Point-to-point jockey Phil York rode his 300th winner between the flags at Kingston Blount on Sunday (29 May) to become just the sixth person in the sport’s history to have reached that milestone.
His victory on board Merrydown Vintage in the Berks & Bucks Draghounds & Sandhurst Draghounds Hunt Members Race for owner Ray Fielder, led to Phil receiving a heroes’ welcome as he returned to the winner’s enclosure at the Oxfordshire course.
“It’s a fantastic milestone,” exclaimed the veteran rider, who recently turned 50. Phil rode his 50th winner at the course a few years ago.
“The chances of me ever riding a winner looked very slim for the first two years of my career, however that memorable win came in 1995 when I was 28 years of age,” he explained.
“It was a two-horse race at Tweseldown where I was riding Paco’s Boy — a horse that had won several races under Rules and been placed second in the Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham when trained by Martin Pipe — and I only just about managed to get him home ahead of a horse that had only ever won a restricted point to point,” he said with a chuckle.
Clare Hazell, chief executive of the Point to Point Authority (PPA) told H&H: “It’s a great effort at 50-years-young to achieve this milestone and we look forward to Phil riding many more winners between the flags next season and beyond.”
The other five members of the elite group of point-to-point winners with 300 wins to their name include former H&H columnist Richard Burton, Julian Pritchard, David Turner, Polly Gundry and Will Biddick.
Phil, who also trains many point-to-pointers at his yard and specialises in encouraging owner/riders, will be back in action this weekend at Garthorpe, where he hopes to chalk-up his 301st winner.