GRANVILLE TAYLOR REPORTS ON THE CORNWALL HUNT CLUB POINT-TO-POINT AT WADEBRIDGE
There is always a convivial atmosphere at the pre-Christmas point-to-point on the Royal Cornwall Showground and this year’s renewal maintained the usual high standard.
The bookmakers, festive trade stands and food and drink all fit into the huge barn. Father Christmas was all at sea because there was no snow – just rain, wind, and more rain. Anyway the bookies brought a few generous gifts……
LADIES’ OPEN (Sponsor R J Trevarthen)
The seven runners had to contend with dreadful conditions. Heavy rain driven by a strong wind which faced the field in the home straight saw the ground softening by the minute. From what could be seen in the parade ring with the runners well rugged up, Byerley Bear looked sharp for his seasonal debut on a track he loves. The classy Gwanako eased out to 9-4 with the responsibility of giving 16-year-old Megan Nicholls her first ride over jumps as her family looked on. Money came for Vicky Wade’s mount King of Alcatraz who was sent off 5-4 favourite.
Jo Buck sent Byerley Bear to the front at the seventh fence and it was left to Gwanako to chase him home. The winner had scored twice at the showground in the early part of last season and is likely to re-appear at this venue at the North Cornwall meeting in January. “We might try hunter chasing later at a trip short of three miles,” said owner Roger Knowles.
RESTRICTED (Tony Ashworth of The Nare Hotel)
Robert Chanin had saddled Byerley Bear and went on to complete a stable double when five-year-old Welstonedruid stayed on gamely to win the Restricted under Ian Chanin for owners Andrew and Sue Knox. “Soft going is the key to him as he stays and stays. He was tapped for toe when fourth at Black Forest Lodge,” reported the trainer who will be seeking out more early- season races for the Weld gelding I recall his dam winning at Flete Park a few years ago. The runner-up Minella Fifty (Will Biddick) has an interesting background. Now with Claire Hitch, the King’s Theatre gelding had changed hands in the past for £150,000 to a client of Jonjo O’Neill’s. He should win a Restricted….
INTERMEDIATE (Hutchinsons of Truro)
Will Biddick opened his account for the season on the progressive mare Champagne Rosie in the Intermediate. The task of this likeable seven-year-old was made easier when odds-on favourite Theatre Queen (Mark Wall) gave away 30 lengths with a tardy start. Despite this, Theatre Queen showed in front entering the final circuit, but looked well held by the winner when blundering three fences from home. Sobre Tresor stayed on to snatch second place. Charlotte Davis trains Champagne Rosie at Sutton Montis, Somerset for her owner/breeder John Meaden who has his eyes on the TBA / Countryside Alliance mares race at Chipley Park. “She is genuine and tough and goes a relentless gallop,” enthused Will Biddick. “She came in bigger and stronger and works really hard,” according to her trainer. Definitely one for the note book.
MEN’S OPEN (Moore’s of St Wenn Ltd)
Cock of the Rock was a well backed favourite to follow up his recent win at Black Forest. Bradley Gibbs was content to bide his time on the Welsh challenger before setting him alight four out. Former Coral Cup winner Spirit River looked a big threat crossing the next, but Cock of the Rock battled on gamely up the final climb to score by three lengths. The winner’s owner David Brace had missed his gelding’s success on the opening day of the season, and the pull of holidaying in Barbados also kept him away from Wadebridge. Assistant trainer Robbie Llewellyn confirmed that the winner, “had not done a lot since Black Forest. He spends a lot of time in the field and has been in the sea,” said Robbie.
CLUB MEMBERS FOR NOVICE RIDERS’ (Home Furnishings (Wadebridge) Ltd)
Working Title had finished a promising third behind Cock of the Rock at Black Forest and gave his 17-year-old rider Joe Drinkwater his first winner here. This was a family success since the former Nicky Henderson trained gelding is now handled by the young jockey’s brother Sam, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday. “It is a family effort and our mother Karen deserves a lot of credit. She rides out and does a lot of the work in the yard,” said Sam who rode 11 pointing winners last season but is currently sidelined with a broken foot.
DIV 1 (Paul & Craig Osborne)
The winner Romassor could have a big future. Bought for 38,000 euros at Fairyhouse as a three-year-old, this rangy five-year-old dictated the pace from the seventh fence and was not hard pressed to hold King Killer, also a promising type. Chloe Roddick trains Romassor, whose previous two racecourse appearances had resulted in finishing last over hurdles in France and second in his first point-to-point at Chaddesley Corbett in April.. “He has a lovely big stride but Tom (David) said he didn’t handle the sharp bends round here. It was a rush to get him fit for the Chaddesley race when he came from France in the spring and he is a nice prospect,” added Chloe.
DIV 2 (Tim Osborne)
This concluding 11 runner Maiden was run in gathering gloom and produced a surprise winner in 20-1 outsider My Friend Riquet. Owned and trained by Dave Roberts near Shrewsbury, the six-year-old Laveron gelding fought off Sutton Storm and The Copper Jug under Alex Edwards. “I got him at Ascot sales 18 months ago and he works well at home,” said the Shropshire trainer.
IT’S A FACT
59 of the 75 entries (78%) ran. No point in wasting entry fees nowadays.
|Betting on the Novice Riders’ race centred on only two runners, The winner Working Title varied between 7-4 and 5-2 with former high class chaser Rebel Du Maquis easing slightly to 4-7 and 4-6 from early 2-1 on.
The favourite Cock of the Rock obliged in the Men’s Open after being backed from 7-4 into 5-4. The gamble in this event went astray as Googoobarabajagal (14-1 into 7-2) faded to finish fourth.
There was good money for Upto Ollie at around 4-1 and Tiger Wild (5-1 to 5-2) in the first section of the maiden won by the favourite Romassor. Jo Buck’s mount Coombeshead Lass was also a springer in this race from 20’s into 7’s but could only finish sixth.
Bookmaker David Phillips asserts that the layers generally had a losing day but got some respite in the last race as the virtually unbacked My Friend Riquet came to their rescue at fancy odds. A few “faces” nibbled at The Copper Jug from the in- form Chloe Roddick yard (7’s into 4’s). This Milan gelding could be a winner in waiting.
Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk
REMEMBER the entries deadline for the next Point-To-Point in the Devon & Cornwall area, the North Cornwall fixture, is 12 noon Monday 30th December 2013.