RACING REPORT by BOB DOWNING  8th February 2017 
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It was a good day for Alan King and stable jockey Wayne Hutchinson who were only denied a four-timer in a thrilling finish but it was not such a good day for the bookies who saw five favourites justify strong market support. Bromfield National Hunt Maiden Hurdle. Abt 2m 1.Shantou Rock (Harry Skelton) Dan Skelton 1-4f, 2.Majestic Touch (Richard Johnson) Philip Hobbs 8-1, 3. Alfie's Choice (Tom Bellamy) Kim Bailey. Distances 6, 6. 15 ran. Non-runner Chti Balko. An unproductive January for Dan Skelton has now been turned on its head and Shantou underlined that view with a first success bat the fourth attempt over obstacles. Skelton explained that his quiet January was down to the fact that he had given his string a flu vaccination which had prevented them running and he admitted: "January was a write-off because of the vaccinations and we probably won't to that next year. There is a reason for doing it because it does boost them but it terribly frustrating to sit through January but you cannot have the good times without experiencing some low points. I am really happy with them now "On form, he had the superior form and he should have won. Two of his three runs, he has come against some talented rivals. It's nice to get his head infront and he will make a chaser. He can be exhubarant but he did settle better today. "We will look for another little novice and then look at some of the decent prizes that are offer at the end of the season." Shantou Rock was soon in the lead and he never looked like surrendering his advantage although Alfie's Choice looked a threat turning for home although Majestic Touch ran on from the third last to grab second place Downton Novices Chase. Abt 3m 1. Label Des Obeaux (Wayne Hutchinson) Alan King 1-3f, 2.Hit The Highway (Dave Crosse) Giles Smyly 12-1, 3Optimistic Bias (Liam Treadwell (James Evans 25-1. Distances: 13, 10. 4ran Label Des Obeaux will be one of the Alan King runners at the Cheltenham Festival next month as he has three options at the moment including the Ultima Chase who is sponsored by the same people who sponsor the yard. Label Des Obeaux was another to start off as odds-on favourite and he took ma definite lead when Querry Horse unseated Jack Sherwood after jumping the water jump following two earlier errors. It was from the second last fence that winner went away and King said: "That will do him the worls of good because he has not had an easy race for some time and he warmed to his task." Weatherbys General Stud Book Goes Online Mares Handicap Hurdle. 1. Tara View (Wayne Hutchinson) Alan King 11-4f, 2. On Demand (Tom O'Brien) Colin Tizzard, 7-2 3. Still Believing (Cian Maher (7) Evan Williams 5-1. Distances: 2 1/4, 20. 7ran A positional switch by Wayne Hutchinson enabled him to get a quick fire double on Tara View who was completing her own four-timer. As they turned for home. it looked as though On Demand had slipped his field but Hutchinson took Tara View to the wide outside and on the less churned up ground was able to grab the lead in the last 100 yards after being five lengths down at the last. King said: "I hate giving up ground on the outside but I said that as soon as we hit the straight we would go to nearside rail and probably the leader had done plenty upfront. "Her target now will be the final of his race at Newbury in March. Thats why we ran here to get a third run into her despite the ground being far from ideal for her." Attwood Memorial Trophy Handicap Chase. 2m & abt5f. 1. Pougne Bobbi (Jeremiah McGrath) Nicky Henderson 9- 2, 2. Pull The Chord (Richard Johnson) Philip Hobbs 6-1, 3. Altiepix (Sam Twiston-Davies) Kerry Lee 3-1f. Distances: 9, 5, 13ran. Non-runner Mad Jack Mytton.   Cont/….
The feature race of the day and Sergeant Mattie and Pougne Bobbi shared the lead until the seventh fence when the Kicky Henderson runner went on. Less than 10 lengths separated the field after the first circuit but turning for home Pougne Bobbi kicked on to open up a three lengths lead over favourite Altiepix with Pull The Chord in pursuit and was never under threat. Jockey Jeremiah McGrath said: "People tend to forget he is lightly raced and he up against experienced handicappers but he did not make too much of a big deal about it. Mr Henderson told me that the track might no suit and the tri[p was on the sharp side but the ground was in our favour. He likes to be out in front but he jumped and travelled so well." Weatherbys Hamilton Juvenile Hurdle. Abt 2m 1. Master Blueyes (Wayne Hutchinson) Alan King 2-5f, 2. Long Call (Davy Russell) AJ Martin 7-2, 3. Bob's Boy 20-1 (Andrew Tinkler) Warren Greatrex 20-1. Distances: 18, 4. 12 ran. Top Irish jockey Davy Russell was making a rare visit to the track for just one ride for Tony Martin but he and Long Call had looked impressive recently at Hereford although Master Blueyes was another odds-on chance. On this occasion, Hutchinson was only in sixth place as they made their way to the home turn. Long Call was the first to go for home, but Master Blueyes had him in his sights and was ahead at the second last flight despite clipping the top of the obstacle. King said: "I was hoping his class would get him through and it has.I don't where he will go now. He is in th Triumph and he will be entered in the Fred Winter but we might just keep him back for Aintree. I have had him since he was two and having run well at York on the Flat, I think he would prefer a long straight. He will be a much better horse on better ground." February Hunters Chase. 2m & abt4f. 1. Persian Snow (Mr David Maxwell (5) Philip Hobbs 5-2f, 2. Bear's Affair (Mr Alex Edwards 3)) Philip Rowley 3-1, 3. Distime (Mr Archie Wright (7) Mrs AJ Loder 3-1. Distances: 13, 25. 13ran Top amateur rider David Maxwell finally achieved his ambition of rising a winner at Ludlow when the horse he also owns took the Hunter Chase after a break of 658 days. He explained: "My parents in law are members here, it is their local track and I have been desperate win a race here as a jockey." Persian Snow led into the home straight with Bear's Affair in close attendance' But they went four lengths clear at the last and were never in trouble. Onibury Maiden Hurdle. 2m & abt5f 1. Town Parks (Richard Johnson) Kerry Lee 11-4, 2. Beneagles (Wayne Hutchinson) Alan King 13-8f, 3. Shanroe In Milan (Sam Twiston-Davies) Charlie Longsdon 5-1. Distances: sht hd, 8. 10 ran. Non-runner: Ckalco Des Loges. This was an emotional success for Town Parks owner Mrs Jean Beavan as the horse was ridden by her nephew Richard Johnson. And it was the closest of the day to deny the King-Hutchinson duo a four timer on the card. It developed into a race between the front three of Shanroe In Milan, Beneagles and Town Parks as they turned for home. Town Parks was ahead at the last but Benagles was making rapid progress and Johnson just managed to hold on. Richard Lee, representing his trainer daughter Kerry, said: "I have always liked the horse ever since we bought him at the Doncaster May Sales. He is a lovely horse to do anything with."           Tara View        
Shantou Rock
Label Des Obeaux  
PHOTOS BY LES HURLEY email: leshurley@btinternet.com