North Cornwall Club
THERE was much to talk about after the North Cornwall Club’s superb point-to-point meeting at Wadebridge on Saturday where the Reverend Simon Beveridge became the first minister of the cloth to ride a winner between the flags and Colin Heard trained his first ever treble.
Rev Beveridge rode into the history books when Fort of Gold strode on up the steep climb to the winning post to land the restricted race, thus making positive progress towards his ambition to ride in the Grand Military Club at Sandown in the spring.
It was the reverend’s fourth start in a point-to-point and approaching the last it looked like they would have to be content with a place. But the seven-year-old proved he has stamina in abundance and took the lead close to the winning line to win by half a length from Charlotte Tizzard on Fully Loaded.
Jimmy Frost, whose wife Nikki trains the winner, had told Beveridge, a serving chaplain with the Royal Navy, to aim to complete, and finish in one piece, and he did just that, looking stylish in the saddle and earning plenty of plaudits as he declared he had done his praying before the race.
“It’s a good adrenalin rush,” added Beveridge after his 50-1 win.
The winner was found for Beveridge in Ireland by Gerald Penfold, a former stalwart of the Westcountry point-to-point scene who has made his home on the emerald isle.
Colin Heard, who trains with his wife Karyn near Boscastle in North Cornwall, had saddled 6-4 favourite Unusual Suspect to win the men’s open race for the GB Friends, a group of Devon-based owners who include John Burrows, Charlie Britton and Royston Britton and John Gardner. The eight-year-old led from two out and won well from Angello who stayed on up the run in to hold on for second place from Merchant’s Friend.
And the day just got better for the Heard family who then saddled Innocent Rebel to win a competitive ladies open under national champion Clare Allen who was making her first visit to the Cornwall track. A stone off the diminutive six-year-old back proved the winning ticket for the gelding who will be aimed at two and a half mile hunter chases.
Then it was the turn of Talikos’ who proved the most impressive winner of the day after he took the Connolly’s Redmills intermediate race having made all the running. With Gary Wilson owning Innocent Rebel, this time it was his wife Caroline who enjoyed the winning moment having purchased Talikos for the princely sum of 23,000gns at Doncaster Sales in the spring.
The aims with the well-bred six-year-old, a former charge of Henrietta Knight who made all the running under Will Biddick , are the intermediate finals at Exeter and Cheltenham.
“I think we’ll turn them all out now,” said Karyn whose husband added: “I love Wadebridge!”
There was a shock in the opening North Cornwall Club members’ race which saw Tsar’s Twist win the three-runner contest easily under Lucy Gardner after odds on favourite Sea Snipe failed to get into his race under his young novice Emily Nozskay. Tsar’s Twist is now trained in Cornwall by Lucy’s aunt Roma Cook and the eight-year-old enjoyed dictating the pace, bowling along in front and jumping for fun.
Velvet Blu took the faster of two maiden divisions under Darren Edwards for owner/trainer Pauline Harkin who had made the long journey south from Northamptonshire. The well-bred five-year-old comes from the same family as Florida Pearl and was bought out of a field. Harkin admitted after the race: “It’s a difficult track and we didn’t think she would like it.” But the five-year-old was eased on the run-in and could have won by much more than the length winning margin.
The first division went to Yufo, trained on Exmoor by Camilla Scott and ridden by Neil Harris. “He’s a nice horse but he needs to grow up a bit,” said Mrs Scott after the win.
The North Cornwall Club Members’ Race: Tsar’s Twist (Miss Lucy Gardner) 1; Sea Snipe (Miss E Nozskay) 2; Indian Raider (Mr W Biddick) 3. Mrs R Cook; 8l, dist; 6.15
The Men’s Open: Unusual Suspect (Mr W Biddick) 1; Angello (Mr N Wilmington) 2; Merchant’s Friend (Mr R Bliss) 3. Mr C Heard; 2l, 1/2l; 6.10.
The Ladies’ Open: Innocent Rebel (Miss C Allen) 1; Happer Shopper (Miss C Tizzard) 2; Doof (Miss A Mills) 3. Mr C Heard; 4l, 6l; 6.01.
The Restricted Race: Ford Of Gold (Rev S Beveridge) 1; Fully Loaded (Miss C Tizzard) 2; Knightsbridge Hill (Mr D Edwards) 3. Nikki Frost; 1/2l, 1l; 6.06.
The Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate: Talikos (Mr W Biddick); Gallamora (Mr L Rowe) 2; Castle Cazza (Miss R Green) 3. Mr C Heard; 10l, 2l; 6.11.
The Open Maiden Div I: Yufo (Mr N Harris) 1; Kinsford Cowboy (Mr J Barnes) 2; Josh Be Yourself (Mr R Woollacott) 3. Mrs C Scott; 2l, nk; 6.21.
The Open Maiden Div 2; Velvet Blu (Mr D Edwards) 1; Tandori (Miss J Carr) 2; Wee Fly (Miss P Gundry) 3. Mrs P Harkin; 1l, 7l; 6.14.