GRANVILLE TAYLOR REPORTS
“It was estimated that between 2,000 and 3,000 people attended and there were over 500 cars in the car park. The many police officers on duty were in their new summer dress – collar and ties. The sun shone brightly for the whole afternoon.” 2012 – no, the year was in fact 1949 but plenty of similarities. This newspaper cutting formed a part of the excellent display of photographs and memorabilia on show at Stafford Cross depicting the past 65 years of the Axe Vale point-to-point races.
This produced one of the most extraordinary results of the season with the unconsidered outsider Clew Bay Cove giving his young rider the first success of his career. I think we had all forgotten what a different track Stafford Cross is compared with many courses in the area which demand stamina. The shorter, sharp Axe Vale course was certainly more to the liking of speed merchants on Saturday, and Clew Bay Cove found it right up his street. The winner raced alongside Gunner Be Quick from the fourth last, and the pair shook off Direct Flight and the odds-on favourite Benetwood from the second last. Clew Bay Cove got on top of his rival with 75 yards to run and held on gamely under his 19-year-old owner/rider Dominic Furnell in a race taking well under six minutes. In some areas of the country point-to-point bookmakers impose an upper odds limit by operating as a cartel. Fortunately the Devon & Cornwall layers do not act in this way and outsiders are priced as outsiders – in the case of Clew Bay Cove 200-1 was freely available on more than one board. Although the 12-year-old gelding had failed to score for over four years, he had useful form in Ireland in his younger days, winning five times for leading owner JP McManus. The winning jockey said, “I rode in 15 or 20 points and a few bumpers without success in Ireland and bought Clew Bay Cove for only 500 euros out of his previous stable. He ran three times in Ireland at the beginning of this season before I came over to work for Lucy Wiegersma at Hatherleigh.” I train my horse from there and Lucy’s father has been very helpful to me.
Another young jockey partnered his first winner here as Jamie Bargary scorched home on four-year-old Bathwick Scanno. This former David Pipe trained gelding was also the first winner saddled by Teresa Clark who is based at Broomfield on the Quantocks. Bathwick Scanno jumped his way to the front at the fifth fence and was not hard pressed to hold off the late run of Rock of Fife. “He was running away with me,” exclaimed the 18-year-old jockey who comes from Cashel, County Tipperary and works in the Pipe yard. He has only had a handful of rides but is taking himself off to France for further experience in the summer with French champion National Hunt trainer Francois Coutin. Bathwick Scanno is by the top American dirt stallion Aptitude. He was placed on the flat and over hurdles and seems to have a preference for quick ground.
Recent Cothelstone winners Ashclyst and Allerford Jack squared up to each other with Ashclyst, who had recorded a much quicker time on that occasion, sent off 11-8 favourite here under Tom Chanin. Richard Woollacott was content to sit quietly on Allerford Jack who had plenty of support at 5-2, as Ashclyst blazed the trail. The distress signals were out for the favourite entering the home straight however, and Allerford Jack jumped ahead at the final fence. John Daniell and Sam’s Lad passed the favourite for the minor places on the flat. Richard Woollacott has recently obtained his trainers licence and his partner Kayley Jones has taken over the pointto-point side of the yard. Kayley was initiating a double with this winner who was scoring for the fourth time this season. “We will probably keep him going until the end of the season,” said Kayley
My Runaway completed the training double for Kayley Jones, this time ridden by Robbie Henderson. Blinkered for the first time, My Runaway was a solid 3-1 second favourite behind Gone That Way who was marginally preferred in the market at 5-2. The favourite fought for the lead with Florence Mary and Wassonthen, but My Runaway always had that trio in his sights and took command at the second last. Gone Thaty ran well to finish second with Dalmatian keeping on to take third spot. Despite being backed from 10’s to 5’s, Wassonthen faded badly in the latter stages and eventually finished in about the same place as Engelbert Humperdinck in the song contest.
Rilly Goschen’s mount Tenawa looked to be going nowhere leaving the back straight as Tork to Me and Amber Love went on. The situation changed however as Tenawa fought back to head the leaders shortly after jumping the last, and the ten-year-old mare showed plenty of guts on the run-in to hold Amber Love (Darren Edwards) with Googoobarabajagal and Michael Heard staying on into third place. Home bred by her owner/trainer Jane Wilkinson from Ibberton near Sturminster Newton, Tenawa used to be a bit of a handful in her younger days She could not have a better rider however than Rilly, who, if she will forgive me, is at the veteran stage. With over a century of point-to-point winners to her credit, a National Hunt amateur ladies’ championship and a Cheltenham Foxhunters (2004) in her CV, Amaryllis Goschen represents the best example of a woman rider.
Novice Riders’ (Lentells)
It was the turn of the younger brigade with Oxfordshire schoolboy Joe Hill securing his ninth winner in his first season thanks to the useful Ravethebrave. Joe has an unassailable lead for the Wilkinson Sword Trophy for under 21 riders and is well in contention for the National Novice Riders’ title. Ravethebrave proved a cut above his four rivals here. Tres Bien (Josh Newman) just deprived Doof of the runner-up spot but they were only playing for places behind Alan Hill’s expensive Doncaster sales purchase who was winning his fourth novice riders’event of the season. Hill the younger has a long term ambition to train, but meanwhile gets back to his school desk with four more GCSE exams to come during the week.
A disappointing turn out with Dr Cerullo (Joe Hill) getting a walk over.
1 Dr Cerullo (J Hill) walked over
1 Allerford Jack (R Woollacott); 2 John Daniell (Miss A Bush); 3 Sams Lad (Miss B Frost); 11 ran; 1 1/2l; 2l; 5m 47s
1 Clew Bay Cove (D Furnell); 2 Gunner Be Quick (R Tory); 3 Direct Flight (Miss V Wade); 8 ran; neck; 2l; 5m 45s
1 Tenawa (Miss A Goschen); 2 Amber Love (D Edwards); 3 Googoobarabajagal (M Heard); 7 ran; 2l; head; 5m 46s
1 Ravethebrave (J Hill); 2 Tres Bien (J Newman); 3 Doof (Miss V Wade); 5 ran; 12l; head; 5m 51s
1 My Runaway (R Henderson); 2 Gone That Way (J Guerriero); 3 Dalmatian (D Andrews); 7 ran; 2l; 2 1/2l; 5m 50s
1 Bathwick Scanno (J Bargary); 2 Rock of Fife (Miss S Berry); 3 Gleann Ri (J Ponting); 10 ran; 5l; 8l; 6m 8s