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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Charlotte storms clear for first win

It might have been one of the warmest days of the year, but heavy rain earlier in the week ensured that the going was as testing as it has ever been on the point-to-point track at Hexham Racecourse for last Sunday’s Haydon fixture, which brought down the curtain on the 2014 Northern Area season.

Race sponsor Graham Pigg presents Charlotte Tailford with her trophies after her first win with Rennington Blue.

It turned out to be a bookmakers’ benefit with six favourites beaten on the seven race card.

Haydon Bridge High School student Charlotte Tailford (16) returned to the biggest cheers of the day after riding her first winner on Rennington Blue in the Chesterwood Bastle Holiday Cottage South Northumberland Hunts Club Members’ Race. Always prominent, her mount was left well clear when the leader, Coastley, who was about two lengths up at the time, blundered and unseated Tom Hamilton two out. Rennington Blue stayed on strongly in the closing stages to beat Bonnet Rouge by 10 lengths.

The victory meant that Tailford finished joint second with Callum Miller in the Northern Area Novice Riders Championship behind runaway winner, Gemma Cochrane.

Despite not jumping fluently, Awman made virtually all the running in the Dennis Common Open Maiden Race, until headed three out by Running Brook.

The latter was two lengths up at the last under Toby Speke and comfortably held off a renewed challenge from Awman on the long run-in to score by half a length.

The remainder of the card belonged to Kirk Yetholm trainer Clive Storey, who sent out his first treble of the season courtesy of Lowanbehold, Gunner Jack and Sea Wall, all owned by Nicholas Wrigley.

In addition, there were doubles for jockeys, Ed Wrigley and Jacqueline Coward, as well as trainer, Cherry Coward.

Lowanbehold set the ball rolling in the Angus Pickworth and Derek Swallow Memorial Restricted Race. On terms with the leaders two out and going well, he gradually forged clear to beat Mission Beach by four lengths.

Gunner Jack initiated a double for Ed Wrigley in the Tyne Vale Wealth Management Mixed Open Race. Always in the firing line, the 13 year old was still a couple of lengths behind the favourite Cave Hunter at the last, but found another gear when it mattered to regain the initiative and score by two and a half lengths.

Sea Wall completed a red letter day for Storey and the Wrigley family in the WMH Farm Fresh Meats NPPA Club Members’ Race. In the leading pair from the outset, the 12 year old didn’t see another rival after being sent on a mile from home and, despite being eased down on the run-in, still had eight lengths to spare over Call Me Mulligan.

Jacqueline Coward is only two behind Bridget Andrews in the National Ladies Championship following a double on Ath Dara Boru and The Wayward Lord, both trained by her mother, Cherry.

Ath Dara Boru gradually pegged back the leader, Raasay from three out in the Hadrian Electrical Engineering Ltd Open Maiden Race before getting on terms at the last and winning by two lengths.

The Wayward Lord completed Coward’s double in the Graham Reader Motor Engineer Intermediate Race. Under a supremely confident waiting ride, he was produced with a perfectly timed challenge to take it up from Five Point Plan at the last, before drawing four lengths clear of Beverley Beck on the run-in.

With Coward’s title challenge back on track, she will be heading for Devon this weekend for the Tiverton Staghounds fixture at Bratton Down.