Radnor and West Hereford
CRACKING SPORT AT COLD HARBOUR POINT-TO-POINT
A very decent crowd arrived early at Cold Harbour point-to-point to cheer home the jockeys of the future in the pony races. Six hopefuls went to post for the six furlong event for the smaller ponies, and the encouragement was deafening. 13-year-old Hollie Doyle went to the front early on Nick and Alison Champion’s grey veteran Balfour Hill Song and the partnership refused to yield the advantage for the first win of Hollie's career. With Hollie’s younger brother, James galloping determinedly into fourth position with Vikki Connop’s Charlie Brown, it was an emotional occasion in the winner’s enclosure for Ivington-based parents Mark and Caz Doyle.
The 8 furlong pony race was a sixth victory for Dolphin Song and 15 year old Lowri Allen who out- galloped The Real Deal with William Twiston- Davies.
No Virtue notched up her seventh win for owner/trainer Steve Flook in the Hunt race, cannily ridden by Steve's nephew, John Flook. The mare is now booked to visit stallion Black Sam Bellamy in the near future.
Clive Bennett was delighted with a commanding performance of Ashwell Lad in the Confined Hunts race. This was the ninth winner of the season for Dymock-based Emma Alvis, and a great ride by Tom Weston. The eight-year old grey will now be aimed at the Brightwell's Confined Championship at Bredwardine on May 15.
The feature race of the day, the 4 mile Men’s Open, the final leg of the Racing Post Weekender & Brightwell's Insurance Order of Excellence, must have seemed like a dream to the Claines-based Philips family. Due to being away at boarding school at Cheltenham, 16 year-old James had not even sat on a horse for the last three weeks. This did not prevent him from sending his father Peter’s only racehorse, Malleton, to the head of affairs from the second fence, where he stayed to spring a 40-1 shock.
The tough mare Lady Myfanwy won her first race of the season, scoring in the Ladies event for Merthyr Tydfil couple Paul and Myfanwy Miles. The General Lee and Lorna Brooke had made virtually all the running, and Sally Randell aboard Lady Myfanwy thought urgently ‘ we've got a bit to do here’ as they jumped the final fence. But with typical true grit, Lady Myfanwy caught and battled with The General Lee, and thrust her courageous head in front in the final strides. Her next outing is likely to be another Ladies event, at Bredwardine.
The Restricted Race was a welcome change of fortune for the Hannah Lewis stable. Hannah, temporarily sidelined by a painful, crashing fall at Brampton Bryan last week, watched her husband Adrian Wintle ride a polished race aboard her charge The Chisholm. Owned by Monmouthshire Hunt stalwart, Dawn Tranter, the eight-year old was running for the first time in blinkers.
The first division of the Young Horse Maiden over 2 1/2 miles fell to a useful-looking four year-old, Cloudy Too, owned by the irrepressible Don Constable. Capably ridden by David Mansell, who reported that he was still a little ‘green,’ the gelding quickened impressively to beat Beau Troubador by half a length.
The second division fell to the French -bred six-year-old, Qomix, partnered by the in-form Evan David. Owned by Marc Cohen, the gelding is another success story from Merthyr Tydfil. Marc was quick to praise his trainer Melissa Thomas, 25, who is better known in the show jumping world.
“We've only got two point- to- pointers,” he explained, “and Melissa’s trained both to win in the last couple of weeks.”
Kimbolton trainer, Sarah-Jayne Davies and owner Peter Corbett continued their purple patch when Upton Sovereign obliged in the 8 yrs + Maiden, giving 18 year-old Rob Jarrett his first winner. “Much of the credit for this one must go to Jeremy Mahot, who was hurt earlier in the week,” said Sarah-Jayne, “But it’s great giving Rob that special first success.”