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Five-star fare as big hitters smash 200-point mark

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: November 24, 2012

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THE race for the Gloucestershire WI Trainers' Championship is hotting up.

Five trainers have smashed through the 200-point barrier in what promises to be one of the closest contests since the inaugural competition in the 2001/02 campaign.

David Bridgwater has moved into first place with 300 points following Wyck Hill's victory at Wetherby.

Defending champion Tom George sits in joint second spot on 280 points after boosting his chances of retaining his title with Olofi's success under Paddy Brennan at Cheltenham last Sunday.

Olofi's next race en route to a possible crack at the Champion Hurdle at the Festival will probably be the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot on December 22.

Nigel Twiston-Davies and Kim Bailey share third place with George after they had a winner apiece at Ascot yesterday.

Ackertac netted 20 points for Twiston-Davies with his first chase victory under the trainer's son Sam.

Bailey earned 40 points from the Rainbow Hunter's second victory in a row in the hands of Nick Scholfield.

Each of the trainers in the championship has been given a handicap rating based on how many horses they have in their stable.

From the start of the competition on October 19, the competing trainers have been awarded the same number of points as their handicap for every jumps winner, Jonjo O'Neill receiving the fewest of 15.

Points are doubled for any Cheltenham winner, or winner priced 25-1 or longer.

Gloucestershire WI Trainers' Championship, standings: 1 David Bridgwater (75) 300; 2 Tom George (35), Nigel Twiston-Davies (20), Kim Bailey (40) 280; 5 Emma Baker (125) 250; 6 Fergal O'Brien (50), Graeme McPherson (75) 150; 8 Martin Keighley (40) 120; 9 Shaun Lycett (100) 100; 10 Jonjo O'Neill (15) 90; 11 Richard Phillips (75), Sophie Leech (75) 75.

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