Flame victory in hunt race

PUBLISHED: 12:46 04 May 2010 | UPDATED: 14:02 09 August 2010

Touch Of Flame, who is trained at Bishop s Nympton by Keith and Janet Cumings, and jointly owned by them and Devon & Somerset Staghounds Joint Master Diana Scott, was a popular winner of the opening hunt race at Holnicote, writes Brian Armstrong.

The Devon & Somerset Staghounds at Holnicote - 1 May 2010

Touch Of Flame, who is trained at Bishop's Nympton by Keith and Janet Cumings, and jointly owned by them and Devon & Somerset Staghounds Joint Master Diana Scott, was a popular winner of the opening Hunt Members' race at Holnicote. El Hombre Del Rio (Emma Pugsley) and Gin 'N' Fonic (Robert Hawker) made much of the running but neither had any answer when Sam Allwood asked Touch Of Flame to quicken approaching the last.

Two of Philip and Sarah Hobbs' employees rode their first-ever winners at the meeting. Thomas Flint, 21, elder brother of National Hunt Conditional Champion Rhys Flint, got off the mark when Iris's Prince led over the last two fences in the Men's Open. "Iris's Prince won ten consecutive point-to-points and took the National Leading Horse Award for Rhys two years ago", said Thomas. "You need to kid him along and give him confidence, but he's done it nicely today".

Fellow Hobbs-employee Robert Hawker received the perfect birthday present when opening his account on the Emma Jackson-trained Maiden winner Lancer Scott. "Robert's 17 today", revealed his mother, Sarah Hawker. "He had his first ride at this meeting last season and it's his 15th in total".

Sarah Hobbs was in the winner's enclosure herself after Lord Lescribaa and Matt Griffiths led over the last four fences in the Intermediate. "Lord Lescribaa doesn't want to be in front too early", admitted Sarah. "He jumped his way into the lead, and then started looking around, but at least he's won". Sarah owns Lord Lescribaa jointly with her mother, Mary Hill. "Mum's not here though as we took her to Badminton yesterday and wore her out", said Sarah.

Bill Parker missed seeing his Celestial Dragon take the PPORA conditions contest. "Bill's car broke down in Bridgwater en route but at least it will be good news when I ring him", said Andoversford trainer James Richardson. Celestial Dragon sprinted clear from the last under Rachel King, who has a 100% record for James, with four wins from four rides.

Bampton owner Steve Marsh and trainer Sarah Sheen were other first-time winners with ladies' open hero Bobsleigh. "I bought him out of Stuart Howe's yard and he ran three times for me last season, but he's Sarah's first-ever runner", explained Steve. "Alice [Pearn] schooled him after racing at Cothelstone, exercised him in the week and has given him a dream ride today", added Sarah.

In The Circle surged clear over the last five fences for an impressive Restricted win under Ryan Bliss. "His stablemate is Ask Again, who's won five races this season, so we can go home with our heads held high", said Ditcheat owner-trainer Helen Barber,

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