BERKS & BUCKS AND STAFF COLLEGE & RMAS DRAGHOUNDS
Ravethebrave claimed a notable scalp by slamming Gwanako to spark a treble for Aston Rowant trainer Alan Hill at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor, and tighten his grip on the Connolly’s Red Mills Trainers Championship.
With Earl Grez coming out on top in a thrilling finish and Rogue Dancer posting a facile victory, it saw Hill move seven winners clear in the title race with three weeks remaining.
But it was Ravethebrave’s sparkling win in the ladies’ open which was especially sweet for the trainer.
With National Hunt champion trainer Paul Nicholls paying his first visit to the course to see his daughter, Megan, ride Gwanako as she chases the lady novice riders’ title, the Rose Loxton-trained 11-year-old was sent off a 1-3 favourite.
However, the 2008 Topham Chase winner was powerless to respond as Ravethebrave and Hannah Watson, who clinched the South Midland Area lady riders’ title, took up the running approaching the second-last fence and powered clear to win by eight lengths.
National Hunt champion trainer Paul Nicholls (second left) hands out riding instructions to his daughter, Megan, before she partnered Gwanako in the ladies’ open
Nicholls dismounted Gwanako after the line, and her mount returned gingerly, but there was no denying Ravethebrave’s big moment in the sunshine.
Hill’s son, Joe, the ten-year-old’s regular rider who is sidelined after breaking his right ankle, was ecstatic.
“It’s brilliant,” he commented. “I am just over the moon. Like my old man said ‘never run away from one horse’.
“Hannah was given him an absolute peach of a ride.”
Hill snr, who secured the South Midland Area owners’ and trainers’ titles, added: “I think he is a slightly underrated horse. It was seriously, seriously nice to beat Gwanako.
“I didn’t speak to Paul, but Lawney (Hill’s wife) said he was brilliant in defeat.”
Gwanako and Megan Nicholls clear the last fence in the ladies’ open, but Ravethebrave has gone beyond recall
Earl Grez made it a double for Hill when flying home under James Tudor in the restricted to pip Mine Sweeper and Milan Rua in a finish of necks after Blue Benny had led over the last fence.
And Rogue Dancer completed Hill’s hat-trick with a 25-length romp with Tudor on board in the open maiden.
Hill said: “That was my nap of the day and I told all the locals they could have what they wanted on it.”
New Alco repeated his course and distance win of two weeks ago in the men’s open for Sarah Case, who trains at Edgcote, near Banbury.
Max Kendrick, who gave the 13-year-old a positive front-running ride to beat last year’s winner, Ned The Post, by six lengths, said: “He is a family favourite. I think I have won seven on him, including my first winner.”
Elizabeth Smee rode her first winner when Lucky Lane galloped clear of his rivals to take the members’ race by eight lengths from Daintydavey.
And Sam Davies-Thomas sealed the South Midland Area men’s title by making all the running on One Wish to take the intermediate for Chris Loggin, who trains at Hinton-in-the-Hedges, near Brackley.
Members: 1 LUCKY LANE (E Smee) 2-1, 2 Daintydavey 5-1, 3 Eco’s Gamebird 8-1. Trainer: P York. Dist: 8l, dist. 6 ran.
Intermediate: 1 ONE WISH (S Davies-Thomas) 7-2, 2 Commanche Conflict 4-1, 3 Tiger Rag 4-7 fav. Trainer: C Loggin. Dist: 1l, ½l. 6 ran.
Men’s open: 1 NEW ALCO (M Kendrick) 11-10 fav, 2 Ned The Post 12-1, 3 Hoopy 33-1. Trainer: S Case. Dist: 6l, 4l. 9 ran.
Ladies’ open: 1 RAVETHEBRAVE (H Watson) 5-2, 2 Gwanako 1-3 fav, 3 Behind The Scenes 16-1. Trainer: A Hill. Dist: 8l, 12l. 7 ran.
Restricted: 1 EARL GREZ (J Tudor) 7-1, 2 Mine Sweeper 7-2, 3 Milan Rua 3-1. Trainer: A Hill. Dist: nk, nk. 9 ran.
Open maiden: 1 ROGUE DANCER (J Tudor) 5-2, 2 Little Mead 6-1, 3 Lucky To Be Alive 12-1. Trainer: A Hill. Dist 25l, hd. 9 ran.
SOUTH MIDLAND AREA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Owners: 1 A Hill (Ravethebrave), 2 R Brown (Soupcon D’Albain), 3= R West (One Wish) & W Lee (Triggers Ginger).
Trainers: 1 A Hill, 2 R Waley-Cohen, 3 T Lacey.
Mares: 1 Triggers Ginger (W Lee), 2 Grand Exit (S Edmunds & J Busby), 3= Pampelonne (S Edmunds & J Busby) & Hill Forts Gloria (A Hill).
Men’s riders: 1 S Davies-Thomas, 2 T Ellis, 3 S Waley-Cohen.
Lady riders: 1 H Watson, 2 K Lyons, 3 L Jenkins.
Novice riders: 1 K Lyons, 2 T Kindley-side, 3 L Jenkins.
KINGSTON BLOUNT CHAMPIONSHIP
Leading horse: 1= Mine Sweeper, New Alco, Ravethebrave.
3:42pm Sunday 29th November 2015
MICHAEL Appleton was delighted to see his Oxford United side come out on top against Trevor Carson after the goalkeeper thwarted them three times last season.
12:12pm Sunday 29th November 2015
WATCH the main moments as Oxford United went top of Sky Bet League Two thanks to a 1-0 win at Hartlepool United.
7:00pm Saturday 28th November 2015
DANNY Hylton came off the bench to net a winner which sent Oxford United top of Sky Bet League Two.
5:41pm Saturday 28th November 2015
1:54pm Saturday 28th November 2015
All the news from Oxford United's trip to Hartlepool United in Sky Bet League Two.
1:15pm Saturday 28th November 2015
OXFORD University have been dealt a major blow in their quest for a historic sixth successive Varsity Match victory after it was revealed captain George Messum is ineligible to play.
9:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
Joe Skarz is gunning for Oxford United to finish the job on what they see as the most challenging block of fixtures in the season with a win at Hartlepool United this afternoon.
7:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
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7:30am Saturday 28th November 2015
Tenager Matt Chapman will step up to the Protyre Motorsport Ginetta GT5 Challenge next year.
7:20am Saturday 28th November 2015
There was a clean sweep for Drennan Oxford in the practice match for the next round of the Oxford Winter League which was fished by 24 anglers on a very cold Kennet and Avon Canal at Avington.