Parham’s second meeting of the season provided a few surprise results for the crowd who enjoyed the sunshine.
The Intermediate race started the day and only saw two declared runners and it was Andrew Pennock’s Sum It Up ridden by Charlie Marshall who made all to beat his rival Buffalo Sabre by two lengths. Buffalo Sabre did challenge Sum It Up after the penultimate fence but after clearing the final fence Sum It Up pulled clear again to take the victory.
Charlie Marshall was looking for a quick double when he partnered Hannah Jones trained Monmouth Hill in the maiden who was sent off the 4/5 favourite. However, it was McMurroughs Court trained by David Phelan near Ashford in Kent who employed similar tactics to Sum It Up in the opening race and made all to lose his maiden status. Charlie Marshall sat behind McMurroughs Court throughout the race with Lucky Purchase and Broomfield Boy also involved until the final stages of the race, but much like Sum It Up in the opening race, McMurroughs Court took the final fence two lengths clear of Monmouth Hill and held on to his lead on the race to the winning post.
The ladies open was a three runner affair with Will Biddick trained Monsieur Gibraltar with Olive Nicholls in the saddle the clear favourite at 2/7 to record his fourth success of this season. But as the three runners took the final fence of the first circuit out of view of the crowd and commentator, Monsieur Gibraltar fell and Sarah Ashby trained Whatsinthecorner unseated leaving just Jackfield trained by Kent dairy farmer Margaret Howie the only one to appear back into view with his jockey aboard and with ten obstacles standing between him and a second success at Parham to his name. With loose horses for company Jackfield managed the second circuit of the track without incident. There was a loud cheer as he appeared back into view again after the sixteen fence which was followed by a gasp from the crowd as he blundered at the penultimate fence however jockey Beth Mellish maintained their partnership and the pair cleared the final fence to take the victory.
Rob Varnham had hoped that Scooby would end his run of seconds in the Oriental Club Owner-Trainer Conditions race, but he had to settle for second once again as Jason Warner trained Ahead of The Game justified his favouritism and was a comfortable winner by six lengths. Ahead of The Game and Scooby were both happy to sit behind early leader Jac The Legend and Alyce Fisher until they had cleared the open ditch for the second time and then Scooby and Ahead of The Game took up the running before Ahead of The Game injected more speed after the fifteenth fence. Scooby battled to get back on terms with Ahead of The Game, but the damage had been done so he had to settle for his third second in a row, whilst Alyce Fisher was delighted with Jac The Legend in third.
The Men’s open was sadly a walkover but provided Charlie Marshall with a double on the day as Who’s My Jockey who won the mixed open at Parham in March made the journey from the start to the finish to register the win.
The final race of the day saw the largest field of the day as five runners faced the starter for the restricted race. Tim Underwood’s Whiskey For Jack was sent off the 7/4 favourite with Pam Tetley’s Big Dawg and Rob Cundy’s Josh The Plod both priced at 100/30, James Owen trained Sandygate at 4/1 and Nigel Padfield trained Direct Flight at 5/1. The five runners set a reasonable pace throughout the first circuit and were all in contention until after the open ditch for the second time where Whiskey For Jack who had been held at the back of the field made a move to join the leader Josh The Plod. These two started to pull away from their three rivals but after fence sixteen Josh The Plod made another attempt to shake off Whiskey For Jack and as the runners came back into view towards the penultimate fence Josh The Plod had a clear advantage over Whiskey For Jack. By the final fence the only challenge to Josh The Plod securing the victory was the obstacle before him. He was steadied into the fence and then raced to the winning post to a twelve-length victory over Whiskey For Jack who took second. The battle for third was fought all the way to the line with Big Dawg getting his head in front of Sandygate in fourth whilst Direct Flight completed for fifth.