FORMER multiple men’s champion Will Biddick went into last weekend two wins ahead of James King but the positions were reversed following doubles for the reigning titleholder on both Saturday and Sunday.
Biddick didn’t ride at Saturday’s sole meeting at Bredwardine where King first landed the three-runner four, five and six-year-old mares’ maiden on Luke Price’s Villanesque, a 2016 Dylan Thomas bay out of Augusta Brook (by Over The River).
The double came up in the concluding six-runner bumper on Max Comley’s newcomer Fusee De Poche. One of five Irish-bred winners on the seven-race card, this 2018 Champs Elysees filly is out of Isityoursef (by Milan).
Zac Baker also recorded a double at this Golden Valley meeting through the James Ridley-trained nine-year-old Ask mare Cashmoll, in the 10-runner Level 2 conditions race, and the Charlie Willes-trained French-bred Gamalou d’Alene in the concluding 13-runner maiden.
Two seconds from three rides was the best Biddick could muster on Sunday at Bratton Down where King scored on half of his four Luke Price-trained mounts to top the table on 51 wins.
The combination got off the mark in the restricted, with the British-bred Luckello and completed their double in the eight-year-old and upwards Level 2 conditions race with the 2014 Fame And Glory mare Rose Iland, one of four Irish-bred winners on the six-race card.
King had to settle for second in the men’s open which was won by the Mary Tory-trained, Charlie Sprake-ridden Imogens Thunder, an 11-year-old Stowaway gelding.
The concluding eight-runner maiden at that Exmoor Foxhounds’ fixture was won by the Josh Newman-ridden Donny’s Fortune who is owned and trained by Kayley Woollacoot. The five-year-old Soldier Of Fortune gelding, who is out of the Idris mare Odonimee, had unseated his rider at the fourth fence on his British debut earlier in the month.
The bay showed previously little enthusiasm for the game in four starts for Shark Hanlon.Also on Sunday, the Melton Hunt Club held a meeting at Garthorpe where Irish-breds won four of the seven.
Among that quartet was Al Shahir who comfortably justified odds-on favouritism in the four-runner Jockey Club and Retraining of Racehorses veteran series final for nine-year-olds and upwards.
The 2012 Robin Des Champs gelding is trained by Tom Ellis whose wife Gina Andrews recorded her 46th success of the season on board the bay.
The six-runner maiden was won by the Samantha Klug-owned and trained odds-on favourite Tom Creen who was ridden by Tom Broughton. The seven-year-old Yeats gelding, who was having his fourth start between the flags in Britain, is out of the Acatenango mare Casiana.
Ben Bromley, who is on course to be crowned champion male amateur over jumps, won the Level 1 conditions race on the Phil Rowley-trained French-bred Vivaldi Collonges.
On the hunters’ chase scene, there were two British-bred winners last week. The Dan Skelton-trained Debece made all to land a two-runner race at Warwick on Wednesday, in the hands of Tristan Durrell, while the Matthew Hampton-trained Twig saw off four rivals when winning at Worcester two days later under Beau Morgan.
On Tuesday this week, David Maxwell partnered his own French-bred Stratagem, the 8/11 favourite, to victory in a four-runner contest at Southwell. The Paul Nicholls-trained Sunday Break six-year-old was winning for the second time this year.