‘The horse was so brave’: ‘Superstar’ stalwart comes up trumps

  • Point-to-point highlights from the three meetings that took place over the weekend (9 January).

    One horse shows bravery to win, while a trainer notches up five wins in one day and Nick Orpwood celebrates his 100th win.

    Dunston Harriers, Ampton, Suffolk

    POINTING stalwart Sir Mangan (pictured top) got up in front to land the Jockey Club and Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) veteran horse conditions 9yo&up under Ben Sutton for Alan Hill and owner Nick Sutton.

    “The horse today was an absolute superstar,” said Alan. “He didn’t get too stuck in on the first circuit and then Ben got into the race during the second half. The horse was so brave, he did not want to get beat. He is a very nice and easy horse to train and everybody loves him.”

    Trainer Tom Ellis had a memorable day when landing five races across two meetings. He had three wins at Ampton, starting with the ladies’ open which was won by Blazing Tom under Natalya Irvine.

    “His job was made a bit easier when the favourite pulled up, but he’s a horse who sees his races out,” said Tom. “He’s a very strong stayer and travels well. He’s also a sound jumper and Nat gets on with him really well.”

    Next up was Fox Valley, who headed the PPORA Club members conditions (level two) novice riders 6yo&up, also under Natalya Irvine, for owner Adam Signy.

    “She was given a lovely patient ride by Nat – she messed up on her last year at Garthorpe, so it meant a bit to her to put it right today,” said Tom. “The ground wouldn’t have been ideal for her today really – she likes top of the ground – but she is a real fun, consistent horse.”

    The maiden was Tom’s third win of the day, won by Master Templar under Will Thirlby. Tom’s other two wins came at Alwnick (see Alnwick report).

    Will Biddick made his debut ride at Ampton a winning one when riding Tullys Touch to victory in the men’s open for trainer John Ibbott and owner Christina Blockley.

    “Ampton has always clashed with something in the south-west but entries came out and I had nothing at Wadebridge, so I managed to get on two horses at Ampton,” explained Will. “Tullys Touch is a lovely horse who has won four times around Ampton, so he likes the track.”

    The restricted was won by Castle Trump under Alex Chadwick for trainer Rob Cundy and Charles Buckle.

    Edwards is on winning form

    Port O'Clock, Darren Edwards (1st) Hunt Members

    Port O’ Clock and Darren Edwards

    North Cornwall, Wadebridge, Cornwall

    DARREN EDWARDS scored a treble at Wadebridge for trainer Dean Summersby, kicking off with a win in the hunt members aboard Port O’ Clock.

    “Wadebridge has always been a lucky track for me,” said Darren. “Port O’ Clock has plenty of ability but can be a bit quirky and wears a hood. It’s all in his head – he’s got all the ability but you have to keep his head straight and Dean does a great job of that.”

    Transition Period was Darren’s second winner when taking the maiden.

    “We ran him last year at Barbury in quite a hot maiden and was third, but his jumping let him down,” said Darren. “He’s still a big baby so will keep improving. It was more about the education for him, but he won well. He could be quite smart.”

    Darren’s third win came aboard restricted winner Thewinnertakeitall.

    “He was our luck of the day,” said Darren. “The odds-on favourite fell at the second, but we were second favourite and he ran well. He’s no world-beater but he’s tough.”

    Also at Wadebridge, the mixed open was won by Singapore Saga under Darren Andrews for John Heard, while the maiden 7yo&up was won by Ask Dai under Bradley Gibbs.

    First win: Third time lucky

    Broadclyst, Anna Johnston (1st) PPORA Club Members Nov Riders

    Broadclyst and Anna Johnston

    ANNA JOHNSTON tallied her first win when topping the PPORA Club members conditions for novice riders riding Broadclyst for trainer Leslie Jefford.

    It was her third ride in points – she has also had a run as an amateur.

    “I ran him in his first run coming out of under Rules and he was third,” said Anna. “He’s run once since then with another jockey and ran really well today – he comes on from his runs. He wouldn’t be a speed merchant but has a lot of stamina and he kept galloping to the line.”

    Anna rides full-time for Jane Williams and took an amateur license out this season.

    “The horse had been running under Rules and was finding life quite tough and almost lost his way, so the owner decided to bring him back pointing and rekindle his spirit,” added Leslie. “Anna rode him first time out and finished third and then again and today it was the first time he’d run on softer ground on a longer track. He’s got a bit more competitive again and found his mojo.”

    100th win for Orpwood

    DREAM OVER and Nick Orpwood (100th winner) win the Hunt Members at West Percy Hunt Point-To-Point , Alnwick 9/1/22 GROSSICK PHOTOGRAPHY The Steadings Rockhallhead Collin DG1 4JW 07710461723 www.grossick.co.uk JOHN GROSSICK

    Dream Over and Nick Orpwood

    West Percy, Alnwick, Northumberland

    NICK ORPWOOD scored his 100th career win when taking the hunt members on Dream Over for owner Victoria (Tocky) McKie who bought the horse as a foal.

    “It was nice to get it done, and do it at Alnwick for Ian and Tocky McKie – it made it really poignant,” said Nick. “I’d been sitting on 99 all summer, so I’m glad it’s happened.

    “It was a two-runner race, so a bit cat and mouse and more tactical than anything, but we tracked the other horse, popped the last and away we went. She is a tough mare and jumps well and could probably win a hurdle over two miles and a two-mile chase, so she is versatile.

    “Tocky is big on her breeding so she might get some form under Rules and head off to breed, but we’ll have some fun with her before then.”

    Gina represented the Ellis-Andrews yard at Alnwick to land a double. She has now ridden 10 winners from 12 rides at Alnwick since January 2019.

    Her first win came aboard conditions (level two) 5yo&up winner Kalabaloo, who has now won on all four visits to the track.

    “Kalabaloo picked up an injury last year and fractured her pelvis – it was her first run back after that and you’re never 100% sure how they’ll come back,” said Tom Ellis. “She ran a normal race and stayed on strongly to finish by three lengths.”

    Gina then took the ladies’ open riding Dundrum Wood.

    “This looks like a proper one,” said Tom. “He led on the bridle and was upsides another one down to the last and Gina gave him a kick and he won by two lengths. He’s a proper horse.

    “He’d won an Irish point and cost a lot of money, but things hadn’t worked out for him under Rules. I think that a different environment has suited him. If we can get his confidence up pointing, there’s a fair chance at hunter chasing later in the spring.”

    The mens’ open was won by Overworkdunderpaid, the restricted was won by The Great Phoenix, and the maiden was won by Sine Nomine.

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