The curtain closed on another thrilling Point-to-Point season last Saturday when the Torrington Farmers hosted its meeting at Umberleigh in North Devon. Despite the recent rain the going was officially described as good to firm, firm in places.
Deb’s Dasher under Robbie Henderson set the pace in the Confined with Roll On Rose and Bon Viveur tracking behind. Roll On Rose looked set to challenge but Deb’s Dasher asserted his authority with Robbie Henderson soon getting the gelding back on the bridle and with a good jump at the last ditch saw the combination having an eight length lead over the last with Roll On Rose having to settle for second and Bon Viveur back in third having made a few jumping errors. Deb’s Dasher is trained by area leading trainer Kayley Jones, who commented:
“I was worried when Deb’s Dasher came off the bridle, and relieved when he came back on. Richard Woollacott had bred him and rode his dam Jenta Equilibra to win whilst in foal.”
Jockey Robbie Henderson added that “He didn’t travel well on the first circuit and needed a horse upsides to wake him up.”
The Relief Pitcher sired gelding is jointly owned by Sonia Gardener & Deborah Bean. Deborah was unable to join in the celebrations as she had to attend a wedding.
Four runners lined up for the Kivells sponsored Restricted race which was run in memory of Captain Tim Forster. Milburn won this under Lizzy Kelly for trainer Gail Haywood, having taken over the running from Lemonade Jack on the second circuit, with a close battle, over the second last, Milburn stayed on finishing two lengths ahead of Lemonade Jack. Trainer Gail Haywood is based at Moretonhampstead and is joint owner with Roly Stuart-Jarvis. She commented:
“Milburn is tough and improving, has run four times, the first was awful looking like he had never galloped before. I thought I had got it all wrong, I must thank the local farmer John Reddaway who rents me his gallops, without his help I wouldn’t be able to train.”
Gail bought Milburn as a two-year-old and Roly joined in to help financially; with regard to next season, Gail said: “The plan is to run him under Rules.”
In the Mens Open Vertigo Dore under Kieran Buckley was sent off 6-4 joint favourite with Threapwood, but they failed to get close to Cinaman, who under Bradley Gibbs made virtually all setting a strong pace. His nearest challenger Threapwood under National Champion jockey Will Biddick, tried to challenge on the final circuit, but the move was soon covered by Bradley Gibbs getting Cinaman home to win by three lengths. Owner Mark Roberts stated:
“The horse went wrong last year and had a leg infection, he is fine now, he jumps for fun and enjoys front running, we would have run him at Stratford but he was balloted out. Cinaman stands only 15hh and had a previous Hurdle win when at Tim Vaughan’s yard.
Nine lined up for the Ladies Open and Watch The Birdie is definitely a horse to watch for the future. Having been running on the flat back in February the mare has quickly progressed notching up four point wins in seven weeks. She won the race impressively beating Nipper John by ten lengths. Owner Keith Pritchard claimed:
“I had watched the mare running in a seller so I rang up Ron Harris to see if she was for sale. She had been placed second in a Hurdle only being beaten by a length at Southwell, I knew she had potential but thought it could take her two years.”
Jockey Hannah Lewis commented: “She is the easiest winner I think I have ever ridden.”
In the Barum Stud sponsored Intermediate, winner Gallaflynn made all under leading Wales & West jockey Matthew Barber. Bathwick Scanno whose jockey Jamie Bargary has snatched the local area male novice jockey award, mounted a challenge but had to settle for second when jumping errors may have cost him the race, with Railway Vic under leading area lady jockey Bryony Frost all out in third. Gallaflynn’s owner John Miles from Gelligaer South Wales bought the horse out of Ireland on the advice of trainer Mark Barber who claimed; “The horse is improving all the time and plans for next season maybe to aim at Hunter Chases.”
With the Open Maiden divided on the day, ten runners set off in the first division. This was a race for the Merv Woodward owned/trained and ridden Double Fun to score, having had to settle for second last week behind My Runaway at Bratton Brown. Tracking the pace setter Broadway Cord, Double Fun reeled in the leader before the final ditch going on to score by seven lengths ahead of the Tom Chanin ridden Posh Totty and Back In Vogue third. The jubilant rider quoted:
“I bought Double Fun from Ascot as she is a half sister to Man Of Leisure who I won on for the Dutfield family. I broke her myself and ran her in two Bumpers out of Martin Hills yard. I am very pleased as Double Trigger’s offspring usually mature at eight years plus, we tried her in blinkers which made her concentrate and a tongue tie after she choked a bit a Cothelstone – the tongue tie today seems to have done the trick.”
The final race of the season was the second division of the Open Maiden. Eight went to post with the Luke Price-trained Coolbach setting the pace, until Billy Congo took over at the second last with Coolbach struggling up the final hill. Billy Congo then nodded badly on landing at the last, unseating jockey Alan John and leaving punters thinking Coolbach would hold on, but Winning Note under leading area Lady jockey Bryony Frost pushed on up the home straight snatching the win.
It was a great family triumph, trainer Nikki Frost said: “She got jumped into at Trebudannon and had six weeks off after being stitched up by one of our vets Paul Kane, so it was down to Bryony to get her fit again.” Owner Jimmy Frost added: “She was sent over from France by Peter Jones and is up for sale.”
All that’s left this season is the popular Dinner & Dance and Award Ceremony which is open to all, to be held at the Holiday Inn Plymouth on Friday 12th July, featuring guest speaker Anthony Knott (former owner of Hunt Ball), a live band, videos of the season and a bucking bronco. For tickets please contact Kate on 01805 603129.