National delight for Newmarket South Road Flying Club member

Dave Downing recorded what he believes was his biggest ever win during the recent Coutances YB & OH National Race event.

From an estimated field of 4,000 pigeons, one of Downing’s 10 entrants came home ahead of the field to clinch first place in Section H.

“You are always hopeful of winning and I was especially so because I have had plenty of wins locally before,” said the Newmarket South Road Flying Club member.

“I have been flying a long time and picked up some decent results along the way.

“But I would argue that this is probably my best victory yet.”

After a delay due to poor weather, the birds were eventually liberated in north-west France last Wednesday morning at 11am.

Downing’s bird — a chequer cock bred from a Hardy Kruger stock pair — negotiated the 235-mile straight line distance back to his Newmarket base in Centre Drive by 4.37pm, clocking an average speed of 42mph.

The result rounded off some positive form of late for Downing, who also had the second and fourth section at the last British International Championship Club Guernsey race.

n There was also further glory for Downing’s fellow South Road Flying Club member Shaughan Nicholson, who won the Fourth Open of a recent BICC race.

Conditions were tough for the flyers due to a north-easterly wind.

However, Red Lodge-based Nicholson’s interest in the race coped with the situation well to come home in first place.

As well as the victory, Nicholson is also able to boast a triumph over the Queen, who saw her pigeon finish in sixth place overall.