Sunday 3rd April 2005
by Lee Glanville
THICK fog enveloped point-to-point racing at Great Trethew on Sunday and for most of the East Cornwall hunt second meeting just the last two fences were visible. That did little to deter a large crowd, however, who hammered the bookies in the first race following the victory of River Fields.
Word had reached punters that the Ashley Farrant-trained five-year-old, who is owned by Georgie Robarts, was expected to win the first division of the two and a half mile maiden, and he was backed from 2-1 into odds on favourite. Jockey Andrew Glassonbury duly emerged through the mist on the gelding with plenty in hand from Trigger Mead (Leslie Jefford) and won in a stroll. Farrant, the reigning national point-to-point champion, has had a quiet time of it this season, but he explained his yard has taken a while to recover from a virus.
The second division went to Le Turk ridden by his owner/trainer Andy Oliver who looked around in disbelief as he approached the winning post in front. "I thought Tim (Dennis) was cruising and was waiting for him to overtake me so I was surprised to win. I thought he'd be there and I'd have been happy with a place," explained the 45-year-old builder whose victory prompted a huge cheer from the crowd. It was a fourth career win for Oliver who bought the six-year-old out of Ascot Sales last March for just 1,400gns.
Olivia Jackson continued to make her mark as a trainer of some reckoning when she rode Martin Pipe's Astronaut to victory in the mixed open. The eight-year-old was last seen at Uttoxeter in 2003 where he was bought by Pipe for 6,000gns having won the seller.
Tim Dennis was denied a double on Josanjamic when Susan Young got up to score by a neck on Lirkimalong in the Intermediate having taken the previous confined maiden on Sue Batchelor's Chester Charlie. The well-bred eight-year-old was bought privately through Dennis from a field in Ireland and was described by Batchelor as being very easy to train.
Just two horses finished the Restricted following a pile up at the penultimate fence where three horses came down. My Whisper, with Leslie Jefford on board, galloped home a distance ahead of Joli Christmas. The six-year-old is owned by her trainer, Valerie Graham, with Amy Harris and her boyfriend David Spicer who was celebrating his birthday.
The concluding confined went to Graham Kivell's Procedure, ridden by Liam Heard, who was bought out of Jim Olds yard. Now trained by Keith Cumings, he underwent a breathing operation last year and had been running well in defeat this season.
Duralock Open Maiden Division I (2m4f): River Fields (A Glassonbury) 1; Trigger Mead (L Jefford) 2; Whizzaar (Mr W Biddick) 3. 4l, 2l, 5.18.
The Dawe, Hawken and Dodd Open Maiden Division II (2m4f): Le Turk (A Oliver) 1; Bishlir (T Dennis) 2; Dartmeet (D Jacob) 3. 4l, 2l, 5.24.
The Langaller Farm Mixed Open: Astronaut (Mrs O Jackson) 1; It'snotsimple (Miss E Kennen); River Quoile (D Jacob) 3. 2l, 1l, 6.35.
The Jeffferys Confined Maiden: Chester Charlie (T Dennis) 1; Little Apple Bay (Miss S Gaisford) 2; Je Suis (M Sweetland) 3. 1l, 2l, 6.27.
The Exeter Racecourse Intermediate: Lirkimalong (Miss S Young) 1; Josanjamic (T Dennis) 2; Fauntleroy (L Heard). Nk, 3l, 6.28.
The Parnalls Soliciotrs Restricted: My Whisper (Mr L Jefford); 2 Joli Christmas (Mr W White). Only 2 finished. Distance, 6.34.
The Re-Tyre Confined: Procedure (Mr L Heard) 1; Off The Hook (Mr M
Sweetland) 2; Maximus (Mr B Wright) 3. 5l, 2l, 6.35.