Melton Hunt Club
The Melton Hunts Club Point-to-Point took place at Garthorpe on Sunday. Forty three runners contested the seven races. Clerk of the Course Brian Crawford had once again produced excellent going officially described as “good, good to firm in places”. Four of the seven races went to horses trained in Yorkshire. Jake Greenall rode a treble and Cherry Coward saddled a training double.
Other attractions included Pony Racing which took place before the Point- to- Point races. “The Grumpy Huntsman” licensed bar run by the Cottesmore Supporter’s Club proved very popular serving champagne and Pimms as well as the usual drinks. There was a large selection of trade stands and a children’s play area. A large crowd was in attendance.
Five runners went to post for the first race on the card; the Tennants Melton Hunts Club Member’s race. Jake Greenall’s mount the grey Laertes was the 4-5 market leader and was always up with the pace. Three horses jumped the penultimate fence in line with Laertes just getting away from the fence quickest and going clear to win by two and a half lengths from the consistent chestnut Point Proven. Following the announcement of the result an objection was made to the winner. Connections of Point Proven thought that Jake Greenall had taken the wrong course but this was found not to be the case and the objection was quickly over-ruled. Laertes was a popular winner for members of the Ryedale Point- to- Point club who were enjoying their third win of the season with this game gelding.
Laertes’ trainer Cherry Coward later saddled Noble Ben in the Marie Curie Foundation Melton Hunt Club Member’s Novices Championship race. This eight year old had previously won a Maiden at Brocklesby and a Restricted at Alpraham. He stays well and appears to be very versatile having won on both soft and good ground. Noble Ben was formerly in training with Brendan Powell and was found by Lord Daresbury for owner Dom Curran.
Noble Ben gave Jake Greenall his second winner of the afternoon and the third leg of his treble came in the Nine Year Olds and Over Midlands Area Club Members Conditions race. This time the winner was Gunner Jack trained by Cherry’s brother David Easterby for Eric Brook. This horse was winning for the fifth time this season and recorded the fastest time of the afternoon for a race over three miles. Connections reported that the key to Gunner Jack is having his back regularly checked by Janet Ellis. The second horse Walter’s Laddie was beaten by two and a half lengths with a distance back to Pongo’s Nephew in third. This was the twenty sixth winner of the season for eighteen year old Jake Greenall who plans to join the professional ranks at the end of the season.
The David Easterby trained My Old Piano went off the 4-6 favourite for the Melton Mowbray Market Men’s Open race. However, it was 10-1 chance Moment Of Madness who came to the fore under an inspired ride from Guy Brewer. Dominating from the outset Brewer gained an unassailable lead and went on to beat the consistent mare True Friday by five lengths. Brewer had who had never sat on the twelve year old beforehand had received no instructions from either owner Mrs Haggie or trainer Maxine Stirk. “Maxine never gives me instructions. She says that good jockeys don’t need any orders and bad jockeys can’t follow them anyway” joked Brewer afterwards. Denvale ran his usual game race to finish third for Richard Hunnisett and retains his position at the head of the Garthorpe Open Race Bonus Series Championship. This series concludes at the final Garthorpe meeting; the Meynell and South Staffordshire Point-to-Point on Sunday 23rd May.
Denvale had previously been in the lead for the D & M Barthorpe Leading Horse award but was relegated when Aztec Warrior recorded his fourth win in the PPORA Club Members Race for Novice riders. Ridden by seventeen year old George Henderson; Aztec Warrior won nicely by six lengths. Henderson is the clear leader in the D & M Barthorpe Midlands Area Novice Championship and has enjoyed a very successful season. This race was a last minute qualifier for the £1000 Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Member’s Novice rider’s series final at Tabley on Sunday. If Aztec Warrior comes out of the race well connections are keen to run in the final. Teeton Dazzler ran well to finish second for Joan Tice and Lizzie Harris.
Joe Turner’s Parkinson, ridden by his grandson Ed, was unfortunately brought down at the first fence in the Novice Rider’s race but the stable enjoyed a change of fortune in the Vision Express Melton Mowbray Ladies Open race. Vingis Park and Jill Dawson led the field into the back straight but was soon joined by the Turner runner King Du Berlais. Jockey Louise Allan then eased the French gelding into the lead three fences from home and they went on to win by eight lengths. This gave the Turner family their eighteenth success of the season and Louise Allan her second win of the weekend having won on Leatherback at Pepper Harrow on Saturday. After the race the owner’s grandson Ben Turner said that Parkinson will hopefully go to the Novice final at Tabley and they hope to run King Du Berlais again before the end of the season but had no fixed plans.
The final race of the day the Chris and Antonia Bealby sponsored Four, Five, Six and Seven Year Olds Open Maiden race over two and a half miles gave the closest finish of the day. Kingsmere, a five year old trained by Holly Campbell having his second start of the season, rallied well under Joe Docker to get the better of the favourite Up And Away. Owner Joss Hanbury was in France but the commentary of the race was relayed to him via telephone by a good friend in Jane Cross who reported that Hanbury was “delighted” with his win.
The next meeting at Garthorpe is the Meynell and South Staffordshire Point-to-Point on Sunday 23rd May, first race 2p.m.