Girls ruled in front of a bumper crowd at Hackwood Park on Easter Monday. Only one of six races was won by a male rider, 17yo Stan Sheppard taking the Fontwell Park Countryside Alliance Novice Riders on Maxi Chop by an easy eight lengths from Court Again. Stan works for champion trainer Paul Nicholls and was enjoying his sixth winner over fences.
Anna Reed who lives on the Isle of Wight, regularly crosses the Solent to see her horses trained by David Buckett run on the mainland. She was rewarded - for the 29th time - when Fitandproperjob took the Caviste Hunts Club Members race in the hands of Ali Stirling. This was Ali's second winner of the Easter weekend, having opened her seasonal account on the Saturday.
Fans of Page Fuller, who scored a double at Hackwood Park three weeks ago, were rewarded when the 19yo repeated the effort with Porlock Bay in the JM Finn Open Maiden, and Terra Bleu in the Harwoods of Basingstoke Conditions race. Porlock Bay, owned and trained by Radio 5 Live and At The Races TV presenter Luke Harvey, started at odds-on - "A terrible result for the bookies" reported Gary Wiltshire, himself a well known TV racing personality.
On Terra Bleu, Page made all the running to score narrowly by half a length from Autumn Haze, the only other finisher. Terra Bleu is trained by ex-royal jockey Bill Smith, absent in Los Angeles, attending the Darley Awards for pure bred Arabians, which he used to train for the Maktoum family.
Amanda Bush, who spends her summers crewing on ocean going yachts, took the three and a half mile J Passey & Son Ladies Open by a diminishing length on her stepfather's John Daniell. Trained by Grant Cann near Bath, the horse is named after one of Cann's contemporary riders of the 50's and 60's.
The Bury Bros & Rudd Open Maiden went to the Claire Hart ridden Morebutwhen trained by Richard Bandey. Another odds-on winner, Morebutwhen was all out to beat Kinlockspelve. The latter is trained by Fred Hutsby for whom Bandey was successful in his days as a jockey.
"This has been our most successful day for years," said Vine & Craven's race chairman Graham Stewart, "perfect weather, good ground and excellent racing in front of a crowd of around 4,500 - pity we can't repeat it all in a couple of weeks time as the course could easily cope with another meeting!"
Caviste Hackwood Park Club
1. Fitandproperjob (Aly Stirling)
3l, 12l - 3 ran - 6m32s
Fontwell Park - Countryside Alliance Novice Riders
1. Maxi Chop (Sam Sheppard)
2. Court Again
3. Break the Chain
8l, 3l - 5 ran - 6m26s
J Passey & Son Ladies Open
1. John Daniell (Amanda Bush)
2. Remarkable Man
1l, 20l - 5 ran - 7m6s
J M Finn Open Maiden
1. Porlock Bay (Page Fuller)
2. His Lordship
3. Barney's Turn
10l, dist - 4 ran - 6m32s
Harwoods of Basingstoke PPORA Club Members
1. Terra Bleu (Page Fuller)
2. Autumn Haze
1/2 (only 2 finished) - 4 ran - 6m39s
Bury Bros & Rudd Open Maiden
1. Morebutwhen (Claire Hart)
1l (only 2 finished) - 5 ran - 6m45s