JASON WARNER was rewarded for his hard work organising Cotswold Vale Farmers point-to-point meeting at Andoversford on Sunday with American Legend’s victory in the Members' Race.
Conditions had firmed up since last week’s fixture but this gave some of the lesser lights in the sport a chance to shine and despite a shortage of runners there were some close and exciting finishes.
American Legend was a warm favourite and his supporters never had a moment’s anxiety. After setting a moderate pace Charlie Davies asked American Legend for his effort between the final two fences and the combination extended their advantage with every stride in the home straight and were a distance clear as they passed the post.
The horse came into the Brookthorpe-based trainers care via his close friend Guy Upton who is assistant to Jonjo O’Neill at Jackdaws Castle, where the horse was previously based.
The Club Members' Maiden produced a close finish with all three runners in with a chance on the climb into the home straight.
Pat The Pigeon, Inatick and Earl The Pearl rose as one at the final obstacle and were inseparable as they raced towards the judge before Inatick gained the verdict by a neck.
Fergal O’Brien’s Man From Seville and Lilly Pinchin started favourites for the PPORA Club Members' Race. They were prominent for much of the contest and still led at the penultimate fence but had no response when passed by the Welsh challenger Dotties Dilemna who provided 17-year-old owner/rider Simon Morgan with his very first winner.
Pinchin, who is based at O’Brien’s yard at Naunton, gained compensation 30 minutes later following Allerton’s win in the Ladies Open.
The Men’s Open proved a match between experience and youth, with 46-year-old Geoff Barfoot Saunt on Cesium while 17-year-old Sam Burton was on the favourite The Rodeo Clown.
Approaching the second last, Burton looked to have produced his mount with impeccable timing, but Barfoot Saunt gained a vital half-length advantage by taking the inside berth at the final bend and extended it to a length and a quarter as they passed the judge.