also went to a Pembrokeshire trained horse in the shape of seven-year-old Anobium, who overhauled front running Bach On Tow in the home straight. Peter and Lisa Hall bought Anobium at Cheltenham sales in May 2010 and the gelding is stabled with Paul Tolman near Tenby. Paul’s fiancée Jodie Hughes had the mount on Anobium. “That is the 40th winner of my career,” said the delighted jockey who is one of the strongest lady jockeys riding today. Anobium had finished third to Flemenstar in his only Irish point and that form received a boost when his conqueror won a grade 1 chase at Leopardstown on Sunday, just a few minutes after Anobium’s success.

Jockey John Mathias completed a good day for Wales by partnering his first winner since dislocating his hip last April. John steered home Renta Gallery to beat 15 rivals in the Mares Maiden. Luke Price trains this mare at Ynysybwl on behalf of father and son owners Adrian and Richard Thomas.

RESULTS:

Confined: 1 Alpha Native (W Biddick); 2 Turning Tide (M Wall); 3 Whatcanisay (Miss B Frost); 6 ran; 2 1/2l; 25l; 6m 31s

PPORA Novice Riders’: 1 Glacial Call (J Legg); 2 Lidjo de Rouge (Miss C Hawker); 3 Tres Bien (J Newman); 6 ran; 4l; 1l; 6m 25s

Open Maiden 2m 4f - four to seven-year-olds:1 Anobium (Miss J Hughes); 2 Bach on Tow (Miss L Gardner); 3 Cousinade (M Barber); 11 ran; 3l; 12l; 5m 9s

Mixed Open: 1 Makena (A Johns); 2 Gunner Be Quick (R Tory); 3 Penyfan Dawn (N Williams); 9 ran; 12l; 15l; 6m 27s

Restricted: 1 Shrewd Investment (N de Boinville); 2 Where’s My Slave (M Wall); 3 The Mamur Zapt (D Edwards); 13 ran; 2l; 5l; 6m 27s

Mares Maiden:1 Renta Gallery (J Mathias); 2 Jaunty Dove (R Jarrett); 3 Shanann Star (D Edwards); 16 ran; 2l; 1l; 6m 31s

Open maiden: 1 Minella King (D Edwards); 2 Buster (M Hampton); 3 Central Bank (M Wall); 14 ran; 5l; 12l; 6m 35s

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