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Blankney
North Carlton
Sunday 1st March 2009
by Emma Forman

A large crowd attended the Blankney Point to Point at North Carlton on Sunday. 45 horses contested 8 races. Ruby Wax was a special visitor to the Point to Point filming for a new programme about English Gentlemen to be screened later this spring. The official going was “good”. Once again the big screen was available for viewing and this is the only track in the country to have made use of this facility. As well as some excellent racing action there was also a range of stalls selling a wide range of goods.

The first race the RGL carpets Blankney and Burton Member’s race contained the most local interest with all 5 of the horses entered being declared to run. The grey veteran pointer Silver Streak made the early running before being challenged by 4-9 favourite Yann’s who was well ridden by Miles Seston hugging the inside rail most of the way. Civil Gent who was ridden by first time jockey Alex Theaker was also in contention when Silver Streak unseated his jockey. However, Civil Gent who ran on gamely was no match for Yann’s who had previously finished fourth in a Hunter Chase at Huntingdon last week. The biggest cheer of the day was heard when Oliver Chapple, a retired dentist and keen Blankney supporter passed the line on his hunter Pickled Walnut. A delighted Chapple picked up the prize for the first heavyweight past the post.

It was a good day for Adam Wedge who is Chris Bealby’s amateur rider. Wedge completed a Point to Point double for Bealby’s wife Antonia who trains Point to Pointers alongside her husband’s licensed yard at Barrowby near Grantham. The first leg of the double came in the Bluefin Insurance Services Ltd Confined race which was a competitive affair. Wedge’s mount Just Jove was in contention from the outset along with the second placed Beauchamp Oracle who had made the journey from Yorkshire. Oscar The Boxer was third for Harriet Bethell who won at the last meeting at North Carlton at 66-1 on Creative Time. The fourth placed Rust En Vrede, trained locally by Dean Howitt, was outpaced early on but stayed on well for Tommy Parr.

The second leg of the Antonia Bealby/ Adam Wedge double came in the Mr and Mrs Oliver Griffin sponsored 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds Open Maiden race division 1. This time they teamed up to win with the 5 year old Hendaway who was sent off favourite and had fallen on his debut at the last meeting at North Carlton. The second horse Ahwaak, also a 5 year old was beaten by 6 lengths and had made the journey from the Ledbury. Adam Wedge is now the clear leader at this early stage in the D & M Barthorpe sponsored novice riders championships.

In division 2, the Blankney Pony Club sponsored 4, 5, 6 and 7 year olds Open Maiden race, experience paid off for Holderness Master Chris Richardson’s The Real Tom Eoin. This 6 year old second season Pointer has taken a while to get his head in front but won nicely in the end by 8 lengths from the favourite Torksey Lock who made most of the running.

The PM Engineering Contractors Ltd 8 year olds and over Maiden race went to Mrs Sue Smith’s Shaamit The Vaamit who took up the lead approaching the last fence. The 9 year old former hurdler was well ridden by Matthew Mackley who mainly rides in the East Anglian area now.

The Velcourt Restricted race was a little disappointing, attracting just 3 runners. The Irish maiden winner Cluthie Boy was sent off the 8-11 favourite and duly obliged winning by a distance for trainer / rider Sue Sharratt.

Hello It’s Me started as the 6-4 favourite in the A L Cox & Sons Ladies Open race and went on to win by four lengths. This horse was well ridden by 18 year old Kelly Morgan, having her second winner. Kelly is the daughter of trainer Andrew Sansome’s partner Carol Morgan and is clearly a rider to note in Ladies races especially. Hello It’s Me is owned by 85 year old Mrs Butler and holds the distinction of having won on the flat as 2 year old, over hurdles and over fences.

Menchikov started as the 4-5 favourite in the Brown & Co Men’s Open race. Following on from his win at the Burton meeting and a second in a Hunter Chase, the Richard Armson ridden Menchikov ran his three rivals off their feet to win by 15 lengths. Menchikov was the leading horse at North Carlton for 2009 and won the Vulgarion Challenge trophy which was presented by Bill Strawson in memory of his prolific winning Point to Pointer of yester year. The Robinson family are now looking at various Hunter Chase options for Menchikov’s next outing.

The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Cottesmore Point to Point at Garthorpe on Sunday 8th March, first race 12 noon.

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