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Mark's Divine win at Badbury meet
DIVINE Intavention was a clear winner of the Bonhams Men’s Open race at the Countryside Alliance meet at Badbury Rings under rider Mark Wall.
Seventy-six runners contested the competitive seven-race card.
Other highlights were a double for local rider Louis Muspratt, a first win for Toby Squire and a third victory this season for Master Medic in the Ladies’ Open race.
Divine Intavention had just taken up the lead from long-time leader Some Slam at the fourth last fence when that rival fell and, despite market rival Certain Flight giving chase, his efforts came to nothing after a bad blunder at the last.
The horse, who was giving his rider, Wall, his first success at Badbury Rings, had a reputation for not liking to race left-handed but gave a faultless display on ground he loves.
A return to hunter chasing may be on the cards for Hugh Wilson’s gelding.
Master Medic recorded his third straight success this season in the Ladies’ Open under Emily MacMahon.
He was made to fight for this victory with Extra Bold, ridden by Rilly Goschen, but prevailed on the run-in.
MacMahon describes the 12-year-old as the best horse she has sat on and would love the chance to ride him in a hunter chase – however, trainer Sally Alner is loath to risk her stable star in the hunter chase arena.
Louis Muspratt’s double came courtesy of the first division of the Restricted, riding Bobbys Choice for Richard Miller and Rachel Bartlett.
Always prominent, the mare stayed on well to beat the two runners from Stuart Penny’s stable, Big Time Ben and Ashton Magic.
Michael Miller had recommended Muspratt to his father and Bartlett following his own retirement from the saddle.
Muspratt’s second win was in the final race, the Maiden for Sponsored Horses, aboard Jeffery Brown’s Turtle Boys.
A promising third at Milborne three weeks earlier gave grounds for confidence and this was borne out by an easy victory.
It was a first point-to-point winner for Brown, a driving instructor from Dorchester, and a first training win for his daughter, Harriet, who works as a nurse and administrative assistant at Dorset Equine Vets.
Toby Squire, 22, from Wells, recorded his first ever victory on evergreen veteran Preacher Boy. The second division of the Restricted was won cosily by Little Cornham, ridden by national and Wessex champion jockey, Will Biddick.
It was the first time Biddick had ridden a winner for trainer Charlotte Tizzard, whose charge seemed to appreciate the better ground.
The winner of his first two races last season, Tizzard reported that he had come in stronger this season and had run well on his debut at Larkhill behind Mendip Express in January.
The Countryside Alliance Members’ Conditions race was won in convincing style by Hameldown Tor, ridden by Ed Barrett and trained by Ed Walker at Ottery St Mary.