nr Marlborough, Wiltshire
Sunday 10th April 2011
by Brian & Gill Armstrong
Fossebridge rider Mark Wall reached his career century of point-to-point winners - plus another 10 under Rules - when he took the opening Tedworth Restricted race on Isle Of Skye, trained by Tracey Bailey for her mother, Sarah Sutton, on Sunday. The grey mare made all the running and held Even Homer Nods, who could never quite get on terms under Dan Collins in the straight. "What a peach of a ride", said Tracey, whose daughter Pandora rides out Isle Of Skye at home. Mark left immediately after the race to ride a double on Rustic John and Divine Intavention at Andoversford before travelling on to Ascot, where he finished a half-length runner-up on Sovereign King in the closing Hunter Chase. Isle Of Skye's win also completed a marvellous 72 hours for Tracey after Offshore Account and her brother Nick Sutton had finished third in the Aintree Foxhunter.
Commander Vic and Tom Bishop finished alone to retain the coveted Tedworth Gold Cup. "Gladiatorial won this twice, so it's the fourth time we'll have this lovely trophy on the sideboard", said Tom's mother, Wincanton owner-trainer Frances Bishop. Tom, who cycled from Rome to London to raise funds in aid of bone cancer research and ran in last year's Paris Marathon, recently added boxing to his considerable range of sporting interests. "I enjoy sparring and I'm looking forward to my first fight in the summer", he said.
Property developer Harry Marriott celebrated his first season as Tedworth Joint Point-to-Point Secretary by making all the running on his Rowdy Yeats in the Confined. "I'll be 50 in August and it's my second win from five rides after a lifetime's fun hunting with the Tedworth and the Portman", he said.
Travellers Lad won the Novice Riders' race for owner-trainers Richard and Gill Bryan, although Mikado Melody had an unassailable lead when parting company with Nicholas Meek four out. "We would never have caught Mikado Melody, but he's jumped well and battled on when challenged in the straight", said winning jockey Kevin Jones, who works for Seamus Mullins. "He's a nice horse for a novice rider", added Gill.
James Ridley reached the seven-winner mark on Owston Ferry, who made all to deny Nicholas Meek a compensation win on Warrior Conquest in the 3m Maiden. The winner is trained at Wantage by Neil Thomas for the seven-strong Judge 'N' Thomas Partnership.
Kiss Me Twice, jumping superbly for Tom Weston, upset odds-on favourite Viking Johnson (James Ridley) in the 2m 4f Maiden. "Bought as a foal and has benefitted from soft palate and hobday operations 11 weeks ago", said Tom Lacey, who trains the five-year-old for Marc Jonas.