The enigmatic Omni Cosmo Touch added some star quality to the
card at Belvoir meeting at Garthorpe on Sunday.
The Joss Saville trained gelding was partnered by Andrew
Sansome, a late replacement for Niall (Saville), who took a wrong turning
off the A1 on his way down from Yorkshire and arrived at the course too late
to partner the horse in the Mens Open.
The eight-year-old has been reluctant in the past and was slowly away in the
Cheltenham Foxhunters last time, opened at 1/3 in the ring but drifted
alarmingly and, amazingly, was available at 5/4 at the off. However, the
lack of his regular pilot made little difference with Sansome taking him to
post and jumping off with no problems.
Sansome always travelled sweetly on the bridle and once they took up the
running on the final circuit, it was all over bar the shouting, the pair
coming home hard held with the useful Shanavogh (Richard Hunnisett) well
adrift back in second.
Omni Cosmo Touch may be a touch quirky, but there’s little doubt that
he’s a high class individual and it will take a very good horse to lower
his colours on his preferred fast ground; he’s definitely one to follow.
Shanavogh ran his usual game race and won’t come up against a horse of
this calibre, week in, week out. He'll be winning again soon.
Glendamah (Michael Morley) was a long way behind in third, but seemed to
appreciate the quicker ground and could take a small race over an easy trip.
River Ness ran out a good winner of the Ladies Open. Always
well placed, Victoria Thirlby had the eight-year-old mare jumping with more
fluency than in their previous starts and had the race sewn up a long way
from home, coming home seven lengths in front of the fast-finishing Edmond
(Holly Campbell), who caught the weakening Supercharmer (Annabelle Armitage)
on the line to take second place.
A reproduction of this will see River Ness back in the winner’s enclosure.
Edmond needs more of a test of stamina and will be seen to better effect on
the longer tracks.
Supercharmer should be able to add to this tally of seven wins when the
ground dries up further.
In the Restricted, Franco, an impressive winner here at the
Cottesmore earlier this month, followed up in no uncertain style, galloping
the opposition into submission.
Like Omni Cosmo Touch, once James Diment got his mount clear on the final
circuit, it was curtains for the rest and he strolled home a distance clear
of the remainder, which were headed by Snizort (Guy Brewer) and Don Rio
The winner looks a more than useful recruit to the pointing ranks and can
score again in better company.
Both the second and third are going the right way.
Fiesty Frosty (Jo Docker) put in her best performance of the season,
finishing fast to take fourth and looks a better horse on this faster going.
Welbeck winner Sizer (Niall Saville) was all of the rage in the ring, but
supporters knew their fate early, as he was pulled up before the third due
to a slipped saddle. The seven-year-old should be able to bounce back to
form, despite the fact that his bare form figures, R1P, look more like a
private registration plate for an undertaker!
The Intermediate was a disappointing affair, with only three
of the original twenty-two entries standing their ground.
The race went to the long odds-on favourite, Longville Lad (Paul Cowley),
who despite a few hairy jumps, won as he liked.
Over The Master (Toby Coles) and Saxon Victory (Lenny Hicks) fought out the
minor places with the former gaining the spoils by three-lengths.
Bengal Boy, trained under rules last season by Peter
Beaumont, ran out a four-length winner of the Hunt race, under an
enterprising ride from Nick Pearce.
Pearce took the eight-year-old to the front on the second circuit and came
home in front of Eco Warrior (Nick Bell), who was a never-nearer
four-lengths behind in second.
This was the first sign of form that the winner had shown since switching to
points and obviously appreciated the drop in class and the faster underfoot
Eco Warrior was returning from a long layoff and put in a pleasing
performance in second. Despite his advancing years, he has few miles on the
clock and can come on for this.
The maiden, Runningwitthemoon (Matthew Briggs), was a further two-and-a-half
lengths back in third with previous winners in arrears. He showed enough
here to suggest that a small victory isn’t out of his reach.
King’s Hero, third here behind the smart Christy Beamish
earlier in the month, ran out a facile winner of Division One of the Maiden
in the hands of Stuart Morris, strolling home a distance clear of the only
other finisher, Willow Ryde (Rowan Cope).
The form of the Christy Beamish run is working out well (Christy Beamish has
won since, as has fifth placed Bunratty’s Sole) and the nine-year-old son
of King’s Ride looks banker material to land a Restricted.
Willow Ryde is going the right way, as is Another Half, who was pulled up by
Mark Walford when her chance was gone. She still looks a little green, but
has the scope to take a maiden.
A wholesale gamble was landed in Division Two of the Maiden.
Caipiroska, a five-year-old son of Petoski, had unseated his rider on his
previous sole start, and was backed from 14/1 to 3/1 in the ring.
Joe Docker knew the score and "brought home the bacon" by fourteen
lengths clear of runner-up, Polly Flinders (Rowan Cope), with Hougham George
a further distance back in third.
The winner has bags of scope and can take a restricted.
Polly Finders travelled well for a long way and has “maiden winner”
written all over her.
Hougham George will improve for the experience, but his resolution may be
questionable, as he flicked his tail when given a “smack” by Stuart