THE drying wind at Badbury Rings produced a change in the going to firm for the Countryside Alliance (Wessex) meeting held on Sunday.

Five of the six races were won by horses trained in the Wessex area with the highlights being a smooth success for Caid du Berlais ridden by Will Biddick in the Wessex National Men’s Open race, a second career victory for Kiana James-Thomas in the Novice Riders Race and a first-ever double for local rider George Hiscock.

Hiscock began the day with a comfortable victory in the Club Members Conditions Race aboard Boygojumping, owned by local vet Martin Peaty together with his wife Kathryn. Relishing the faster going the six-year-old gelding was recording his third career at Badbury Rings and had too much in hand for Trueflyingcolours ridden by Katy Lyons.

Caid du Berlais beat the only other finisher Mr Sawyer in the Wessex National Men’s Open Race by an official distance of six lengths.

This was the first time he had been ridden by the champion jockey Biddick who described his winner as having ‘lots of gears’.

Watched by one of his owners Chris Barber, son of Paul Barber, his next outing is scheduled to be in the Cheltenham Foxhunters where he will be partnered again by Biddick.

Clearly acting on this faster surface he should run a big race at the Festival now that his enthusiasm for racing has been rekindled by his trainer Rose Loxton.

Owner Janet Ackner certainly experienced the highs and lows of owning and training horses for after her horse Anolysse Moriniere had fallen in the first race with jockey Nathan Vergne breaking his collarbone.

She then saw her horse in the Men’s Open Golden Doyen pull up injured. However, her fortunes changed with the success of De Boitron, ridden by James-Thomas in the Novice Riders’ race. By coincidence the jockey’s only previous winner had come on this horse exactly 12 months ago at Great Trethew in Cornwall.

Caid du Berlais’s previous rider Harriet Tucker notched up another victory, her fourth of the season, when she rode Bistouri D’Honore to victory in the Skinner’s Ladies’ Open race. Following long-time leader Aikideau, ridden by Katy Lyons, Tucker took up the running at the third last and drew clear to win by 10 lengths.

The Restricted race provided the only winner for a horse trained outside the Wessex area when Silent Warrior, trained by Elizabeth Brown and ridden by Nick Phillips, made virtually all the running and won by 10 lengths.

Acquired from Charlie Longsdon the faster ground seemed to suit the six-year-old who his trainer described as a nervy individual who has needed to have a hood on him whilst standing in the lorry and is accompanied by a Connemara pony. Phillips, who is having a good season so far, was recording his fifth victory of the campaign.

Hiscock, 26, recorded his first career double when winning the Maiden race on his father Dick’s Doctor’s Differ. He was another horse to appreciate the faster going which he had been waiting for.

George’s partner Charlotte Brown was keen to give credit to Ange Barrow for the work she has done with the horse since last season. Hiscock, who rode his first winner on Master Billyboy at Littlewindsor in April 2010, has now ridden 13 winners in his career.


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