Tag Archives: Guy Carstairs

REPORT: AXE VALE HARRIERS POINT-TO-POINT AT STAFFORD CROSS SUNDAY 26TH APRIL 2015

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WRITTEN BY GRANVILLE TAYLOR

WILL BIDDICK is marching on towards his half century for the season in his quest for a fourth consecutive National jockeys’ title, and put three more winners in the bag at the Axe Vale meeting. Considering the recent dry spell, the organisers produced remarkably good ground thanks to extensive watering.

Subtle Sovereign was untroubled under the champion’s guidance in beating his two opponents to in win his first Open, easing clear in the home straight. “This was his eighth win in his last nine runs. We will probably wait another year before going hunter chasing,” said Jeremy Barber, whose son Jack was saddling his 38th winner of the season.

The progressive Whataknight soon made it 39 for the Dorset trainer, drawing right away from his rivals at the second last to win the Intermediate, “He is an out and out galloper and just keeps going,” commented Jack, who trains the six-year-old for owners Terry Hamlin, Martin Dare and John Snook.

The Barber/Biddick treble was completed when five-year-old Royalzaro beat 12 opponents to win the Restricted. “He was a cheap buy in France and is going the right way,” reported the young trainer.

Kostaquarta almost made if four winners for the yard but came off second best after a protracted battle with Fiulin in the Confined. Now with Ed Walker, the winner is owned by the Carstairs Clan which consists of Guy and Alex Carstairs and their young children Zak, Oliver and Euan. “He was losing ground over his fences in a hunter chase at Newton Abbot the other day and we will stick to pointing for a while now,” said the trainer. Fiulin has a remarkable CV. By Galileo, he fetched 280,000 guineas as a four-year-old. AP McCoy couldn’t win on him, but apart from his pointing wins for previous owner Ross Oliver, the sturdy 10-year-old has won on the flat and over hurdles, and competed at the Cheltenham festival and Royal Ascot. Phew !

Fiulin’s successful jockey Robbie Henderson was out of luck in the Hunt race when 1-4 favourite Hameldown Tor tumbled out of the race when caught by the flailing legs of Miss Cupcake at the 13th fence. This event went to former hurdles winner Moyne Nineoseven who was partnered by Vicky Wade for the Nineoseven Partnership. “I bought him at Ascot last October, He has a few quirks and we have waited for better ground,” said trainer Sarah Pidsley who has four pointers in her yard at Payhembury near Honiton.

Silver Token was a warm favourite for the Novice Riders’ race but gave Harry Cobden a nasty fall when crashing through the wing of the 14th fence. Loose Preformer (Hedley Webb) was left clear but failed to withstand the well timed challenge of Maxi Chop (James King) after jumping the last. Despite an expensive price tag, the seven-year-old did not reach the winner’s enclosure for Paul Nicholls, but is proving a good novice ride and was following up his Hackwood Park win on Easter Monday. “James King and Stan Sheppard are sharing the rides and it was the turn of James today. This horse has bled before and could finish distressed, but has got his confidence back now,” reported trainer Rose Loxton.

It is not always plain sailing, even for champions, and after receiving his trainer’s trophy on a euphoric day at Sandown, it was down to earth, literally, the next day in a field at Stafford Cross. Four-year-old San Satiro carried the champion trainer’s colours in the concluding Maiden. The raw youngster, trained by Jack Barber, only got as far as the fourth fence before virtually stopping and depositing Will Biddick on the Devon turf..

Boymann went on to win the event under Leanda Tickle. The seven-year-old was home bred by owner Paul Mann. “He was unlucky not to win last year when he threw away a race at Trebudannon. He needs good ground and is now my third winner with my last three runners,” exclaimed delighted trainer Joe Tickle.

RESULTS

Results of the Axe Vale meeting

VIDEO

Westcountry Videos filmed the meeting, order on 01884 840403 or through the website later in the week at www.westcountryvideos.co.uk

PHOTOGRAPHERS

The following photographers were at the meeting: John Beasley (Big Green Annual), and Athwenna Irons (Western Morning News)

NEXT FIXTURES

Saturday,2nd May 2015, Modbury Point-To-Point, Flete Park, nr Ermington, Ivybridge, Plymouth.

Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2015, Stevenstone Point-To-Point, Vauterhill, nr High Bickington, Barnstaple.

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Rider profile: Robbie Henderson

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If you thought Robbie Henderson would be scaling back his point to point riding now he has embarked on a non-equestrian career, think again. Henderson, 24, may be travelling the world selling aircraft and aircraft spares for Aero Assets Ltd, but he is more committed than ever to race riding and has been riding two lots a day for Polly Gundry and Ed Walker before he drives into the office.

He said: “ I am looking forward to the new season hugely. It is the first time I have worked outside racing – he worked for Colin Tizzard, was pupil Assistant to Alan King and worked most recently for Richard Woollacott – but ironically I have more free time at weekends than before. I just thought it was time to get a job with long-term prospects!”

“Hopefully I will ride for Polly and Ed, a few for Marie McGuiness, some for Kayley Woollacott and Pat Bryant, as well as Dad’s horse. I have some lovely horses to look forward to riding.

Photo credit: Helen Stoneman
Photo credit: Helen Stoneman

Henderson, had his first race ride at 17 years old while he was still at school, on board his family’s horse DUN LOCHA CASTLE. He had done a lot of riding in his youth, pony club and hunting but got bored and didn’t ride for about three years around the age of 12. But then he started riding out for Nick Mitchell and was hooked. He cites Tim Mitchell, Joe Tizzard and later Robert Thornton and Wayne Hutchinson as being influential in his riding career and owes a lot to prominent owner Guy Carstairs, who is now his boss at Aero Assets.

His family are interested in racing, dad Guy, is chairman at Wincanton Racecourse and is training a horse this season for the first time.

Henderson’s most memorable result came early in his career – on just his second ride under rules he won the Badger Ales Chase at Wincanton on ELLERSLIE GEORGE, another family owned horse, trained by Nick Mitchell. “I wish now it had been later on as I would appreciate it so much more now, “ he joked.

His favourite Devon and Cornwall area courses are Flete Park “because it’s so different and fun” , Wadebridge for the same reason, and Bratton Down “if you are on a good horse and can get into a good rhythm there it’s great. There is a good atmosphere and the weather is normally okay and I was lucky enough to ride a winner at each of the meetings there last season.”

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Robbie Henderson and CHECKERBOARD at Bratton Down. Photo credit: Helen Stoneman

Asked who had given him the best advice he said: “ It was more something I worked out for myself. Racing is fun, not stressful. I have a great crowd of mates at the races and I have learned not to take it too seriously – and as a result I am riding much better for being relaxed.

Advice for new riders would be to work hard. “I had to work very hard as I wasn’t overly natural as a race rider. It also helps to be able to talk to owners and trainers – that goes some way to make up for deficits in the riding department. Being monosyllabic, particularly if a horse isn’t particularly great, doesn’t achieve anything.”

Henderson is based in Gittisham near Honiton and can be contacted on 07789 332185