This was my first visit to Southwell racecourse and after a
long drive found myself pleasantly surprised by the layout and
attractiveness of the course. We had not taken our own horses
to race due to the traveling involved, but may well reconsider
for next season as the facilities were ideally laid out for
owner/trainers to prepare horses. Once again members had been
working to find supporters for the races, including Blue Chip
who kindly donated a polo shirt to the winning handlers and
a bag of Blue Chip Pro as part of the first prize.
In the Archer Ward Open Maiden Stakes, supported by Liz Archer
and Claire Ward, Jason Burley came with a late run on L'Enchanteur
Royale to snatch victory from SA Anothersam and Pierre
Deymonaz. The winner, a colt by Merlin al Maury, is a half brother
to Bibi Royale another multiple winner bred by Mr and Mrs Kippen
at Langhan Hall Stud.
Stuart Shefras was delighted when Toalogo won the Indigo
Services UK AA/PB Stakes, "That was his last race, he can
bow out in glory." In fact the 11-year-old Anglo was lucky
to get to Southwell at all as Stuart's horsebox suffered a blow
out on the way there, resulting in a five-hour journey to the
course. Toalogo kept connections guessing through the race as
he slowed down past the first bend letting other horses pass
him, Bernie Gonsalves got him running again, coming back to
challenge in the home straight. This gave Donna Wheatley her
first winner as a trainer after taking over the reins from Stuart
who has spent much of this year concentrating his efforts on
organising the Charity Race Meeting at Stratford in aid of the
BBC Children in Need Appeal.
Wendy Parkin is enjoying a successful return to Arab racing,
after a time working in the Middle East, her SA Arc En Ciel,
ridden by Pierre Deymonaz, followed up his Stratford win with
another in the 'Bowler Bill' Stakes. Wendy runs a livery and
training yard in East Sussex, specializing in schooling and
rehabilitating problem horses, she loves working with Arabs
in particular as she finds them more intelligent than other
Pierre rode a treble on the day with wins on Bengaliya
for Jennie Candlish, and Call Me Risky for Sarah Kelleway.
Sarah completed a treble as trainer, riding the improving WFA
Jehangir herself, while Simon Walker rode the front running
Djemila D'Amour in the sprint.
In the 0-60 mile race CS Lafaz jumped off and made all
in a brave show of front running by his owner/trainer John Collier,
while Gordon Farr came with a late run on Sakit Sura
only to be defeated by a neck.