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Lacey and Drinkwater take Milborne prizes
CHIPPING Norton trainer Tom Lacey and jockey Sam Drinkwater scored a double with debutants Billy Biscuit and Full Shift at Milborne St Andrew’s South Dorset Hunt.
The former took advantage of a penultimate fence melee when favourite Scotch Dry And Ice fell, hampering Buster who unshipped Matt Hampton, while Grey Dream and Rock Of Fife fell and refused independently.
Homebred by owner Tim Curtis, Billy Biscuit is from a good family including dual Cheltenham Festival winner Weapon’s Amnesty, Grand National runner-up Black Apalachi and top chaser Weird Al.
Charlie Brooks’ four-year-old Full Shift put in a deeply impressive performance to outgallop his 16 rivals.
Meanwhile, Crank Hill came from way off the pace to retain the Hunt race trophy under Tim Hampton.
“You never think he’s going to catch them, then he does it so easily,” smiled Thornicombe trainer Mary Tory.
“He was even further behind at Bratton Down and Lockinge last season, but Tim knows him so well.”
Crank Hill is now unbeaten in his five completed points to add to his close second in Cheltenham’s 4m 1f hunter chase in May.
The Keith Cumings-trained Certain Flight was an equally easy winner of the Men’s Open under National Champion, Will Biddick.
Owner Richard Dunsford said: “I would say that’s his best race ever and proves he stays three miles as well as having lots of speed and acceleration.
“It’s his first win in an Open, but if he could win another he’d qualify for Cheltenham, which would be a real treat.”
Master Medic defied unfavoured conditions to land the Ladies’ Open under Emily MacMahon.
“I wanted to run him at Larkhill on Saturday but had no jockey, as Emily will be working at Newbury Racecourse”, said Sally Alner. “He’ll probably go to Badbury Rings at the end of the month and we’ll aim him at Wincanton’s Lady Riders’ Hunter Chase on May 14.”
Batu Ferringhi provided a family success with his impressive win in the Restricted after being trained by Claire Hitch, her husband Ed and father Mike Wright.
A hunter chase campaign is on the cards.
Barneys Mate won the Novice Riders’ race for the third year running under Martin McIntyre, the fourth jockey to land his first UK pointing success on the 13-year-old after James Cowley, Harry Derham and Conor Smith.
McIntyre said: “I wanted to be a carpenter when I was younger and only started riding when I was 17.
“I did two years with Enda Bolger and 18 months with Kim Bailey, for whom I rode a bumper winner, before joining Mr Barber in September. My ambition is to become a conditional.”