Duchamp provided the highlight of a first treble for trainer Geoffrey Deacon at the Berks & Bucks Draghounds meeting at Kingston Blount, near Chinnor.

Chloe Boxall gave the 11-year-old a confident ride in the ladies' open, and after taking the measure of long-time leader Lord Seamus, she had enough in hand to hold off odds-on favourite Free by half a length.

Deacon trains Duchamp at Upper Basildon, near Pangbourne, for his landlord, meeting secretary Nick Quesnel.

But he was previously with Ian Balding, who was on hand to see his former charge score.

"He is a star," he said. "He is a lovely old horse. I think with us he won on the Flat, over hurdles and over fences."

There was a sad postcript to the race with Mr Splodge, Aston Rowant trainer Alan Hill's popular veteran, being put down.

The 14-year-old fractured an elbow when unseating Emily Jarvis at the first fence in what would have been his last run before retirement.

Accumulus - jointly owned by Quesnel - had sparked Deacon's treble when finishing alone under Tim Lane in the members' race after sole rival Running Times unseated Lucy Barry at the fifth last when holding a narrow lead.

And he completed the hat-trick in the closing open maiden over three miles when Captain Valiant, who he jointly owns with David White, led home a one-two for the yard under Brian Toomey from the Quesnel-owned Present Love.

The result prompted Deacon to joke: "He is my landlord, so hopefully I won't get evicted when I get home tonight."

There was a thrilling finish to the men's open when Northall Lad, who jumped the last in third under Joe Docker, flew up the run-in to collar Left To Himself in the last stride by a head.

To The Top, from Hill's yard, was two lengths back in third.

Joan Johnston, who trains the winner at Steane, near Brackley, said: "He just needs holding up as long as possible. Joe is a good lad and he follows his instructions very well."

Checked Shirt, trained by Michael Kehoe at Stewkley, near Leighton Buzzard, followed up his recent course win with an impressive 12-lengths success in the restricted to clinch the South Midlands Area men's riders' title for Tom Ellis.

Irish import Uncle Dan gave Worcestershire-based Zoe Hammond her first winner as a trainer when taking division one of the open maiden for four to seven-year-olds under David Mansell on his British debut.

The second division went to Berkeley Court, owned by Chris Popham of Panto Prince fame, who made virtually all the running in the hands of Alex Charles-Jones.

RESULTS Members: 1 ACCUMULUS (T Lane) 4-5 jt fav finished alone. Trainer: G Deacon (Berks & Bucks Draghounds). 2 ran.

Open maiden 4-7yo (Div 1): 1 UNCLE DAN (D Mansell) 9-2, 2 Fortiszamo 5-2, 3 Mirage Prince 6-1. Trainer: Z Hammond (North Ledbury). Dist: 8l, 2l. 8 ran.

Open maiden 4-7yo (Div 2): 1 BERKELEY COURT (A Charles-Jones) 3-1, 2 Artist's Muse 14-1, 3 Highlight Girl 4-1. Trainer: S Popham (Quantock Staghounds). Dist: 3l, 10l. 8 ran.

Men's open: 1 NORTHALL LAD (J Docker) 9-2, 2 Left To Himself 6-1, 3 To The Top 2-1 fav. Trainer: J Johnston (Grafton). Dist: Hd, 2l. 8 ran.

Ladies open: 1 DUCHAMP (C Boxall) 100-30, 2 Free 8-13 fav, 3 Lord Seamus 14-1. Trainer: G Deacon (Berks & Bucks Draghounds). Dist: l, 8l. 8 ran.

Restricted: 1 CHECKED SHIRT (T Ellis) 4-1, 2 Arvakur 5-1, 3 Beat The Bandits 11-10 fav. Trainer: M Kehoe (Bicester with Whaddon Chase). Dist: 12l, 5l. 6 ran.

Open maiden: 1 CAPTAIN VALIANT (B Toomey) 10-1, 2 Present Love 5-1, 3 Sorbiediditmyway 7-1. Trainer: G Deacon (Berks & Bucks Draghounds). Dist: 4l, 1l. 10 ran.

SOUTH MIDLANDS AREA CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL PLACINGS Men's riders: 1 T Ellis 28pts, 2 D Bass 20, 3= S Waley-Cohen, J Tudor 17.

Lady riders: 1 C Boxall 17pts, 2 R King 6, 3= L Cowen, C Hart, E Jarvis 5.

Novice riders: 1 D Bass 3 (cb), 2 C Boxall 3.

Owners: 1 R Waley-Cohen (Irilut) 24pts, 2= R Herrington, L Redman, M Thomas (Home By Midnight), M Upstone (The Hookie Bookie) 19.


Horse: 1 To The Top.