The Quantock Staghounds held their annual Point-to-Point at
Cothelstone near Taunton on Saturday and a fine afternoon of racing was
enjoyed by the good crowd who attended this popular course. The highlights
of the day were a riding double for Alex Charles-Jones and first training
successes for Sally Godfrey and Elsie Mitchell.
The meeting began with a minuteís silence in memory of
Chris White, who sadly died just over a week ago. Chris was a popular figure
at point-to-points throughout the Wessex area and will be greatly missed.
Son William decided not to ride in the opening Hunt race; instead Jamie
Snowden steered Peter and Sheena Doggrellís Caundle Chase to a facile
victory. Peter was present on crutches, having suffered a fall from the same
horse whilst out hunting two months ago, to welcome him into the winnersí
Alex Charles-Jones scored the first of his two winners aboard
Virgos Bambino in the two and a half mile Maiden race. The mare, who is
owned by Maureen Nicholls, is trained by her daughter Verity between
Tavistock and Plymouth. Verity reported that she has had the mare in her
stable for about 18 months, having bought her from a local farmer who had
let her live out on the Moors for a year.
The Ladiesí Race saw a change of fortune for trainer Alan
Tizzard and his daughter Charlotte. They have lost three horses this season,
but Sir DíOrton, an ex-inmate of Paul Nicholls stable, kept on stoutly to
defy Frank Byrne, ridden by Rachael Green, in a race that saw the departure
of joint favourite Ballysicyos, ridden by Olivia Jackson, at the first
Olivia, representing owner David Pipe who was saddling three
winners at Wadebridge, was able to enjoy seeing the stableís other runner
Kingsbridge defy his six rivals in the Menís Open Race under a good ride
from Tim Eades. The horse, who was recording his fourth victory at
Cothelstone, was able to hold off the challenge from Gladiatorial ridden by
Tom Bishop by two lengths.
Polar Flight, ridden by Alex Charles-Jones, won the Confined
Huntsí Race to give Rose Vickery her first training success of the season.
The horse, who is now owned by a syndicate, has clearly overcome the
problems he met after being pulled up at Larkhill last season and, provided
the ground stays on the easier side, should be followed in future
point-to-points this season.
Ellofamonkey, ridden by Richard Woollacott, was the easiest
winner of the day when winning the Restricted race by 15 lengths. The mare,
who is owned and trained by Mel Dixon, was bought at the Ascot Sales last
year as a prospective hunter. However she is clearly a useful racing mare
based on the evidence of this victory and more successes could easily follow
as she is raised in class.
Romany Move gave Sally Godfrey (nee Cobden) her first ever
training success in the first division of the Open Maiden race. Sally trains
the horse for her mother Sarah and sister Jane Reed just outside Crewkerne.
The horse was bought at Ascot last year having previously been trained and
placed several times in the Durham area. He was perhaps a fortunate winner
as Rocastle Lad had taken up a lead until falling fatally at the last fence.