Barber flies Wessex flag at army point

PUBLISHED: 09:00 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 11:26 11 June 2010

Something Small put up a stunning performance to spread-eagle his 18 opponents in a quality Men's Open at Larkhill on Saturday, writes Brian Armstrong.

Something Small put up a stunning performance to spread-eagle his 18 opponents in a quality Men's Open at Larkhill on Saturday. Patiently ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen, Something Small overtook fellow Warwickshire raider Buckby Lane (Tom Ellis) three out before sprinting 20 lengths clear. "He's a more confident horse this year", confided owner-trainer Robert Waley-Cohen. "We'll probably find another Open and then go hunter chasing". Something Small is now unbeaten in his last five completed outings and could easily be a contender for all the top hunter chases.Richard Barber and Rachael Green flew the Wessex Area flag with a double. The Seaborough pair kicked off with Ray and Wendy Geddes' Oracle Des Mottes, who overcame a near two year absence to account for market rivals Raregem (Polly Gundry) and Red Brook Lad (Charlotte Tizzard) in the Ladies' Open. Oracle Des Mottes travelled well throughout the race and had little difficulty cruising clear when asked by Rachael approaching the last. Now Listen To Me easily justified favouritism when coasting home in a division of the Maiden for Paul Barber and Harry Findlay, who bought the horse privately from Tom Costello.Ann Watts' roundabout journey - Bridgwater to Larkhill via Heathrow - paid off when Big Brendan took the opening Army Saddle Club Members. "I drove [daughter] Debbie and [son-in-law] Gareth to Heathrow airport while [husband] Brian came here with the horse. I arrived just as the race started", beamed Ann. The win will have painful memories for rider Jody Sole - he dislocated his shoulder riding a finish after the last. Godfrey Maundrell's Lisadell King was an impressive Maiden winner, surging into the lead three out and looking to have the race in safekeeping when nearest pursuer Shaver Baines (Rachael Green) fell at the penultimate. "We bought him at Doncaster in August for 2,600gns", explained Paul Thompson, who looks after five pointers for Godfrey. "He's always gone well at home, and has grown into himself since we bought him".The third Maiden went to the Katie Baimbridge-trained Onslow Road, who made all the running and just lasted home under Ran Morgan. "He's ex-Venetia Williams and has been eventing so his jumping stood him in good stead", smiled Tom Gittins, who heads the partnerships of 25 racehorses.The closing Restricted race was divided at declaration. Exceptionnel (Tim Lane) put in a fine round of jumping to take Division One for Annie Connell's Northamptonshire yard before Merry Vic justified Marcus and Carolyn Gorman's journey from Sussex in Division II. "We got him from Tom Costello in the summer", explained Carolyn. "We realised when he finished third at Cottenham that he stays, so Marcus kicked on a mile out. We'd like to win an Intermediate with him, and then go for the Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Final at Cheltenham in May". The next Wessex Area meeting is the Royal Artillery at Larkhill on Saturday 26th January. Between times, the PPORC hold their two-day meeting at Barbury Racecourse, near Marlborough, on the 12th and 13th.THE ARMY at LARKHILL - 5 JANUARY 2008Entries: 151Runners: 100(66%)Army Saddle Club Members, 12st (5 Runners)6min: 21sec11/2 lengths, Distance1. BIG BRENDANJ. Sole, 4-1 2. WHO ELSE KNEW (IRE)A. Michael, 5-2 3. WEST PACES (IRE)H. Wallace, 16-1 Ladies Open, 11st (9 Runners)6min: 07sec1L, 21/2L1. ORACLE DES MOTTES (FR)Miss R. Green, 5-2 2. RAREGEMMiss P. Gundry, 9-4 3. RED BROOK LADMiss C. Tizzard, 2-1F Mens Open, 12st (19 Runners)6min: 05sec20L, 31/2L1. SOMETHING SMALLS. Waley-Cohen, 5-1 2. BUCKBY LANET. Ellis, 12-1 3. MAN FROM HIGHWORTHD. Bass, 100-1 Open Maiden (Div 1) 567&8yo, 12st (18 Runners)6min: 17 secDist, 1L1. LISADELL KING (IRE)G. Maundrell, 10-1 2. SUPREME ROYAL (IRE)S. Allwood, 7-1 3. TANGO WITHA MANGOM. Wall, 6-1Open Maiden (Div 2, Part 1) 567&8yo, 12st (9 Runners)6min: 20 sec11/2L, 2L1. ONSLOW ROAD (IRE)R. Morgan, 16-1 2. NORTHERN PITCHERI. Chanin, 12-1 3. MARBLEHEAD (IRE)M. Wall, 3Open Maiden (Div 2, Part 2) 567&8yo, 12st (10 Runners)6min: 27sec16L, 16L1. NOW LISTEN TO MEMiss R. Green, EvensF 2. TRES BIENN. Wilmington, 7-1 3. KALISOU (FR)H. Kinchin, 20-1 Restricted (Div 1), 12st (15 Runners)6min: 22sec6L, Head1. EXCEPTIONNEL (FR)T. Lane, 7-4F 2. SHADY HOLLOW (IRE)S. Allwood, 4-1 3. ARF THE PRICEMiss A. Bush, 10-1 Restricted (Div 2), 12st (15 Runners)6min: 17sec16L, 4L1. MERRY VIC (IRE)M. Gorman, 5-1 2. CORAL CAYM. Atkinson, 14-1 3. SILVER MONARCHR. Bliss, 10-1

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