THE prolific Welsh mare Chesnut Annie scored her seventh point-to-point win of the season in the Ladies’ Open, making all the running to win unchallenged, writes Granville Taylor. She has now edged into the lead for the National leading horse award which she also won in the 2008/09 season. It was not all plain sailing however as motorway hold ups caused booked rider Sally Randell to miss the ride. “It took us over four hours because of the traffic with the horse,” said owner/trainer Beth Roberts. There was added drama as Leanda Tickle was contacted at the last minute by Randell to take the ride, but all ended happily with Chesnut Annie probably the least stressed of all. “She is a machine,” enthused Leanda, fresh from her Stratford hunter chase success on Friday night

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Mustangsallyrally gave Martin Cooney his fourth winner of the season after a cool ride from the Irish born jockey. Dandooley led his three pursuers over the final fence, but Cooney produced the winner at the right moment and held on well to win all out by a neck. “Mustangsallyrally has never fallen and he is for sale as a schoolmaster,” said owner Ray Geddes. The successful rider has made the most of his limited opportunities in the Barber yard behind stable jockey Will Biddick, who was without a ride at Bratton Down, but already assured of his first Men’s National title.

On a day which attracted only 23 runners in the six races, only two finished in the first two events. Mister Moonax gave 19-year-old Hannah Hawkins the first success of her career in the Hunt race, just holding Eslin Bridge. Mister Moonax is very much a family concern. He is trained locally by Hannah’s father Andrew, who owns the gelding together with his wife Trudy. Former pony racer Hannah is following in the footsteps of her brothers Giles and Richard.

Two of the Restricted quartet had departed by the fourth fence, leaving Richard Woollacott’s mount Mister Trigger to come home with eight lengths to spare over Holcombe Hitman. The winner was continuing the good form of his trainer Kayley Jones, who also owns the sturdy Double Trigger gelding in conjunction with Richard Grant and Clive Pearce.

Kayley Jones saddled both My Runaway and Moonberry in the four-horse Intermediate, but neither could peg back the Welsh challenger Red Watch who made most of the running under Bradley Gibbs.

Front running tactics also paid off for the grey Denise’s Dip, partnered by Susie Berry to win the Open Maiden. Robbie Henderson took a narrow lead on Driving Onwards after jumping the last, but Denise’s Dip had led from the second fence and fought back gamely up the final climb to clinch the verdict. The winner is owned by Wessex area point-to-point correspondent Bob Bracher alongside his partner and trainer Marilyn Burrough. “We bought him three years ago at the Ascot Derby sale and he has had all sorts of scrapes including turning himself over in the box en route to hunting last autumn and once virtually climbing over his stable door.” Reported Marilyn who paid tribute to Steve Parfimowicz, who does a lot of the work with him at home.

Hunt race (Acorn Rural Property Consultants)

1 Mister Moonax (Miss H Hawkins); 2 Eslin Bridge (M Hampton); 3 ran; won by neck, only too finished: 6 mins 6secs

Restricted Rosettes Direct)

1 Mister Trigger (R Woollacott); 2 Holcombe Hitman (E Glassonbury); 4 ran; 8lengths; only two finished, 5m 58s

Ladies’ Open (Bray Leino)

1 Chesnut Annie (Miss L Tickle); Light Touch (Miss V Wade); 3 Kilrogan (Miss K Jones); 3 ran; 10l; 15l; 5m 52s

Men’s Open (Moore Scarrott)

1 Mustangsallyrally (M Cooney); 2 Dandooley (D Edwards); 3 Jopero (R Woollacott); 5 ran; neck; 3/4l; 5m 51s

Intermediate (Ashley Farrant & the Kingdon family)

1 Red watch (B Gibbs); 2 Myb Runaway (R Henderson); 3 Moonberry (R Woollacott); 4 ran; 1 1/2l; 20l; 6m 3s

Open Maiden (The Old Station House Inn)

1 Denise’s Dip (Miss S Berry); 2 Driving Onwards (R Henderson); 3 Florantini (R Hawker); 4 ran; 1 1/2l; distance; 6m 2s

RESULTS ENDS

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