The South Wold Point-to-Point took place on Saturday at Brocklesby Park amid glorious spring sunshine. 65 runners contested 7 races and a fair crowd witnessed some thrilling finishes.
22 runners were declared for the first race; the Maiden race kindly sponsored by Richard Sanderson (on course bookmaker). This led to the race being divided with 11 runners going to post in each division. In division one a close finish saw the brothers Jake and Tom Greenall battling for first place. Jake, riding Fernandina came home first with Tom riding Pipsacre in second place. Fernandina had previously been brought down at when well fancied at Charm Park. Stuart Morris had the third horse Alflora Dora in a good position to challenge. This mare who is owned by South Wold Point-to-Point Chairman Mark Barthorpe ran a good race and should be able to win soon. In division two the well backed 4 year old Elegant Touch made what looked like a winning move just before the second last fence. However, her jumping let her down and this left the six year old Oojar in front. This gelding, who was outpaced early in the race, was given a patient ride by Guy Brewer won nicely and should improve. Division two was the faster division.
Guy Brewer went on to complete a double on board Caramia in the Gleadell Agriculture Confined Hunts race. Owner / rider Samantha Klug suffered a fall in the earlier PPORA Club Members Novice rider’s race and so Brewer was called on to substitute. Galaxia and John Russell had looked like the winners at the last fence but Caramia was stronger near the finish. “It’s not often you pick up a spare ride that starts favourite,” commented the winning rider whose wife Freya finished fourth on Madison De Vonnas.
The PPORA Club Members Novice rider’s race kindly sponsored by R.H. & V. M. Booth turned out to be an incident packed affair with only three of the ten runners completing the course. The Nick Kent trained Gun Smith managed to stay out of trouble and putting in a clear round went on to give nineteen year old Henry Brooke his third winner. The winning jockey, who looks like a young man with a future, is based at Middleham and after the race said; “I am very grateful to Nick Kent for giving me the chance to ride such a good horse.” The veteran My Best Buddy ran a gallant race to be second for Ben Way and the Docker family. The first two horses and riders past the post are eligible for the £1000 Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members Novice Series Final at Tabley on Sunday 16th May.
Owner / rider Richard Hunnisett suffered at mishap at the start when Harapour unseated him before the Gleadell Agriculture Ltd. Confined Hunts race. However, there were no such problems when he lined up on Denvale for the D & M Barthorpe Mixed Open race. Denvale whose stable name is “Gordon” made all the running and jumped superbly to beat Buckby Lane and Sam Waley Cohen by two lengths. “I’ve threatened to retire every year for the last ten but I’m still going,” said a delighted Hunnisett afterwards.
Denvale’s trainer Gerald Bailey went on to complete a double when North Carlton Maiden winner Byways Boy followed up in the competitive NFU Mutual Restricted race. Brocklesby Maiden winner Noble Ben started the 4-5 favourite and his backers were entitled to be fairly confident for most of the way. However, Byways Boy was given good ride by Dickie Barrett and won by two lengths. Owned by Welbeck secretary Jane Bowen and her husband the seven year old Byways Boy should be able to progress further.
Earlier in the day Barrett had finished second on Margaret Moody’s Pleasure shared who ran a good race in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate race. However, the winner Horsham Lad won with a bit in hand and having gone through the Maiden, Restricted and Intermediate ranks in three races looks a classy individual. Top rider Richard Burton had made the journey from his Cheshire base for this one ride. “He’s had three races close together so he will probably have a break now,” he said. Keen Whip ran well to finish third for Mark Walford and the Brader family. Earlier in the week, Keen Whip had bucked Walford off soon after the start in a Hunter Chase at Catterick. The first four to finish in this race are now eligible for the £7500 3 miles ½ furlong Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Point-to-Point Championship Hunter Chase final at Cheltenham on Wednesday 5th May.
The next Point-to-Point in the Midlands Area is the Grove & Rufford at Welbeck on Sunday 21st March first race 12noon.