Charing welcomed owners, trainers and jockeys from across the country on Saturday for their second meeting of the season which proved to be a day for favourite backers with four of the six races being won by the favourite.
The opening race of the meeting, a 2 mile 4 furlong maiden saw ten runners and was comfortably won by the 4/5 favourite Finistere trained by Julie Wadland with James King in the saddle. Be One had been the early leader of the race and had just relinquished the lead to Finistere when falling at the twelfth fence leaving Finistere clear of Buachaill Dana from local trainer David Phelan’s yard who held on to second with Westtara in third ahead of Le Grand Fromage.
The Veteran Horse Conditions race proved to be the most dramatic race of the day with six of the nine starters failing to finish but also provided 16 year old Freddie Gordon with his first winner and it was quite touching that his first victory in the saddle was recorded at Charing where both his father, national hunt trainer Chris Gordon and his mother Jenny Gordon have both previously scored numerous victories in the saddle. Freddie was aboard Highway One O One who has won over £110,000 when trained by Chris Gordon but his form had deteriorated over the past season so Jenny took over his training when the decision was made to switch him to point-to-pointing and he clearly enjoyed the drop in class as he finished thirty lengths clear of his nearest rival after taking the lead going up the hill for the second time. Jonjoela took second for Ellie Holder ahead of Roc D’Apsis who was the only other finisher.
Fergal O’Brien trained Rebel Turn was upsides Highway One O One as they turned down the Charing hill for the final time, but decided to run out at the sixteenth fence leaving Highway One O One unchallenged. Alan Hill trained Clondaw Westie had also been travelling well and was tracking the leaders when falling at the fifteenth fence which resulted in jockey Izzie Marshall being stood down for the rest of the meeting. Sarah Ashby trained Whatsinthecorner had also been travelling well until reaching the top of the hill for the second time where he was pulled up having weakened rapidly, however he is sure to come on for that run.
The men’s open saw six runners make their way to the starter and at the winning post it was 3/1 chance Desire de Joie trained by Nicholas Wright and ridden by his son Archie took the victory. Previously trained by Gordon Elliott Desire de Joie was always prominent in the race but made a move to challenge the market favourite I’m Wiser Now heading to the penultimate fence. I’m Wiser Now with James King in the saddle tried to stay with Desire de Joie but was unable to stay with the winner and eventually relinquished second spot to Ballintara trained by Hannah Grissell with Phil York in the saddle.
A smaller field of five made their way to the start for the ladies open and 1/3 favourite Blazing Tom under Natalya Irvine and trained by Tom Ellis was an easy winner coming home twenty lengths clear of Imperial Acolyte with Sparkleandshine in third
James King was back in the winners enclosure in the Oriental Club Owner-Trainer Conditions race as he guided the 7/4 favourite Waterloo Warrior to victory. Waterloo Warrior took up the lead three fences from home where he overhauled Scooby from Rob Varnham’s yard before scooting clear on the final bend to win by six lengths. West Lake now owned, trained and ridden by Sebastian Mead finished strongly to claim third but was twenty five lengths behind Scooby in second.
The final race of the day was the restricted race which provided Tom Ellis with a training double as Ellie Callwood guided home her mother’s Precious Bounty to beat Tres Francais from Alan Hill’s yard by five lengths. All four runners remained in with a chance of victory three fences from home but Precious Bounty continued to pile on the pressure and started to pull away from his rivals at the penultimate fence. Josh The Plod took third whilst the market favourite Oval Street finished fourth having weakened over the final three fences.