Sunday 26th April 2009
by Graham Taylor
Photos by Neale Blackburn
A good size crowd enjoyed some thrilling Point to Point racing when the Atherstone Hunt held their annual race meeting at the popular venue of Clifton-on-Dunsmore, near Rugby last Sunday.
Race One, The Members, Subscribers and Farmers Race, off at 1.00 pm. attracted a field of three runners and this race was kindly sponsored by M.J.Carter Associates. The race was won by the well fancied, Torksey Lock, ridden by Matt Briggs. Leading for most of the way, the seven year old had too much pace for second placed, Sandy Lie. Spanish Brook finished a distance third.
Torksey Lock (Matt Briggs) clear the ditch on route to the win in the Members
Race Two was the Howkins & Harrison Confined Hunts Race and here four horses went to post. This race was won by the Laura Pomfret trained nine year old, Valance, ridden by the in form, Richard Armson. His mount finished twelve lengths clear of Highland Vascoe with Walking Sunday a further length and a half away in third.
Valance (Richard Armson] take the Confined
Sharnford Tractors kindly sponsored the Maiden Race For Mares Only and nine maidens were declared to run. This race produced the closest finish of the afternoon with rider, Rachael King on the Bicester mare, Gardener’s Cottage, just holding off the David Mansell ridden, Oscars’Alice, by a neck. Call Me A Lady took the third placing.
Gardeners Cottage under a terrific ride from Rachael King take the Mares Maiden in the race of the day prevailing by a hard fought neck from Oscars Alice and David Mansell who looked all over the winners two out
Race Four, The Mens Open Race, was sponsored by Trinity Motors of Hinckley and three horses were declared to run here. This race went to the favourite, Itsalf, who was giving David Mansell his 33rd winner of the season. Mansell had the eleven year old gelding always in touch and ran on to beat the Gerald Bailey trained, Kjetil, by a comfortable nine lengths with third placed, Lindsey, a further four lengths back in third.
Itsalf (David Mansell) clear of his two rivals in the Mens Open
Although only two runners were declared for The Ladies Open Race, this turned into a fine battle from two fourteen year old horses. After racing neck and neck for most of the race, the eventual winner, Danaeve, ridden by Tammy Webster, just got the better of the Gemma Hutchinson ridden, Free, winning by a margin of two and a half lengths. This win gave Webster her second win in only her third ride in a Point to Point. The race was sponsored by James Bennett Limited.
Left hand down a bit! Danaeve (Tammy Webster) takes the match for the Ladies and upsets the long odd-on favourite Free
Sixth race on the card, The Restricted Race, was kindly sponsored by G. & C.A.Lee of Statfold Barn Farm. A total of nine horses went to post and this was won by the ex-Irish hurdler/chaser, Captain Lyford, well ridden by the promising young jockey, Adam Wedge. Taking up the running on the second circuit, the seven year old went on to win by eight lengths. Karshaan and early leader, Lightin’ Jack took second and third placings.
Captain Lyford and Adam Wedge picking up a handy spare ride to secure the win in the Restricted
Seventh and final race of the day was kindly sponsored by the family of the Late Mrs. Harry Barton. Twelve horses were declared to run. This was won by the Pytchley eight year old, Posh Dude, ridden by Jo Docker and trained by father, John. The winner, always in the first two during the race, had to hold off the fast finish of the Mansell ridden, Bonny Jago, who took second spot. Third horse home was Trocadeno, ridden by the winners brother, Nick.
Posh Dude and Joe Docker  on route to the win in the maiden
Next Midland Area meeting is the Fernie Point to Point, scheduled to take place at Dingley, near Market Harborough, next Sunday, 3rd May. First race 2.00pm.