Impact Area proved a hugely popular winner of the prestigious Coronation Gold Cup for local owner and trainer Harriet Waight ridden by his usual pilot Louis Muspratt at the Combined Services meeting at Larkhill. Other highlights on a mainly dry day with remarkably good ground after the heavy rain were a training double for Jack Barber and a riding double for Will Biddick.
Impact Area was always prominent until taking up the lead after the 12th fence. Pursued by Buck's Bond, Steeltown and Warne, Impact Area stayed on strongly and found more when pressed by the efforts of Templebraden and Real Milan after the last fence. At the line he still had a length to spare over Templebraden. Just over a year ago her grey gelding was an unregistered hunter. His progress has been remarkable and a good advert for Harriet's training skills. Louis was naturally thrilled to have ridden the winner of a Coronation Gold Cup and said 'that he had been thinking about the race all week whilst working on a building site' and paid credit to his mount, 'who would not allow anyone to pass him'. Harriet added that the morning of the race had not been without a scare as Impact Area had escaped from his box and caused some damage needing repair. This was his fourth course victory and on the basis of this form more will follow.
The Ladies Open was the second leg of Jack Barber's double when Aikideau ridden by Bryony Frost bounced back to form when comfortably winning the race. Owned by Jack's mother Sarah and her friends Sarah Longman, Tink Gaskell and Pippa James, the gelding had won two races in 2014 but had a slight niggle which caused him to miss last season. Unsuited by the very soft ground at Chaddesley Corbett, this much better ground suited him well and according to Bryony who said that 'he jumped for fun' he was not troubled to beat the evergreen 15 year old Master Medic by five lengths.
Jack's double started in the previous race when Overland Flyer held off the challenge of Wotzizname ridden by Martin McIntyre to win the Restricted. Described by Jack as 'a big weak baby last season,' he has strengthened over the summer and hopes that there is more to come. He picked up again when challenged on the run-in and prevailed by a head. His longer term future will be at Ditcheat with Paul Nicholls.
The Club Members proved a welcome success for Brockenhurst trainer James Young when Swallowshide ridden by Jody Sole proved too good for Regal Presence (Katy Lyons). Bred by part-owner Ian Bare, James was delighted to have trained a winner for Ian, a family friend for more than 45 years. The winner of a Wincanton Novice Hurdle when trained by Emma Lavelle, he had rather lost his way under Rules, but the application of a hood and a smaller field clearly reinvigorated his enthusiasm. He is next likely to be seen in a Novice Riders race at Badbury Rings.
Owner Tom Lacey introduced an attractive four year old grey gelding in the form of Cirano de Sivola in the Young Maiden. Bought as a yearling at Deauville for €40K, he has since been hobdayed and based on this performance there is more to come. The point-to-pointers are trained by Tom's wife Sophie and she has about 12 horses to run. Getting at least 7lb from all of his rivals, he outstayed the mare Goodnitesweetheart, also making her debut and trained by Ed Walker to win by five lengths.
Ed went one better when Swincombe Scorchio confirmed his promise shown on his previous run at Larkhill when winning the Open Maiden, giving Will Biddick his second winner on the day. Bred by his owner, Malcolm Yeo from North Devon, he stayed on well to beat principal rival Tom Barton, trained by Sally Alner, by 10 lengths. The winner, whose dam, Lady Felix, was trained to win four hurdles for Robert Alner, is another who has grown up over the summer and looks a useful prospect. His half-sister Swincombe Flame, a top class staying hurdler is now at stud.
The King's Troop race was won by Gunner Hannah Brasher riding Cornelius. Never headed during the race, his 21-year-old partner from Doncaster was on duty at Green Park, London the day before. She finished second in last year's renewal and he was delighted to have secured her first ever victory.
King's Troop RHA Club Members (9 ran)
1 Cornelius (U) 6/1 Gnr H Brasher; 2 Somme (U) 10/1 (Gnr C Farren); 3 Epsom (U) 6/1 (Gnr R Rowe). (Jack Stamp)
Combined Services Club Members (4 ran)
1 Swallowshide (GB) 6/4 (J Sole); 2 Regal Presence (IRE) 2/1 (Miss K Lyons); 3 Weston Lodge (IRE) 5/2 (A Muirshead). 6mins 43s. (James Young)
Restricted (6 ran)
1 Overland Flyer (IRE) evens (W Biddick); 2 Wotzizname (IRE) 7/4 (M McIntyre); 3 Avivius Cassuis (IRE) 9/2 (Z Baker). 6mins 28s. Hd, Dist. (Jack Barber)
Ladies Open (7 ran)
1 Aikideau (FR) 6/4 (Miss B Frost); 2 Master Medic (IRE) 5/2 (Miss N Parker); 3 Squadron (GB) 5/1 (Miss CL Reece). 6mins 31s. 5l, 12l. (Jack Barber)
Mens Open (Coronation Gold Cup) (9 ran)
1 Impact Area (IRE) 9/4 (L Muspratt); 2 Templebraden (IRE) 7/2 (Z Baker); 3 Real Milan (IRE) 25/1 (Jack Jones). 6 mins 28s. 1l, 5l. (Harriet Waight)
Open Maiden (4&5yo, 2m4f) (4 ran)
1 Cirano De Sivola (FR) 5/4 (Z Baker); 2 Goodnitesweetheart (GB) 5/1 (Stan Sheppard); 3 Ober Water (GB) 8/1 (B Hicks). 5mins 45s. 5l, dist. (Sophie Lacey)
Open Maiden (6yo & up) (14 ran)
1 Swincombe Scorchio (GB) 4/5 (W Biddick); 2 Tom Barton (GB) 5/2 (Stan Sheppard); 3 Station Island (IRE) 20/1 (M McIntyre). 6mins 35s. 10l, Dist. (Ed Walker)