WISHING and Hoping proved a class above his rivals with an emphatic win in the Lady Dudley Cup at Chaddesley Corbett on Saturday.

The warm weather proved a magnet for a massive crowd with a long queue of cars lining the surrounding roads in the build up to the first race.

With a multitude of meetings over the holiday weekend, some fixtures had to contend with multiple walkovers, but over 50 per cent of the entries at this meeting met their engagements which provided the capacity crowd with some interesting contests.

Five runners lined up for the big race, with the Phil Rowley trained Wishing and Hoping attracting plenty of support along with Templebraden and Ballyboker Breeze. The supporters of Shotavodka hardly got a run for their money with Heidi Brookshaw’s runner falling at the second.

Templebraden’s jumping gave his supporters cause for concern from the start, whereas the favourite never put a foot wrong, met every fence on a perfect stride and this put his rivals at an immediate disadvantage.

Zac Baker had to give his mount some stern reminders as they entered their final circuit, but this did not have the desired effect and they soon started to lose touch and were eventually pulled up half a mile from home.

Ballyboker Breeze was hanging onto the leader’s coat tails down the back straight but the favourite began to ease clear climbing the final hill and extended his advantage down the home straight.

The winner stormed clear to win by 25-lengths in the second fastest time recorded in the race since changes were made to the course back in 1974.

Alex Edwards is no stranger to success having won this race in 2013 and 2017 and said afterwards: “It’s fantastic to win this big race, we have some lovely horses and great owners. The horse came to us from Alan King where he had lost his way and confidence after several falls."

Winning trainer Phil Rowley added: “He had confidence issues with his jumping but that is two wins from two runs for us. We are so happy for Peter and Trish Andrews who have been so patient with him. He is now showing the class we thought he had."

This win is another feather in the cap for Bridgnorth-based Rowley who won the Cheltenham Foxhunters in March with Hazel Hill. He and Edwards went on to complete a double following The Grey Scholars success in the Maiden.

Hindlip trainer Martin Weston teamed up with Worcestershire rider Phine Banks to take the members' race with Vasco du Mee and the Skinners Pet Food sponsored Ladies Open with Diamond King, the first double in Miss Banks' riding career.

The winners of the first three races all carried the familiar blue and cerise hoop colours so long associated with the meeting. They belong to the Tollit dynasty from Himbleton, which include the redoubtable Pat Tollit one of the best lady riders of her generation back in the 1950s, her daughters Katherine Smith Maxwell, Angela Rucker and Christine Banks and the latter's two daughters Josephine and Abigail.