A large crowd watched some exciting racing at a warm, sunny Garthorpe on Sunday. Seventy two runners contested seven races on ground officially described as “good to firm”. Brian Crawford the clerk of the course had done an excellent job in preparing the course.
Racing began with the four runner Member’s race, kindly sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Harold Morton, where the five year old High Ron went off the short priced favourite. Joe Docker’s mount looked the likely winner turning into the home straight but ran very wide giving up a lot of ground and allowing Ronan the Warrior to take the advantage. This horse had been outpaced as the leaders quickened up in the back straight but stayed on well to give Will Bissell his second winner. Bissell, is a trainee chef at the Red Lion in Stathern and said he was grateful to his boss for allowing him to take the day off in order to ride his mother’s horse. Zafferan’s Scene and owner /rider Patrick Millington were a length and a half away in third place.
The second race on the card was the feature race; the Michael Farrin Memorial Men’s Open race kindly sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. P. Hewitt and Mr. and Mrs. J. Bealby over three and a half miles for the Quorn Gold Cup. In this race the favourite Denvale and owner / rider Richard Hunnisett made the early running before being headed by the mare True Friday and Richard Armson. True Friday who was judged to be the best turned out in the paddock took the lead at the final ditch and set sail for home. However, the game Denvale fought back and just led by a neck on the line. Denvale was recording his second win at Garthorpe this season and put Richard Hunnisett in the lead in the Garthorpe Open Race Bonus Championship. True Friday was second and Aztec Warrior and George Henderson finished third.
Ten runners went to post for the Robert Whowell and Partners Ladies Open race. Charles Dixey’s eleven year old Jumbul Sale went to post early. This horse had run only once since winning at Higham in January 2008, however Rachel King had him up at the head of affairs disputing the lead with Gus and Dunmadic. Jumbul Sale was in the lead four fences from home and went on to win by three lengths. Dumadic and Gus were placed second and third.
The Ladies race was run at a fast pace but the third race the Confined Race sponsored by Six Hills Leisure Park was run in an even faster time. Point Proven, the mount of Tom Ellis was sent off the 6-4 favourite and ran a good race. However, Zilcash and Gemma Hutchinson took the lead and went for home turning into the back straight. The pair had set an unassailable lead at the last fence and went on to win by twenty lengths from Point Proven and Thistlecraft.
The Prestwold Hall Restricted race was a very competitive affair with thirteen runners being declared and fast pace being set. In the end it was The Nun’s Legacy who was given a good ride by Hannah Watson, who got home by a comfortable five lengths. This ten year old gelding, owned by Susan Busby and Mr. G Busby, had won a maiden in Ireland but taken a while to find form in this country. Silver Tenor who won a maiden at Brocklesby in February when the going was soft showed that he has the ability to act on a faster surface when finishing second. Gerald Bailey’s five year old Hardwick Wood ran well to finish third.
Fifteen runners went to post for the William Hercock Open Maiden race. Essenbee and Chloe Kirkby made most of the running. However, it was C.W. Foukes’s Jonny Rye, who by-passed the earlier Member’s race in favour of this contest, who got up to win by one and a half lengths giving Jack Day his first winner. Richard Bandey finished second on the favourite Lazzari and Joe Docker was eight lengths away in third riding Rocky D’Alene.
The final race on the card was the Four, Five, Six and Seven Year Olds Open Maiden race over two and a half miles. Twelve runners went to post for this race kindly sponsored by Quenby Hall. Dickie Barrett had unfortunately sustained an injury to his hand earlier in the afternoon so trainer Gerald Bailey’s son Johnny took the mount on Margaret Moody’s Kandelin. The conditions and trip seemed to suit this Beneficial seven year old and he won by two and a half lengths. This was Johnny Bailey’s third winner of the weekend, having completed a double at Kingston Blount on Saturday, to bring his winning tally to seven for the season. Grand Silence finished second and Oujamaflip was third.
The next Point-to-Point meeting in the Midlands Area is the Atherstone Point- to- Point at Clifton on Dunsmore on Sunday 25th April, first race 1 p.m.