There were doubles for jockey Sam Davies-Thomas and trainer Gerald Bailey at the Quorn’s meeting at Garthorpe on Saturday.
Davies-Thomas took the feature race of the day, the Men’s Open for the Quorn Gold Cup, on board Margaret Moody’s nine-year-old gelding TheTalkingHorse, trained by Bailey.
Despite being led for two of three laps by Warden Hill and Tom Chatfeild-Roberts, the multiple Hunter Chase winner had too much for the opposition as he eased ahead in the last half-mile to win by six lengths.
“He’s a lovely little horse,” Bailey said. “But there was a point in that last lap when I didn’t think he was going well enough to beat Warden Hill.”
The day’s other feature race went to Western Diva, who beat the impressive Top Smart (Gina Andrews), who was looking for a sixth consecutive win, in the Ladies’ Open, by five lengths.
The winner made the most of a stone of weight advantage and led from start to finish.
The result was a relief for jockey Claire Hardwick who had been decked by her mount the day before.
Davies-Thomas had already partnered Queen Olivia to victory in the Midlands Area Club Members race, this time for Sarah Dawson.
“I haven’t been to Garthorpe for 15 years!” she said. “I was impressed with the ground here this weekend and Sam was the obvious choice of jockey as he knows this horse well.”
Gerald Bailey had to wait slightly longer for his double when Easythingsarebest won the PPORA Club Members race, beating Bingo Star (Jack Andrews) by four lengths.
This horse had won impressively at the Pytchley meeting for jockey John Russell, who had been forced by injury to sit out much of last season.
The day’s opening race turned up some surprises as several front runners had proved a little keen and were not able to maintain the pace.
Pay The King (Tom Strawson) was the eventual winner, finishing three lengths ahead of gutsy Bravehearted Harry (Rory Bevin).
Mr Syntax and Richard Collinson won the Members’ race for horses of nine or over, beating fancied Bravo Riquet and Can Mestret by two lengths and the same.
Gina Andrews had a frustrating day, with two seconds and a third, until she won impressively with Distant Rain in the last, the Open Maiden race.
They beat Kinlochspelve and Toujours Libre by 12 and eight lengths respectively for trainer and husband Tom Ellis.