West Street Tickham
In high winds and persistent drizzle, Detling point-to-point was family day in more ways than one. Stuart Robinson won the feature race, the Kent Grand National, on his father David's Bee An Bee. Two weeks ago David broke a bone in his neck when the same horse ran out with him at Charing. Tom Cannon, who graduated from pony racing this season, rode his first winner on his mother's El Viejo, while Anna Samson rode a double for her mother - on Little Saltee in the Hunt race and Persian King (co-owned with P.Rhodes) in the Ladies. Rider/trainer Nick Pearce put his patron Simon Tindall's season back on track with a stirring win on Lord Snow, and Horsham policeman Paul Blagg led the whole way on Ilikehimmac to cop a win in the Maiden by a distance.
Whilst it turned out to be a day for families, it certainly wasn't one for favourites - five out of six were turned over, most of them at odds-on.
The first to disappoint was Katies Hero in the Hunt race. Ridden by Jodie Sole, it was struggling behind Anna Sansom and Little Saltee when falling at the last.
Gielgud (John Maxse) never looked competitive in the five-runner Confined, where Tom Cannon and El Viejo confirmed the promise of recent outings to score by nine lengths. Soldershire was a warm order for the Ladies in the hands of Hannah Grissell and the pair were going comfortably until coming to grief on the second circuit.
By the time of the fourth race, punters were reeling. But the odds-on confidence behind Bee An Bee and Stuart Robinson in the Kent Grand National was fully justified from the outset. The pair were barely headed for the full four-mile distance and eventually won unchallenged.
Parzando (Stuart Robinson) was favourite for the Restricted, but there was sustained money for Lord Snow and Nick Pearce. The pair produced the closest finish of the day with Parzando rallying gamely on the run-in but failing by half a length to peg back Lord Snow. Simon Tindall's 7-year-old, now fully recovered from a broken pelvis, seemed to prefer the ground conditions and was a worthy winner.
With the score now standing at Bookies 4, Punters 1, the favourite for the last race was Di Grissell's promising novice Ouramar. But Paul Blagg and Ilikehimmac had other ideas as Ouramar and Belshazzar were toiling when falling, while Dans Star and Rilly Goschen were lucky to avoid a pile-up to finish a distant second.
The next meeting, which includes pony racing, is at Parham on Saturday March 15th. The first race is 12.15am and admission prices are Admission is £5 per car and £5 per person. Parham is one mile west of Storrington on the A283.