SADDLERS Encore, trained by Crewkerne handler Chloe Newman, surprised the favourites to win the Mixed Open race at the second running of the Barbury International Racing Club point-to-point meeting on Saturday.

Fifteen runners went to post in the race, sponsored by Weatherbys Hamilton, including the reappearance of Barel of Laughs, winner of the Lady Dudley Cup and Timico Mixed Open Final and third in the Cheltenham Foxhunters in 2018.

Punters saw the contest as a two-horse race between him and top Welsh pointer Colorado Doc, the short-priced pair going clear six out.

However, Saddlers Encore, a useful hurdler for Philip Hobbs making his pointing debut, crept closer round the final bend, then joined the leader at the last and stayed on to win by a length.

Golden Doyen passed the tiring Colorado Doc on the run-in to take third, eight lengths back.

Colorado Doc’s owner-trainer David Brace had better fortune in the following Highflyer Bloodstock Novice Riders race, which saw 13 go to post.

Favourite William Money, ridden by Brace's grandson Connor Brace, made a quick reappearance after an Ampton second the previous weekend to score comfortably by six lengths from Ardkilly Witness.

There was a second Welsh success in the Greatwood Trophy Conditions race, for 10-year-olds plus over a long trip in testing conditions of three miles six furlongs.

Lotus Pond took the spoils for winning owners William and Mandy Bryan, whose son Peter rode the horse, and Pembrokeshire trainer Mickey Bowen.

Mid-division early, the ten-year-old made steady progress five out, led two out and held on easily by six lengths from Templebraden. Favourite The Dapper Fox stayed on late for four lengths third.

The rest of the card – with four Maidens and two point-to-point Flat Races – was dedicated to young horses and it was fitting, with the efforts made to attract Irish runners, that a horse trained across the water took the opening 11-runner Tattersalls Ireland Maiden for four, five and six-year-olds.

Bailarico was one of four on the card saddled by Eugene O’Sullivan - fellow Irishman Shark Hanlon brought seven horses and was rewarded by two seconds - at 20/1 under O'Sullivan's daughter, top Irish female rider Maxine, beating favourite Danseur Du Large by one and three-quarter lengths, with long-time leader Dissertation – returning after a year off with a broken leg – three-quarters back in third.

The following Goffs UK Jockey Club Maiden saw 11 runners and went the way of the hot favourite, Definitelyanoscar, a first runner for 20-year-old Chris Barber, cousin of champion trainer Jack Barber and grandson of the legendary Richard Barber.

Always prominent, she took the lead five out and won unchallenged by 15 lengths from Whistling Dolly, with Burrows Spring an eight-lengths third.

Another young trainer breaking his duck was 23-year-old Jake Slatter, based at Winchcombe.

Bally River Boy, joint-favourite when successful in the 11-runner first division of the Albert Bartlett Open Maiden race was having his second start and stayed on well to beat Skyhill Allstar by seven lengths, with the fast-finishing Ericas Lad another 10 lengths away third.

Ten went to post in the second division of the Open Maiden, where Inmyday’s success for 2015 champion Alan Hill moved his handler on to five for the season and first place in this season’s title race. He held on by five lengths from Snow Puma, who made late progress. Early leader Light Flicker was 30 lengths back.

The Hills were quickly joined on five winners by trainer Philip Rowley and jockey Alex Edwards, who combined with Nobby in the second division of the JRL Group Point-to-Point Flat Race, winning by a length from Shometheway, who had led for most of the last mile.

The mist descended before the first division of the “bumper” but Strike Hollow held on by one-and-a-half lengths for Ben Jones from long-time leader Schiap Hill with Billygwyn Too finishing fast for third, one-and-a-quarter lengths behind.

Strike Hollow was a third Welsh success of the day, trained by Helen Lewis, at Pandy near Abergavenny.

After the nine races, awards were presented to Philip Rowley as the leading trainer on the day (sponsored by Equine Products) and to Saddlers Encore's trainer Newman for the Outstanding Performance.

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