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Quantock Review

Press Release 13th March 2024 Wincanton

By Robert Bracher

This season has been hard hit with abandonments and with so many meetings struggling to run due to the ongoing daily deluges, it was pleasing to see the Quantock survive and those that managed to navigate the rather inconvenient road closure a mile from the course, were treated to some good racing. Highlights of the day were a first ever winner for trainer/jockey Rupert Wilks, a first training success for  Ollie Bowd and an impressive success for Goleirihem and Izzy Marshall.

Beyond Redemption clearly didn’t live up to his name for Rupert Wilks when he comfortably took what ended up to be the final race of the day.  A very emotional jockey who had been friends with the late Keagan Kirkby dedicated the win to his friend whom he had worked with at Paul Nicholls’, before moving to work for Harry Derham who had been his mentor at Ditcheat.  Travelling well throughout, the winner jumped the second last upsides Young Wolf before being driven clear to record a pleasing 9 lengths victory under his 20 year old jockey.  Rupert explained that Harry had suggested he buy the horse for pointing after his form tailed off following a win at Wincanton.  His parents, Peckham-based Tim and Miranda, then stepped in and purchased him choosing their bright red, yellow and black colours as homage to the Peckham coat of arms.  Rupert also thanked Sam Loxton, Natalie Parker and Joe Wroe for their help with training and riding advice.

Another to celebrate their first winner as a trainer was Ollie Bowd whose Imperial Pride took the Mares Maiden under Will Biddick. With the favourite, Crackerjack Queen unseating four out, it was left to the winner and Dancinnthemoonlite to fight out the closest finish of the day.  Both mares come out of the race with huge credit and the pair were well clear of the third.  Will explained to owners, Andy Chater, David Doolittle and Mark Burgess that he thought although she coped well with the ground, she would improve again on a better surface but had been game and determined in the finish.  Ollie who works for David Dennis, trains the mare, who is his only horse, in his lunch hour and acquired her in October.  The plan is to go for the Mares Maiden Final at Woodford in April.

Teresa Clark has most local races on her training CV but the Members Race here has always eluded her. With all four entries standing their ground, any doubts over the ground for Ninth Wave soon evaporated when under a sensible ride from jockey Callum Pritchard, he came home in isolation, the others having cried enough.  For owners Pete and Kathy Musgrave too this was their first time winning the race and for Kathy a very emotional occasion having hunted with the Quantock as a child. She dedicated the win to her late father, George Hooper, who she said would have been very proud of the result. 

Family were very much part of Coup de Pinceau’s win in the Mixed Open when he comfortably saw off odds-on favourite Dr Rhythm over the extended trip under jockey George Hiscock who also trains the horse.  It was a welcome winner for George whose last winner as a jockey came at Stratford nearly two years ago and it was this horse who gave him one of his best winning moments when taking the four mile Hunter Chase at Cheltenham at 100-1 for his former trainer Syd Hosie.  George acquired the horse in August for the Famers, Farriers, Fibre Club who are made up of friends and family.  George said, “He just kept galloping despite the ground and obviously gets the trip really well.  He didn’t really handle the track at Milborne last time and the aim is to go back for the Four Miler at Cheltenham.”

The sight of Alan Hill choosing to come here instead of his more local Didmarton, should have been taken as a hint that his Goleirihem was well fancied and the 25 lengths victory in the Restricted race  proved as much.  With jockey Izzy Marshall opting to stay wide to avoid the cut up ground, Goleirihem cruised into the lead over the ditch and decisively put distance between himself and the runner-up, Killard Point. Izzy remarked “He was awesome!! Absolutely loved being on the better ground on the outside and when I asked him to pick up, he just flew!”  Connections thought he would probably go for another Restricted and it certainly looks well within his capabilities judged on this performance. 

The final race, a Maiden, had to be abandoned due to a medical incident which was non-racing related.  It meant that there were no ambulances available to cover the race itself and thus sadly organisers were forced to end the day early.




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