27 March 2012 Report: Badsworth & Bramham Moor - Whitcliffe Grange
by Will Milburn
Mark Walford was the man in form at Whitcliffe Grange as he shot to the head of the Area jockey's championship after taking full advantage of an injured Guy Brewer by recording a double.
The first leg of his double came in the Confined race aboard Go Moss Go for owner Steve Jones and his wife Jill, who also trains the horse. The duo were making it back to back successes after taking this last year. The pair went to the lead at the last and held on in a driving finish to deny the pace-setting Stagecoach Diamond.
Mark's second winner came aboard the one-eyed The Viking in the Mens Open which saw the pair dispute the lead for most of the second circuit with Just Smudge. Upsides jumping the last, Walford drove his mount out to win by a length.
The most deserved win of the day came in Division One of the Open Maiden which saw Bring It On make all the running, despite a bad mistake at the open ditch, and was allowed to come home with relative ease under Will Milburn. A "failed suicide attempt" stated the trainer, as the horse had fallen into the River Derwent during the summer and his prospects looked bleak, however several hours and two fire crews later he was back on his feet.
The Ladies Open saw Sam Drake record yet another winner aboard Keeverfield, who was another who won this race last year. Always going well, Sam allowed her mount to go to the lead three out and sauntered clear to win by a distance, with the Lucy Bell-trained and ridden Jimmys Duky back in second.
Max Johnson was another making his presence felt in the Novice jockey's championship as he notched his way up into second place behind leading novice Harry Bannister. Piloting the Lynne Ward-trained Tranos, the pair led at the second last and came easily clear of runner up Von Origny to win the Novice Riders race. Previously trained by Micky Hammond, the winner relished the fast conditions as he had run well below par previously on testing ground at Charm Park.
Jacqueline Coward was seen to good effect in the Restricted where she rode Ramborob, who is also trained by her mother Cherry. The pair made all the running and stayed on well from two out to win by 10 lengths, with Know The Rules and Dougall filling the runner up spots.
The final race of the day was Division Two of the Open Maiden and went to the in-form Sowersby team and Play To Win; piloted by Jo Foster the pair were going one better after finishing runner-up in this race last year. Quickening to the lead approaching two out the pair pulled clear on the run to the last to beat Murphys Beau who was finishing runner-up yet again.
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