15th April - Charing
Ashford Valley Tickham

Next meeting

The entries are in for the traditional dual meeting Easter weekend and there are 105 of them split almost equally across the two meetings.
The race of the day at Charing could be the Mixed Open, where prolific winners Conkies Lad and The Ferbane Man could lock horns, as their respective riders, Charlie Marshall and Shane Roche, go head to head in the battle for the South East Mens Championship.
The supporting races include a maiden race where Nick Pearce trains three of the ten entries, but Phil York’s Miss North Light could be the horse to beat on her return from a mid-season break.
The Veteran & Novice Riders race could see Izzie Marshall go a win clear in the National Novice Ladies title, if connections decide that dual course winner, Letskeepit Simple, can take up his entry against his seven rivals.
The Restricted could provide the most competitive race of the day, with five runners all rated very closely together. Phil York’s course winners Spiritofchartwell and Leafy Arbour hold the highest ratings, but they are joined by Nick Pearce’s Minmore Present, who was last seen winning his maiden at Parham last season. The horse to watch could be five-year-old mare Poppy Hill, trained by David Phelan and recently purchased for £11,000 at Ascot sales.
The Club Members Conditions race has just five entries but it could be competitive nonetheless as the firm ground loving Merrydown Vintage is entered, as is the Henrietta Knight trained Ballypatrick.
The concluding Hunt Members race has ten entries and gives a good reason to stick around, and it could provide Rose Grissell with her first winner of the season, as Crack Of Thunder and De Clare Man boast the highest ratings. Nick Pearce could be their biggest threat, as he has a choice of runners including Don’t Do Mondays, Minmore Present and Roll Of The Dice.
Easter Saturday saw a master class of riding from Phil York, as the semi-centenarian rode three of the six winners. His first winner came courtesy of Spiritofchartwell in the Restricted, who was left clear when Charlie Marshall and Minmore Present went through the wing at the third last. Phil then benefitted from Charlie’s mishap again in the Mixed Open, as he picked up the ride on Charlie’s intended mount, The Gunner Brady. The eight-year-old was sent off favourite but, was made to work hard by Oz Wedmore on Crack Of Thunder. Phil’s trio of wins was completed in the Club Members Conditions race, as Merrydown Vintage showed too much toe for his only rival, Iheardu. Phil’s only defeat of the day came in the opening Open Maiden race, where his mount Miss North Light failed to get past five-year-old Roll Of The Dice, ridden by Charlie, trained by Nick Pearce and owned by Mrs Ruth Arnold. Nick and Ruth bookended the meeting in the concluding hunt race, as Don’t Do Mondays put in a front running performance to beat his two rivals. The Veteran & Novice Riders race saw Ella Gillings have her first win this season, as she was entrusted with ride on Michael Deasley’s Letskeepit Simple. Victory looked unlikely around the home bend, but Ella timed her challenge well and won going away on the seven-year-old, who is well on his way to be the area’s leading horse for the second year running.