Amie Waugh and Tristan Davidson shared the riding honours with doubles in the Border Hunt fixture at Hexham Racecourse on Sunday, while in-form trainer, Victor Thompson also sent out two winners for the third weekend in a row.
Newyearsresolution (left) initiated Waugh's double in the Hadrian Electrical Engineering Ltd NPPA Club Members Race. Always in the leading trio, he finally got the better of Red Myst going to the last before holding off a late challenge from Beverley Beck by two lengths. Mitford-based owner/trainer, Simon Waugh said of the 10 year old: ''He only cost £1500 at Doncaster Sales in August 2011 and deserved this win as he is very genuine and always jumps well.'' Daughter, Amie added: ''He had his ears pricked all the way, enjoyed being up front and was suited by the slower pace after running in Ladies Opens most of the season.''
Whiteabbey (right) upset more fancied rivals when completing Waugh's double in the AGA Ladies Open Race, and at the same time extended his unbeaten run between the flags to three. Produced with a well timed challenge, he took it up two out before forging clear on the flat to score by six lengths from Keeverfield. Greenlaw-based handler, Rebecca Hewit said of her charge: ''He came back from Cheltenham so well that we decided to keep him on the go. This was his first run in Open company and he enjoyed having 19lb less to carry. That's it for the season now as I'll be training the British Senior Vaulting Team later in the month and would miss the Haydon meeting.'' It is worth noting that Whiteabbey actually beat subsequent Cheltenham Foxhunters winner, Tammys Hill when he got off the mark on his second start in Ireland on 15 May 2009.
Have One For Me (left) set the ball rolling for Davidson and Thompson in the Par Petroleum Restricted Race. Sent on approaching five out, the 7 year old left his rivals toiling when he went twenty lengths up at the second last and easily maintained that advantage over Kilmacallogue Bay to the line. The winner is a credit to Newton-by-the-Sea owner/trainer, Victor Thompson as this was his thirteenth start since mid-January.
Chosen Keys (right) completed a double for Davidson and Thompson in the Ward Hadaway Open Maiden Race. After taking it up a mile from home, the mare never looked like surrendering the initiative and actually extended her advantage over the favourite, Four Oceans to four lengths on the run-in. In-form Thompson, who has saddled thirteen winners this year, including six in May, bought the 8 year old for £5200 at Doncaster Sales in May 2011. Davidson said of her: ''She is an out and out stayer and I made sure it was a stamina test by kicking on a long way out.''
The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for Hexham jockey, Andrew Richardson, who announced his retirement from the saddle after partnering his own 7 year old gelding, Winces Well (left) to victory in the Carrs Billington (Wooler) Open Maiden Race over two and a half miles. His mount was still two lengths behind Awman at the last but gradually reeled in the leader before quickening away inside the last hundred yards to secure a two lengths verdict, with the promising Duke Nelson a further length away in third.
Richardson said: ''He is bred for the Flat and cost only £800 at Doncaster Sales in August 2011. I always knew he had ability but have been patient with him as he regularly developed sore shins. This is the first time he has been in a proper race and there is still plenty of room for improvement.'' For the record, Richardson, 47, opened his account on Geordies Express at Corbridge in March 1999. After an injury hit campaign, this latest success leaves his career tally on 101, comprising 95 between the flags and 6 under Rules.''
Cave Hunter (right) made it five wins from six starts this term with another pillar to post success in the Northumberland Sporting Clays Men's Open Race. He got in a bit close to the last and lost momentum but picked up again as soon as Ocarina ranged upsides, pulling away to score by two lengths. The win took Tom Hamilton's seasonal tally to 20, a figure not surpassed by any Northern Area jockey in the last thirteen years. Winning owner, Niel Manning was full of praise for the 7 year old's trainer, Wendy Hamilton, who has a remarkable strike rate between the flags in 2014 with seven winners and a second from eight runners.
Thirty seven years after riding her first winner at Alnwick on Lothian Brig, Val Jackson took her career tally to 94, including 70 between the flags, on Wave Power (left) in the Bill Aitchison Border Hunt Members Race. Job For Eric led from three out until collared and headed inside the last fifty yards as Jackson's power-packed finish on Wave Power snatched a neck verdict. ''I've no plans to retire,'' said Jackson.