8th March 2015 Godstone
While the majority of racing fans are gearing themselves up for the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday, we have a great meeting at Godstone to look forward to first. The sun is supposed to shine right up until the weekend, which will hopefully attract a larger crowd than we have seen so far.
The opening Conditions race is a competitive affair with horses entered from several different areas; only six of the 17 entries are trained within the South East. The race could see a rematch from several horses that ran here last time, with Full Throttle, Paddycards, and Scenic Route all entered to re-oppose. It won’t be easy for them though, as the useful looking Repeat Business is entered for Jonathon Tudor, who has had one winner from one runner at the course. Another interesting entry is Nigel Padfield’s Star Of Massini, who looked a useful horse when progressing from Maiden level for Tom Weston last season. Ray Glennon’s Definite Ridge was unlucky not to be called the winner at Charing a fortnight ago and Glennon will be looking to go one better than the second place that he was actually awarded.
The second race is the Mens Open, which with only nine runners is a case of quality over quantity. Nick Pearce is the sole representative for the South East area and he has three entered for the race. The best of these is Session Or Ression, who was last seen two years where he pulled up at Higham from a burst blood vessel. The eleven year won his fair share of Irish Opens in 2011 and connections will be hoping that some of that old ability remains. Pearce’s other runners are Come On You, who is making a big step up after winning his Restricted at Charing, and Dance Tempo for Novice Rider John Pearson. The father-son partnership of Alan and Joe Hill were responsible for winning the last Godstone Mens Open with the hugely impressive Consigliere. With that horse bound for Cheltenham, they look to the 114 rated Quinz to fill in. The two horses who pursued Consigliere in vain were Hunter’s Lodge and Anseanachai Cliste, and their owner-riders Gareth Henderson and David Maxwell will be hoping they can get a bit closer to Quinz.
The Ladies Open has a couple more entries and Cynthia Woods has a good shot of winning this race as Little Legend gets his first South East entry for a long time. The eleven year old pulled up on his seasonal reappearance at Higham but the prospect of better ground may bring out a better run, on a course that he has been successful at twice. With Sharp Suit reportedly set for Ampton, his main competition could be Citizens Arrest, who has won twice this season and twice at Godstone. Another course winner Done A Runner will also be a threat should connections decide to run him here, he won well at Larkhill in February and won the Restricted on this card last season.  Behind The Scenes ran well when finishing third at Charing, he won his Maiden and Restricted at Godstone and will be suited by faster ground.  Rear Gunner is entered here after a disappointing run at Charing, but he also holds an entry in the Novice Riders.
The Novice Riders has a healthy 19 entries, but a lot of the horses are also entered in the Conditions race and both Opens. Behind The Scenes, Citizens Arrest, Done A Runner, Hunters Lodge and Star Of Massini are among those that are double entered, while Alpha Native and Billie Magern are the most notable of those that aren’t.
The Restricted race looks quite competitive, with the two maiden winners from the last Godstone meeting aiming to follow up. Those two are the Grissell’s De Clare Man and Jonathon Tudor’s High Hatton, where the latter looks to have the better chance as he won his race in a good deal faster time than De Clare Man. Their biggest threat could be Sarah Hall’s Country Foolery, who was a decent second to Come On You at Charing and may be suited by the better ground. Other horses to consider are Joshua Pearce’s Shannon Smacker and the Jenny Gordon trained Printing Blue who was second at Horseheath on Saturday.
The concluding Maiden race has twenty entries, with three placed horses from the last meeting looking to go one or two better. The three in question are Rose Grissell’s Boy Of Boru, Nick Pearce’s Simonsruudt and Kim Smyly’s Mineyfortyniner, with the latter looking to have the best chance having only just being beaten by High Hatton. Competition to these three is thin on the ground, but Nick Pearce’s Jenna Pride may be able to improve on her third at Charing.
Club Member Conditons Race ( 9 runners)
2. PADDYCARDS Mr S. Painting 8/1
3. SCENIC ROUTE Mr M. Wall 9/2
Time: 6mins 30s
Distances: 8l, 3l
Mens Open (4 runners)
1. QUINZ Mr J. Hill 1/4F
3. COURSEY ROVER Mr G. Gallagher 8/1
Time: 6mins 24s
Distances: A distance, 6l
Ladies Open (10 runners)
1. BEHIND THE SCENES Miss E. Darwin 6/1
2. THENFORD RYDE Miss F. Hickman 20/1
3. TOBOGG WELCOME Mrs H. Rawdon-Mogg 20/1
Time: 6mins 33s
Distances: A distance, a distance
Novice Riders (11 runners)
1. CITIZENS ARREST Miss A. Stevens 5/4F
2. HUNTERS LODGE Mr G. Henderson 4/1
3. TUCUMARI Miss L. Thomas 5/2
Time: 6mins 34s
Distances: A neck, 1l
Restricted (5 runners)
1. COUNTRY FOOLERY Mr W. Clarke 5/1
2. DE CLARE MAN Miss R. Grissell 7/2
3. SHANNON SMACKER Mr J. Pearce 10/1
Time: 6mins 46s
Distances: 2l, 3l
Open Maiden (12 runners)
1. MINERFORTYNINER Mr D. Maxwell 10/11F
2. NIGHTSCAPE Miss C. Wills 14/1
3. CROWD CONTROL Mr J. Tudor 8/1
Time: 6mins 41.0s
Distances: 15l, 5l
Race Reports by Nicola, Stephanie & Martyn Dean
Race 1: The Albert Hall Dance Floors South East Hunts Club Members Conditions Race
Nine runners made their way to the starter with Repeat Business (James Tudor) sent off the 1/2 favourite. Last year’s winner Scenic Route (Mark Wall) was next in the betting at 4/1 whilst Paddycards (Sam Painting) was priced at 11/2. Dunloughin (Philip Hall) and Time Is Tickin (Oz Wedmore) were both priced at 10/1 and Chasers Chance (Caroline Dennis), Definite Ridge (Ray Glennon), Rio Novo (Peter Bull) and Terra Bleu (Clare Wills) were all priced at 20/1.
Scenic Route led the field over the first fence ahead of Terra Bleu, Time Is Tickin, Paddycards, Rio Novo, Definite Ridge, Chasers Chance, Dunloughin and Repeat Business. Time Is Tickin moved up to take the lead after the third fence whilst Dunloughin and Repeat Business were held at the rear of the field. Turning to face fence five Definite Ridge slipped up on the bend and brought down Chasers Chance reducing the field to seven. As the runners set out on their second circuit Time Is Tickin continued to lead from Paddycards, Scenic Route, Terra Bleu, Rio Novo, Repeat Business and Dunloughin who was starting to get detached six lengths behind his rivals. Paddycards jumped into the lead at fence ten with Time Is Tickin half a length behind. Repeat Business started to move through the field as the runners set out on their final circuit and was in third place behind Paddycards and Time Is Tickin at fence thirteen where Terra Bleu made a mistake. Repeat Business was moved to lead on the run to fence fifteen (third open ditch) with Paddycards and Scenic Route chasing followed by Terra Bleu and Time Is Tickin with Rio Novo and Dunloughin even further behind. Paddycards started to move back up beside the leader on the run to fence sixteen but made a mistake which allowed Repeat Business to quickly open up a six length advantage. Repeat Business managed to maintain his advantage and safely negotiated the final two fences to secure the victory. Paddycards held onto second place ahead of Scenic Route with Time Is Tickin taking fourth ahead of Terra Bleu. Rio Novo and Dunloughin both pulled up at fence seventeen.
1st Repeat Business James Tudor 1/2 (Favourite)
2nd Paddycards Sam Painting 11/2
3rd Scenic Route Mark Wall 4/1
4th Time Is Tickin Oz Wedmore 10/1
Distances: 8 lengths and 3 lengths
Time: 6mins 30 sec
Five finished
Race 2: The Highfields Farm Men's Open Race
Four runners were declared for the Men's open race with Quinz (Joe Hill) the odds on favourite at 1/5. Anseanachai Cliste (David Maxwell) was priced at 4/1 and Dance Tempo (Philip Hall) and Coursey Rover (Gordon Gallagher) were both priced at 8/1.Quinz led the field over the first fence ahead of Dance Tempo, Coursey Rover and Anseanachai Cliste. At fence three (first open ditch) Quinz had a two length advantage over Dance Tempo and Anseanachai Cliste with Coursey Rover a further four lengths behind. The four runners completed their first circuit without any incident but by fence nine (second open ditch) Quinz had a six length advantage over Dance Tempo who was three length ahead of Anseanachai Cliste with Coursey Rover a further four lengths behind. Quinz continued to lead with a clear advantage as the four runners completed their second circuit with Dance Tempo in second four lengths ahead of Anseanachai Cliste who was six lengths ahead of Coursey Rover. At fence fifteen (third open ditch) Quinz had a twenty length advantage whilst Dance Tempo started to tire as Anseanachai Cliste moved into second. Dance Tempo was pulled up before the sixteenth fence whilst Quinz had an unassailable lead over his remaining two rivals and his only danger was the obstacles he had to face. Quinz jumped immaculately over the final two fences to win comfortably whilst Anseanachai Cliste took second ahead of Coursey Rover who also completed.
1st Quinz Joe Hill 1/5 (Favourite)
2nd Anseanachai Cliste David Maxwell 4/1
3rd Coursey Rover Gordon Gallagher 8/1
Distances: A distance and 6 lengths
Time: 6mins 24 sec
Three finished
Race 3: The Investec Wealth & Investment Ladies Open Race
Ten runners were declared for the ladies open race with Done A Runner (Lucy Wheeler) the even money favourite with Little Legend (Cynthia Woods) also popular at 6/4. Behind The Scenes (Ella Darwin) was next in the betting at 8/1 whilst Counting House (Anna Sansom) was backed from 20/1 to 8/1 by the start of the race. The other six runners Cool Steel (Frankie Pullar), Lord Snow (Kath Port), Noble Commander (Alyce Fisher), Ukrainian Star (Clare Wills), Thenford Ryde (Frankie Hickman) and Tobougg Welcome (Hannah Rawdon-Mogg) were all priced at 20/1.
After an initial false start Little Legend led the field over the first fence ahead of Thenford Ryde, Behind The Scenes, Ukrainian Star, Done A Runner, Cool Steel, Counting House, Lord Snow, Noble Commander and Tobougg Welcome. Tobougg Welcome was very slow over the first couple of fences and allowed his rivals to gain an eight length advantage before reaching fence three (first open ditch) whilst Little Legend and Thenford Ryde continued to lead the runners. The ten runners completed their first circuit without any problems but with Tobougg Welcome detached from his rivals. At fence nine (second open ditch) Little Legend continued to lead from Thenford Ryde and Ukrainian Star with Done A Runner also close behind with Behind The Scenes and Counting House a further two lengths back ahead of Cool Steel with Lord Snow and Noble Commander a further two lengths behind and Tobougg Welcome a further ten lengths behind. Lord Snow fell at fence ten reducing the field to nine. As the runners headed out on their final circuit Done A Runner moved up to second behind Little Legend and the leading pair had a six length advantage over Ukrainian Star and Counting House with Behind The Scenes also still in contention. Cool Steel pulled up before the thirteenth fence whilst Noble Commander and Thenford Ryde continued ahead of the detached Tobougg Welcome. Counting House was asked to chase after the leading pair on the run to the fence fourteen where Noble Commander pulled up, but Little Legend and Done A Runner continued to lead by four lengths. Behind The Scenes also made up ground on the run to fence fifteen (third open ditch) and moved into third ahead of Counting House. Little Legend and Done A Runner continued to battle for the lead at the sixteenth fence with Little Legend maintaining a half length advantage over Done A Runner and Little Legend still held a slight advantage turning into the finishing straight. Little Legend took the penultimate fence ahead of Done A Runner and was still a length clear at the final fence but hit to top of the fence and caught a leg causing the pair to fall. This looked as if the race had been handed to Done A Runner but Done A Runner was brought down on landing by Little Legend as he got to his feet. Counting House had regained the advantage over Behind The Scenes for what they thought would be third place but now looked to have the race on landing over the final fence but Counting House jinxed to his left at the fallen jockeys and caused Anna Sansom to unseat which in term handed the race to Ella Darwin on Behind The Scenes. Thenford Ryde and Tobougg Welcome had both continued to complete and in doing so picked up second and third placings.
1st Behind The Scenes Ella Darwin 8/1
2nd Thenford Ryde Frankie Hickman 20/1
3rd Tobougg Welcome Hannah Rawdon-Mogg 20/1
Distance: Distance and Distance
Time: 6mins 33 sec
Three finished
Race 4: The Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders
Previous course winner Citizens Arrest was sent off the 5/4 favourite in the six runner novice riders race whilst Lord Multifix (Charlie Marshall) was priced at 3/1, Hunters Lodge (Gareth Henderson) and Alpha Native (Susannah Gill) were both 4/1 and Rather Curious (Rex Dingle) and Tucumcari (Laura Thomas) were both priced at 8/1.
The six runners set off at a reasonable pace with Hunters Lodge and Alpha Native leading from Citizens Arrest, Rather Curious, Tucumcari and Lord Multifix. The six runners all jumped well throughout the first circuit and as they set out for the second circuit Citizens Arrest moved up to join Alpha Native to lead the field as Hunters Lodge dropped back to last place with Rather Curious, Tucumcari and Lord Multifix just in front. The six runners all jumped well for their second circuit again until fence eleven where Citizens Arrest made a mistake but the partnership was maintained. As the six runners headed out on their final circuit Alpha Native just had the advantage over Citizens Arrest whilst Hunters Lodge had moved up to share third with Tucumcari followed by Lord Multifix and Rather Curious. Citizens Arrest jumped up to lead at fence fifteen (third open ditch) but at the penultimate fence Citizens Arrest, Tucumcari, Alpha Native and Hunters Lodge were in the air together and the four raced to the final fence in a line across the course. All four took the fence well and continued to battle to the line but it was Citizens Arrest who just had his head in front at the winning post to deny Hunters Lodge for a second time. Tucumcari took third ahead of Alpha Native whilst Lord Multifix also finished in fifth and Rather Curious completed in sixth.
1st Citizens Arrest Alice Stevens 5/4 (Favourite)
2nd Hunters Lodge Gareth Henderson 4/1
3rd Tucumcari Laura Thomas 8/1
4th Alpha Native Susannah Gill 4/1
Distances: a neck and 1 length
Time: 6mins 34 sec
Six finished
Race 5: The Woodcote Green Garden Centre and Nurseries Restricted Race
High Hatton (James Tudor) was the 4/6 favourite to win the restricted race with De Clare Man (Rose Grissell) at 2/1, Country Foolery (Will Clarke) at 4/1, Printing Blue (G Bingham) at 7/1 and Shannon Smacker (Joshua Pearce) at 10/1.
Country Foolery led the runners over the first fence ahead of Printing Blue, Shannon Smacker, De Clare Man and High Hatton. Shannon Smacker made a mistake at the second fence and dropped to the back of the field but the five runners remained tightly bunched as they completed their first circuit with Country Foolery leading by a length from Printing Blue with De Clare Man and High Hatton a length further behind and Shannon Smacker just behind his rivals. Country Foolery and Printing Blue continued to lead at fence nine (second open ditch). De Clare Man made a slight mistake at fence ten and allowed High Hatton to move into third behind the leading pair. Country Foolery regained a length advantage as the five runners set out for their final circuit but at fence fourteen High Hatton was asked to increase the pace and quickly moved into the lead by a length ahead of Country Foolery whilst Printing Blue was a faller at the fourteenth. At the final open ditch (fence fifteen) High Hatton had a two length advantage over Country Foolery with De Clare Man a further two lengths back and Shannon Smacker a further five lengths behind in fourth. Country Foolery moved back up to join High Hatton at the sixteenth fence but on the run to the penultimate fence High Hatton regained a clear advantage ahead of Country Foolery and De Clare Man. High Hatton looked to have the race for the taking but made a mistake at the penultimate fence and unseated leaving Country Foolery and De Clare Man to battle to the final fence. The pair took the final fence together with Shannon Smacker also closing in on the leading duo but Country Foolery was able to find a little extra to pull away from De Clare Man on the run to the winning post whilst Shannon Smacker finished for third.
1st Country Foolery Will Clarke 4/1
2nd De Clare Man Rose Grissell 2/1
3rd Shannon Smacker Joshua Pearce 10/1
Distances: 2 lengths and 3 lengths
Time: 6mins 46 sec
Three finished
Race 6: The Burden Bros Open Maiden Race
Twelve runners completed in the concluding open maiden race. Minerfortyniner (David Maxwell) was the even money favourite with Boy Of Boru (Will Clarke) also popular at 5/2. Jenna Pride (Philip Hall) was priced at 4/1 whilst Crowd Control (James Tudor) and Nightscape (Clare Wills) were both priced at 8/1. Inside Out (Oz Wedmore), Iskrabob (Rose Grissell) and What About That (Charlie Marshall) were all 12/1, Showtime (Peter Bull) was 16/1 and Whispering Boy (Mark Clark), Realta Na Maidine (Tabitha Worsley) and Beat Master (Chris Dennington) were the 25/1 outsiders.
Iskrabob was a first fence casualty whilst What About That, Whispering Boy, Minerfortyniner and Nightscape were the early leaders followed by Realta Na Maidine, Jenna Pride, Boy Of Boru, Inside Out, Showtime, Crowd Control and Beat Master. Showtime made a mistake at fence five whilst the favourite Minerfortyniner dropped back through the field. As the eleven remaining runners set out for their second circuit Whispering Boy led from What About That and Nightscape with Jenna Pride in fourth ahead of Boy Of Boru, Crowd Control, Minerfortyniner, Realta Na Maidine, Showtime, Inside Out and Beat Master who was getting detached. Beat Master was pulled up at the eleventh fence having become detached and Realta Na Maidine was also pulled up before the eleventh having also started to get detached from the main field. As the remaining nine runners set out on their third and final circuit Whispering Boy led from Nightscape with Minerfortyniner close behind in third just ahead of Showtime, Boy Of Boru, Crowd Control, Inside Out, Jenna Pride and What About That. Showtime made a mistake at fence thirteen and lost a couple of lengths. Minerfortyniner moved up to lead on the run to the fifteenth (third open ditch) followed by Nightscape, Crowd Control and Jenna Pride as Whispering Boy started to drop back. Minerfortyniner quickly opened up a five length advantage on the run to the sixteenth fence and continued to pull further clear on the run to the penultimate fence where his advantage had increased to ten lengths. Minerfortyniner took the final fence fluently to secure the victory and loose his maiden status whilst Nightscape held on for second ahead of Crowd Control who finished strongly for third ahead of Jenna Pride. Boy Of Boru, Inside Out and Whispering Boy also completed whilst Showtime pulled up.
1st Minerfortyniner David Maxwell Evens (Favourite)
2nd Nightscape Clare Wills 8/1
3rd Crowd Control James Tudor 8/1
4th Jenna Pride Philip Hall 4/1
Distances: 15 lengths and 5 lengths
Time: 6mins 41 sec
Seven finished
Race goers were treated to a glorious spring day at Godstone, along with an array of impressive winners, tight finishes and unbelievable last fence calamities.
The first race was a Club Members Conditions race, where Welsh raider Repeat Business was the odds on favourite for the Tudor cousins, John and James. He won like his odds suggested, taking up the running with half a circuit to race and winning impressively. The race wasn’t without drama, as Definite Ridge fell on the flat on the first circuit, taking out Chasers Chance in the process. Both horses galloped away fine while the jockeys, Ray Glennon and Caroline Dennis, took a little longer to get to their feet.
If Repeat Business was impressive, then there has not yet been a word invented that can describe how Quinz ran in the Mens Open. Sent off the 1/4 favourite, the result was never in doubt as Joe Hill had Quinz in front all the way, pulling further and further clear as the race went on. The win provided trainer Alan Hill with his fourth Open winner of the weekend, after Ravethebrave, Start Royal and Sharp Suit all also triumphed. With Harbour Court and Consigliere set for Cheltenham on Friday, they hope Quinz can make his mark in the Aintree Foxhunters in a month’s time.
The South East’s first chance of a winner appeared to be Little Legend, with the eleven year old sent off the 6/4 second favourite behind the odds on, Alan Hill trained, Done A Runner. Cynthia Woods had Little Legend in the lead from the get go and was maintaining their lead even when Done A Runner constantly harassed them over the final circuit. Little Legend was still getting the better of his rival coming into the last, when he hit the top of the fence and crashed to the ground. His departure should have meant victory would go to Done A Runner, but he was hampered by the falling horse which caused his pilot Lucy Wheeler to unseat. With the two leaders out of the race it looked to fall to Counting House and Anna Sansom to pick up the pieces, but she similarly was unseated at the last when her horse jinked at the fallen jockeys. In behind all of these was Behind The Scenes, who found himself promoted from fourth to first just from the soundness of his jumping. Meanwhile Thenford Ryde plugged on to pick up second and unbelievably Tobougg Welcome took third, having been well detached for the entire race. The concluding stages had to be seen to be believed and was the most dramatic end to a race imaginable.
The Novice Riders provided the closest finish of the day with the field still bunched up turning into the home straight. Hunters Lodge had been hard ridden by young novice Gareth Henderson for the entire race, but looked to have gained a narrow advantage on the run in. He jumped the last marginally in front with Citizens Arrest and Tucumari on either side. The three gave battle from the back of the last, but it was Citizens Arrest who prevailed, just getting the better of Hunters Lodge for the second time this season. The neck win made it three out of three for Citizens Arrest this season and a third win at the course. Unluckily for Henderson he was filling the runner-up spot on Hunters Lodge for the third time in a row and hopes he can go one better when returning to the course for the 3m 6f South East Grand National, a race that he feels would suit his horse’s endless stamina.
Having already won with Repeat Business in the first race, the Tudor cousins were expected to make it a double, as High Hatton was sent off the odds on favourite to repeat the business of his Maiden win from the last meeting. Unfortunately for them their unbeaten record at the course came to an end, as High Hatton fell two out when he was a few lengths in the lead. The horse to benefit was Country Foolery, who provided novice jockey Will Clarke and trainer Sarah Hall with the second win of their careers. The ten year old had run with credit when chasing home Come On You at Charing on his first run of the season and could be capable of progressing further through the ranks.
The horse High Hatton narrowly beat at the last meeting was Minerfortyniner, and that form was given a strong boost as he won the concluding Open Maiden race easily under his owner David Maxwell. The Laura Thomas trained Nightscape was the best of the rest fifteen lengths back in second, while James Tudor rode Cynthia Wood’s Crowd Control into third, after Cynthia had been stood down after her fall from Little Legend in the Ladies.