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Maiden double for Bandey at Larkhill point-to-point
KINGSCLERE trainer Richard Bandey landed his first double with Conditions race winner Alskamatic, pictured, and Smooth Classic (Maiden Div 2) at Larkhill.
Course specialist Alskamatic showed the benefit of first-time cheekpieces to record his third Larkhill success.
“He’s been very consistent, but we felt he just wasn’t quite travelling in his races,” said Bandey.
Josh Guerriero, who missed the Alskamatic ride after traffic delays, took the reins on winner Smooth Classic, also owned by Bandey’s 23-strong Plantation Picnic Club.
In a strong field of 26 horses in the high-class Mixed Open, a prominent ride from Sam Waley- Cohen on eight-year-old Rumbavu held off Master Medic for first place.
But Rumbavu owner/trainer Robert Waley-Cohen saw his hopes of a double dashed when Storm Lantern was outpaced by Posh Totty, a seventh training success of the season for her jockey Jack Barber.
There were two first time winners at the meeting.
Rode jockey Charlotte Hawker led off with her family’s Jayo, who dead-heated with Tempelpirate in the Novice Riders race. And Shropshire-based Joanna Hunter made the perfect start to her training career with Lucy Birley’s Larkhill Maiden winner, Midnight Jade.
The Sheila Crow-trained Mr Mercurial went into notebooks after his impressive Larkhill Restricted win.
The six-year-old zoomed clear of his rivals when asked by Paddy Gerety, although favourite backers experienced some alarm when the bay slowed after the last.
Mr Mercurial is now unbeaten in both outings since being bought privately in Ireland by Shrewsbury’s David Rogers in November.
The Charity Flat Race was won by Brickworth Melody, trained and ridden by “local forest filly”, Erika Lovell.