Black Forest Club at Black Forest Lodge
HISTORY was made at Black Forest Lodge on Sunday when point to point racing took place in December for the first ever time. A good sized crowd was treated to seven competitive races with Fred Hutsby getting the ball rolling in the opening two miles four furlongs maiden.
He rode Pocket Tiger, which he trains in Warwickshire, to finish first past the post after getting the better of a tussle with Richard Woollacott on Friendly Affair.
Hutsby quickly doubled up in the second division on Oscar Royal who looked lucky to win after favourite Dancing Dasi crashed out at the last when travelling well.
Hutsby’s father Ken, who owns both horses, said: “Like Pocket Tiger we acquired him through Brian Murphy of the Dunraven Arms in Ireland. I’m so pleased as it’s his first time over fences and he jumped so well.”
Emely Thompson and Richard Woollacott who train in partnership, got their season off to a fine start when saddling a double.
Polligana obliged in the novice riders race under a good ride from promising young teenager Nick Schofield but they were promoted from second after the winner Kayley Jones lost her weight cloth on Pure Fun and was subsequently disqualified.
Seventeen-year-old Scholfield is based with champion trainer Paul Nicholls and rode his first winner for him under Rules a week ago at Newbury. He said: “It does seem to be going well at the moment. I didn’t expect to win and it’s such a shame for Kayley, but it’s nice to get my first winner of the season on board.”
Woollacott then rode Elizabeth Roberts’ home bred The Quarry Man to a convincing win in the restricted having taken up the lead on the down hill run. Mrs Roberts, who has two horses in training, was delighted with the performance of the eight-year-old who was out a mare who raced just once before being retired to the paddocks.
Last year’s champion novice Southwestern began the new season in winning style under Neil Harris who made his move on the down hill run and kicked on to score by nine lengths. Immediate plans for the exciting seven year old are more point to points with hunter chases an option later in the season.
Gregory Peckory and Maxou Des Brosses were upsides coming over the last in the intermediate but Julian Pritchard threw the works at the former to score by two lengths. Fergal O’Brien has taken over training the pointers from his partner Jelly Nolan who is expecting the couple’s second child in May.
Will Biddick took the concluding maiden on Real Sharp whose owner trainer Mike Weir part exchanged for Waddon Hill. “We got him at the end of August but unlike some of our horses and he hasn’t done a lot of hunting,” said Weir who is the master of the Dartmoor Hunt.
The Wilkinson Grant 2m 4f Open Maiden: Pocket Tiger (Mr F Hutsby) 1; Friendly Affair (Mr R Woollacott) 2; Bowd Lane Joe (Mr W Biddick) 3. Trainer Mr K Hutsby, time, 5 minutes 44 seconds, distances 2 1/2l, 7l.
The Iimia Wealth Management 2m4f Open Maiden div II: Oscar Royal (Mr F Hutsby) 1; Lady Myfanwy (Miss I Thompsett) 2; Giveusawave (Miss A Goschen) 3. Mr K Hutsby, 6l, 2l, 5.51.
The Heltor Forest Club Members’ Race For Novice Riders: Polligana (Mr N Scholfield) 1; Young General (Miss N Rovia) 2; New Lodge Express (Mr J Jones) 3. Miss E Thompson and Mr R Woollacott, 6.26, 15l, dist.
The Acorus Restricted Race: The Quarry Man (Mr R Woollacott) 1; Fergal’s Find (Mr J Pritchard) 2; Winter Scene (Miss L Gardner) 3. Miss E Thompson and Mr R Woollacott, 6.23, 7l, 1/2l.
The Premier Roofing Contractors Mixed Open: Southwestern (Mr N Harris) 1; Selassie (Mr C Wallis) 2; Cross The Highman (Miss C Mitchell) 3. Mr J Scott, 6.19, 9l, 5l.
The RAG Transport Intermediate Race: Gregory Peckory (Mr J Pritchard) 1; Maxou Des Brosses (Mr N Harris) 2; Osokenda ( Miss T Cave) 3. Mr FM O’Brien, 2l, 20l, 6.22.
The Matford Land Rover Open Maiden: Real Sharp (Mr W Biddick) 1; Hi Star (Miss L Gardner) 2; Raddichio (Mr D Turner) 3. Mr M Weir, 6.34, 6l, 2l.