STAFFORD CROSS, SEATON
Sunday 8th May 2005
by Lee Glanville
A best ever crowd turned out for
the Axe Vale Harriers point to point at Stafford Cross which turned
into something of a Richard Woollacott benefit day.
Woollacott rode three winners,
all of which were trained by his partner Emeley Thompson whose
twins are due at the end of the month but was still sprinting
across the paddock to meet her winners!
Woollacott's treble, all of
which won by one and a half lengths or less, began with Bill
Westacott's progressive Polligana - a maiden at the start of the
season - in the Intermediate. He went on to add Cookies Bank in the
14 runner restricted and Austin Approved who was having his first
ever run, in division one of the maiden. One of Cookies Bank's
owners is Sue Condry, wife of Hugh, who compiles all the point to
point reports for the Racing Post.
Jockeys' momentoes were a pair
of engraved whisky glasses, and Woollacott managed to collect a set
Proceedings had got under way
with a Nerys Dutfield trained winner in the Members which saw her
husband Simon's Freedom Bay (Emma Tory) win by 25 lengths in a fast
time. It was a fitting winner as Axminster Carpets MD Simon had
been instrumental in providing much of the birch and boxes for the
course maintenance, and the family are good supporters of the hunt
- their meet near Christmas being of the 'must not miss'
Highway Oak recorded his third
win of the season for trainer Ben White, this time under Michael
Miller in the Confined.
Dick Baimbridge trained Teme
Willow (Clare Allen), qualified with the Berkeley Hunt, to take the
Mixed Open which saw Rachel Green pick up a £150 fine for
missing the last fence on Tales of Bounty, riding a finish to catch
the eventual winner. Tales of Bounty passed the post second, but
runner up spot went to Charlotte Tizzard on Perky's Pride, Miss
Green booking herself a date with the stewards.
Baimbridge looked as if he might
double up with a win in the Novice Riders' race with Titus Bramble
but Guldage (Vanessa Shaw) was just too good. Five time winner
Saint Romble ( Katharine Hobbs) was back in third.
Not much has gone right for
Trigger Mead (Leslie Jefford) after running so promisingly first
time out at Buckfastleigh early season, but it all went to plan -
almost - in the second division of the maiden. Trigger Mead led
from pillar to post, running on again each time the others got
close. "I didn't set out to stay in front," said rider/trainer
Jefford who was celebrating the change of luck. "But my reins got
mixed up with my whip over the first and off we went!"
Members: 1, Freedom Bay, Miss E
Tory; 2, Redberry Holly, J Barnes; 3, Orinoco's Flight, M Holmes.
Five ran, 25l, 10l, 5.54
Confined: 1, Highway Oak, M
Miller; 2, Preacher Boy, Miss T Cave; 3, Cherokee Run, Miss C
Tizzard.Six ran, 5l, 30l, 5.56.
Mixed Open: 1, Teme Willow, Miss
C Allen; 2, Perky's Pride, Miss C Tizzard; 3, Skip'n'Tune, M
Miller. Nine ran, 3l, dist, 5.52.
Intermediate: 1, Polligana, R
Woollacott; 2, Emali, W White; 3, Beachtime, Miss C Tizzard. 14
ran, 1 1/2l, 2l, 5.59.
Novice Riders Countryside
Alliance members: 1, Gudlage, Miss V Shaw; 2, Titus Bramble, Miss C
Allen; 3, Saint Romble, Miss K Hobbs. Seven ran, 1 1/2l, 6l,
Restricted: 1, Cookies Bank, R
Woollacott; 2, Enoch, Miss E Tory; 3, Somedo Somedont, Miss R
Green. 14 ran, 1l, 1/2l, 6.00.
Maiden Division One: 1, Austin
Approved, R Woollacott; 2, Grande Bretagne, Miss C Prouse; 3,
Aquired, Miss C Tizzard. Seven ran, 1 1/2l, 7l, 6.25. Tallison
withdrawn not under orders.
Division Two: 1, Trigger Mead, L
Jefford; 2, Lord David, N Williams; 3, Joe Public, S Partridge.
Seven ran, 10l, 25l, 6.06.