Gina Andrews added a further three victories to her tally for the season with an impressive treble at Godstone on Sunday. Her first victory came in the opening conditions race which had attracted 14 runners. Leading from the front on Nigel Padfield’s Excitable Island Andrews drew her mount clear approaching the penultimate fence and scored by an impressive 17 lengths ahead of Charlie Marshall aboard 13 year old Glint Of Steel from Cynthia Woods yard who managed to hold off the challenge of Charlie’s sister Izzie aboard Velvet Cognac trained by Alan Hill. Generous Ransom who had been sent off the favourite finished very tired in a dead heat for fourth with Nigel Benstead’s Thomas Junior.
Andrews next success came in the mixed open in which only two of the seven starters finished. Approaching the penultimate fence Andrews aboard Kalabaloo had only one challenger, Cloudy Bob who looked like he might cause the favourite an upset as he closed in on the leader easily but Cloudy Bob made a mistake at the penultimate fence and crumpled to the floor leaving Andrews to coast home with Arbeo from the Grissell’s yard in Brightling thirty lengths behind the only other to finish in the tacky ground.
Local hopes were also dashed at the penultimate fence in the novice riders race where Cosmo Ball and 13 year old school-master Adept Approach took a tumble when challenging Daniel Cherriman on Kashmir Peak leaving the 11/10 favourite from Alan Hill’s stable with an unassailable lead over Willflywontsink trained by Gina’s husband Tom Ellis
Andrews final success of the day came in the seven runner maiden where she steered Indirocco to a twenty five length victory once again leading from the fall of the starters flag and not seeing another rival for the three miles. Hannah Clarke’s Shanoule Wood with Charlie Marshall in the saddle wasn’t able to find anything when Andrews asked her mount to inject a turn of pace to the race after the final open ditch and had to settle for second place whilst Katie Featherstone aboard Winola whom she owns and trains came home third with the mare clearly not enjoying the softer conditions underfoot.
The restricted race also attracted seven runners and 4/6 favourite The Unmentionable trained and ridden by Dale Peters was left unchallenged like Andrews at the final open ditch and comfortably came home with a flawless jumping display over the final three fences. Desert Retreat under the steering of James King was the only other finisher some 12 lengths back as all of their other rivals called it a day in one of the faster run races.
The final race of the day was another Conditions race and as hard as she tried to throw the race away on more than one occasion Florella ridden by Charlie Marshall for Cynthia Woods was another impressive winner by twenty five lengths. The victory received the biggest cheer of the day as sadly Florella’s owner Pat Wilkins passed away a week before her victory. Florella quickly had a six length advantage over her rivals but on passing the horseboxes for the first time she indicated her dislike of the typical rainy British weather and pulled herself wide on the bend allowing her rivals to close in. Marshall quickly re-established the advantage over his rivals only for Florella to be even more reluctant passing the horseboxes a second time allowing Always A Chance and Gersjoeycasey to join them at the thirteenth fence. However Florella soon got back into her stride and opened up a clear advantage once again after the next fence. Gersjoeycasey attempted to challenge the leader but fell at the final open ditch allowing Florella to steady over the final three fences with Always A Chance finishing in second.