Horse who had never previously won is finally victorious on his 34th and 35th runs: ‘He’s always had the ability’

  • Point-to-point highlights from the three meetings that took place over the weekend (29–30 January).

    A former 33-race maiden gets into winning ways, while a chance ride proves to be a lucky one.

    Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chase, Horseheath, Cambs

    A rise in trip is paying off for 10-year-old gelding Champion Chase (pictured above), who landed his second-ever win from 35 career runs when claiming the restricted under James King for Francesca Poste.

    The former chaser broke his duck at Sheriff Hutton a fortnight ago when winning his maiden.

    “Before that, he was a 33-race maiden, so he’s won his last two races on his 34th and 35th runs,” said James. “His first start was a three-mile point-to-point and he was a close second, so he’s always had the ability, but he was then always campaigned over two miles and I think the step up to three has brought out the improvement in him.”

    Tullys Touch made Will Biddick’s first-ever ride at Horseheath a winning one when getting up in front to land the mens’ open for John Ibbott and owner Christina Blockley.

    “It’s my second ride on him and our second win,’ said Will. “He’s a lovely horse and he’ll win a few more races.”

    Tom and Gina Ellis enjoyed a riding and training double which kicked off when Fumet D’Oudairies scored in the ladies’ open for The D’oudes Partnership.

    “He made quite hard work of it but he dug deep and got the job done,” explained Tom. “I would imagine that the ground was a bit quick, as it was a long way from his form.”

    Their second win came in the maiden which was won by Imnottalkingtoyou for the Jones family.
    “He’s improved from his debut run at Chaddesley, and he knew what the job was about this time,” said Tom. “He’s big and weak so he’ll have a break now, then one more run before we turn him away.”

    Also at Horseheath, How to Get Away, trained by David Kemp, won the intermediate for The Oak Partnership, and the PPORA club members’ conditions (level three) novice riders was won by Clondaw Rigger under Toby McCain-Mitchell for trainer James Owen and owners, Camilla Ewart Jamie Warner.

    Ellis partnership on winning form

    KALABALOO and Gina Andrews win the Conditions Race at Percy Hunt Point-To-Point , Alnwick 30/1/22 GROSSICK PHOTOGRAPHY The Steadings Rockhallhead Collin DG1 4JW 07710461723 www.grossick.co.uk JOHN GROSSICK

    Kalabaloo and Gina Ellis

    Percy, Alnwick, Northumberland

    Gina and Tom Ellis added a hat-trick of wins to their Horseheath double to make it five wins in total across the weekend.

    Their success began when Kalabaloo won the conditions race (level two) 5yo&up for owner Shona Westrope.

    “[Kalabaloo] was a bit rusty first time out this season and hard work for Gina, but was totally different today – she jumped off and travelled away in Gina’s hand lovely and jumped well,” told Tom. “She’s a stayer and showed a bit of guts and class today.”

    Their second win came in the restricted when a super jumping performance saw Latenightfumble finish in front.

    “She cantered round and won with a minimum of fuss,” said Tom. “She is a half-sister to Latenightpass who was a late developer and I think she is a similar horse. She is getting better every time we run her.”

    Arctic Oscar completed their trio when taking the maiden for owner Lenny Owen.

    “She’s improved from her run at Horseheath a month ago,” said Tom. “We gave her a wind operation on her soft palate after that run and tied down her tongue today and she won sweetly. She was beaten 50 lengths on a previous start and won by a couple of lengths today, so it’s made a big difference.”

    A fall from favourite Latenightpass saw The Weatherby Hellyer Partnership’s Red Indian capitalise to take the ladies’ open under Alice Stevens for Kelly Morgan.

    “No one could know what would have happened if Latenightpass had stayed up, but we’re delighted with how Red Indian ran,” said Kelly, who has known the horse since he was a foal. “He’s a superstar and a real favourite on the yard.”

    Monbeg Chit Chat improved on last season’s form to win the mens’ open under Christopher Furness for trainer Gill Walford.

    “He wasn’t the best ride last year, but has settled into the routine a lot better and is a nice horse to deal with now,” said Gill. “He’ll go in a hunter chase in February and his owners would like to take him to Cheltenham.”

    ‘He’s running the best he ever has’

    Tom Barton, Natalie Parker (1st) Ladies Open

    Tom Barton and Natalie Parker

    South Dorset, Milborne St Andrew, Dorset

    At 12 years old, Tom Barton is in the best form of his career. Under Paul Nicholls’ pupil assistant Natalie Parker, the gelding landed the ladies’ open easily for trainer Sally Alner and The Four Dames Partnership.

    “He caught up with the leaders three out and picked up easily, but then he spotted the paddock just before the line and started drying up on me, but I managed to keep him in front,” said Natalie. “I’ve ridden him a few times, the first time about five years ago, but I never felt that I got on that well with him until this year – it’s all come together and he’s running the best he ever has.”

    James King landed his second win of the weekend when Luke Harvey’s Spanish Jump got his nose in front in the maiden 4,5&6yo.

    “He was unlucky at Charing not to win – he made a mistake four out and lost a lot of ground and got beat by a progressive horse – but today he made all the running, jumped his fences well and won as you like,” said James.

    The hunt members’ was won by Dawn Sunrise under George Hiscock for Malvina Macgregor.

    “He’s won a chase under Rules, so he’s got it there, but we’ve been waiting for better ground,” said George. “He’s a big strong chap, a proper National Hunt type, and is very keen. His jumping is awesome.”

    Premier Magic continued his run of good form to head the mens’ open under Bradley Gibbs for owner Julian Sherriff.

    “He beat what was put in front of him and he did it very convincingly,” said Bradley. “We’ll train him as if he’s going to Cheltenham Foxhunters and see how he is.”

    The Oriental Club owner-trainer conditions (level three) was won by Country Legend under Tom Bishop for Frances Bishop, while the Countryside Alliance and PPORA club members’ conditions (level two) 8yo&up was won by Getting Closer under Izzie Marshall for trainer Alan Hill and The Three Off The Tee Partnership.

    I owe it to… a chance ride

    Reflex Action, Will Biddick (1st) Maiden 7yo&up

    Reflex Action and Will Biddick

    A chance ride on the Paul Nicholas-trained Reflex Action at Milborne St Andrew in the maiden 7yo&up proved fruitful for jockey Will Biddick and owners Paul Nicholas, Lesley Nicholas and Keith Parkin.

    “It was meant to be Darren Edwards’ ride but he was committed to Dean Summersby who also had a horse in the race,” explained Will. “He was hoping the race would split so he could ride both horses – they only needed one more horse – but it didn’t, so it was a freebie ride for me. He wouldn’t have been a fancied horse as such, but everything worked out well for him on the day. An 18-runner field on a tight track is a bit of a fight for survival!”

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