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Post Info TOPIC: Minehead Harriers and West Somerset at Holnicote on Saturday 7th May 2022 by Kirsty Boutflower


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Date: May 9th
Minehead Harriers and West Somerset at Holnicote on Saturday 7th May 2022 by Kirsty Boutflower

A gloriously sunny day greeted racegoers to Holnicote for the Minehead Harriers and West Somerset meeting on Saturday. It was a day of good runners or no runners with the Alan Hill team notching a training double, Will Biddick being gifted another riding double and young Kelsey Bielby riding her first winner on only her second start.

Kelsey Bielby is no stranger to riding winners having had 14 when she was Pony Racing but in an emotional day for her father George, she steered Somethinboutangela to victory over Three Faces West and Darsi's Pass in the opener. Travelling sweetly in second for much of the race, the mare was sent into the lead approaching the last by Kelsey and held on from a rallying Three Faces' West. A beaming Kelsey was full of praise for the mare's jumping and said her main focus was to keep her on her feet. A thrilled George explained "We bought her from Dr Richard Newland for very little and don't over-gallop her which suits her." Kelsey who has worked for local trainer Alex Dunn for the past year and a half will now embark on a Flat career with Marcus Tregoning but stressed she would still keep riding in points.

The Maiden race saw 8 runners go to post and punters failed to spot that Alan Hill had won with his only other runner to the course last year. With Lucky Lara sent off favourite the tightly grouped field were led by Barry Scott under Will Biddick. As he increased the tempo, Izzy Marshall on Our Brother John tracked him making her move going into the last fence before showing a really good turn of foot to win by a length. An unsurprised Joe Hill who was representing his father explained that the nicely bred gelding by Yeats had been bought privately in Ireland from Colin Bowe who said he needed better ground. The owners were made up of a group of lads whose parents owned horses in the yard and they had decided to get involved and have a bit of fun. Joe said the intention was to now sell the horse on either privately or at Doncaster Sales and added that he would be a nice fun horse to have in anyone's yard.

The second part of the Hill double came in the Mixed Open when Sir Mangan confirmed his class under Ben Sutton and held on from his sole rival, Kilbricken Storm despite Will Biddick trying to pounce late. Ben explained "he's just a fantastic jumper off this quicker ground and has now won 8 times for me and Dad." Joe Hill added "he really is 14 years young and is the most genuine horse to train." He went on to praise the Clerk of the Course Mike Harding and also Johnson White who had done such a fantastic job on the ground. "Dad said last year how great this course was and that's now three winners from three runners here - so we will definitely be back!"

Another trainer to compliment organisers on the well prepared ground was Colin Tizzard whose Lillington sent off favourite under Freddie Gingell in the Novice Rider's race. But Stuart Sampson's River Myth relishes running at this track and wasn't about to let anyone deny her another win here. Vinnie Webster who rode the winner was recording his 6th winner, 5 of which have come in the last three months. He works locally for trainer Victor Dartnall and said "Stuart just told me to get her jumping as she would always outjump anything." Joint owner, Terry Hamlin was another to praise the ground and thought she might go to either Bratton Down or Upcott Cross as she seemed to thrive when she had sun on her back.

The Restricted saw 6 go to post with Chris Barber's Highway Hero a narrow favourite but in the end it was the complete outsider Rowley Park who stole the show under Jake Bament for trainer Lisa Smale. With the favourite bowling along under Will Biddick, strong fancied Grove Ash and Kate's Lane were content to sit just in behind the leader. As the three came towards the second last in a line, Jake was sitting quietly on Rowley Park and said "as soon as I gave him a squeeze, he just picked up, winged the last and has gone away from them." It was a nice performance for the Lisa Smale trained gelding and he clearly improved for this better ground having shown nothing in two races last season on soft. Lisa trains in Torrington with her partner Dan Farr and this was their second winner jointly. She is head girl for trainer Tony Newcombe and explained "I train for Humphrey Bray who is a family friend and who also owns this horse. He asked me if I would like to train "Boris" for him and he's now our second winner, the first being in 2015! I take him stag hunting which he absolutely loves and is the best hunter."

The remaining races were sadly walkovers with the Conditions race going to Teresa Clark's Beau du Brizais and the Intermediate to Hadmeathello, trained by Stuart Payne. Both were partnered by Will Biddick and will count towards his Championship. After all the comments especially by such high-profile figures in the industry on the excellent condition of the course, it was a shame to see this and it is hoped in future years, trainers and owners take note of this and support Holnicote.

Dom Bradshaw: Chief pot and bottle washer - Jumping For Fun
Twitter @jumping4fun Facebook: Jumping For Fun Facebook: Dom Bradshaw
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