SUNDAY 28 MARCH 2004
by Brian & Gill Armstrong
A large crowd enjoyed fine racing when the Cattistock staged
their point-to-point at Littlewindsor on Sunday. There were two winners for
trainer Richard Barber, and three for the David Pipe/ Ashley Farrant
combination taking Ashley’s seasonal total to 26.
The opening Hunt Members race went to Highway Oak who made
all under Nick Mitchell to reverse the placings with 2003 winner Blackwater
Brave. Highway Oak was bred by Hardington Mandeville owner Malcolm White who
recalled winning the 1980 race on the old Toller Down Gate course with
Hilda’s Way, the granddam of Highway Oak. This was a family occasion as
Highway Oak is trained by Malcolm’s son Ben and Maya Horsey at their
Higher Ansty livery yard near Blandford.
Richard Barber initiated his double when Noble Action was an
easy winner of the 2½ mile Open Maiden race under Nick Williams. Noble
Action was bought at the May 2003 Doncaster Sales by Henley-on-Thames owner
David Chown whose colours are also carried in point-to-points by Wild
Scarlet Glory was a comfortable winner of the Restricted race
to give rider Harry Fry his sixth winner of the season, just one behind
Daryl Jacob in the Novice Riders table. Scarlet Glory was bred by Harry’s
parents, Caroline and Richard, and is one of four horses trained by them at
their Cattistock home. Richard, who had delayed a skiing holiday to be
present, reported that Harry’s brother George celebrates his 16th
birthday next week and will shortly be making his own race-riding debut.
The Barber double was completed when Ray Geddes’ Norski Lad
was an impressive winner of the Ladies’ Open under Rachael Green. Norski
Lad, who jumped superbly for Rachael and forged well clear in the straight,
could easily run up a sequence if continuing to run in Ladies’ races.
David Pipe and Ashley Farrant got on the scoresheet when
Ballysicyos was a facile winner of the Men’s Open. This was Ballysicyos’
second win of the season and on this showing he could land David’s £100
bet with mother Carol and Pam Deal, the joint owners, that the horse will
win six races before the season’s end.
David Johnson’s Vivid Imagination continued the Pipe/Farrant
sequence by making all to win the Intermediate race by a distance from only
other finisher Caundle Chase. Vivid Imagination recorded a fast time and
this relentless galloper should not be opposed when appearing on his
favoured soft ground.
Pipe and Farrant completed their treble when five-year-old Rose Of The Hill made a winning debut in the closing 11 runner Open Maiden race. Rose Of The Hill, purchased by David at Goffs Sales in 2003, ran green and blew up three out so should improve significantly for this experience. The only other finisher was Collier who ran on well for Tim Atkinson to finish 15 lengths behind the winner.