Tom Ellis and Gina Andrews notch up three victories at Charing, while an 18-year-old enjoys her first win, plus find out the results from other point-to-points from around the country
Charing Races, Charing, Kent
POWER couple Tom Ellis and Gina Andrews enjoyed a victorious return to pointing, landing three races at Charing.
The four-year-old gelding by Millenary, Time Please, kicked off their treble when heading the Tattersalls Cheltenham maiden 4&5yo in his debut run (pictured above), and giving Gina a clean ride back after her injury at Cheltenham in March.
“I bought him as a foal from Doncaster and we broke him in this summer,” said Tom. “He is so straightforward and jumped brilliantly, winning a shade cosy. He is for sale now.”
Their Windsor Knot six-year-old gelding Young Rich was next in the winner’s enclosure after heading the maiden 6yo and up, also in his first start.
“We bought him in December after his form had tailed off in Ireland, but he has really appreciated the better going over here,” Tom explained. “He won nicely and the plan is to find a syndicate for him for next season.”
Their hat-trick was completed when eight-year-old Mahler gelding General Arrow won the conditions level two for The Odd Socks Partnership.
The gelding has been on a comeback mission after showing good form and winning three times on the bounce the year before last, but then tailing off and losing his spark.
“He ran horrendously last year and didn’t run overly well the first time back this season, so it was nice to get him back on course today,” said Tom. “I have a theory that perhaps he’s more of a spring horse and appreciates the sun on his back.”
Gina and Tom have certainly made a successful return to pointing with 12 winners from 21 runners.
Also at Charing, 15-year-old former hunter chaser gelding by Systematic, Double Whammy, won the Oriental Club owner-trainer conditions level three, giving his 18-year-old jockey Mary Ashby her first win.
“Mary only had one ride on him last season and got tipped off, and then the rest of the season got cancelled, so it was lovely to watch them win so easily today,” said trainer and Mary’s mother Sarah Ashby. “He pinged every fence and she had a dream ride.”
Double Whammy’s previous owners attempted to retire him a few years ago from racing under Rules, but it didn’t suit him.
“He shows no signs of being uncomfortable or ready to stop yet,” said Sarah. “His owners gave him to us to give my daughter experience and not be massively competitive. But he’s so well at home and not showing his age at all. He went out in the field bucking and kicking like a four-year-old the next day and it was lovely to see.”
Brace enjoys a double
Ledbury, Maisemore Park, Glos
David Brace made his trip to Gloucestershire worthwhile when landing a double of wins at Maisemore Park.
His home-bred six-year-old Gats And Co (pictured) by Dr Massini gave him his first win when heading the division one maiden 6yo and up under Bradley Gibbs.
“He’s out of a lovely French mare and his brother is Paint The Dream who is with Fergal O’Brien,” said David.
“We hurdled him a little bit just for experience because he was so big, but I needed him now to go pointing for the rest of the season and then hopefully go under Rules and novice chasing next season. He’s straightforward and jumps and stays. I foaled him down myself so it’s a dream to see him performing so well.”
Experienced pointer Robin Des People was next up, winning the Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) and Jockey Club veteran conditions level two 9yo and up (division one) also under Bradley Gibbs.
“He’s a gem of a horse, easy to do and really good looking,” said David. “He would like the ground a bit quicker, so hopefully we’ll have a few more runs with him. He’ll be the perfect schoolmaster for my grandson now.”
Division two was won by Michael Bowen’s 11-year-old gelding More Buck’s who, in the process, gave jockey Josh Barber his first win from his fourth ride.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better horse,” said Josh, who has just completed his amateur rider category A course at Doncaster. “My instructions were to go in front from the start and he travelled the whole way. He made a bad mistake at fence eight, but he kept travelling away and turning up the home straight I was still in front and he went on to win. To have a front-running winner was amazing.”
‘You could put your grandma on him’
Middleton, Sheriff Hutton, Yorks
THE big race of the day at the Middleton meeting, the Grimthorpe gold cup mixed open, was won by 12-year-old gelding Cup Final, under Ross Wilson for Sarah Dent. The gelding was continuing his run of good form from last season.
“It was touch and go because of the ground,” said Sarah, who has had the gelding three seasons. “But he bounced off it and it’s the best he’s jumped. We do a lot of hills, go to the beach and hunt and it keeps him sweet.”
The gelding thrives in the small, family-run yard.
“He’s a saint – you could put your grandma on him,” added Sarah. “He’ll have a career doing RoR classes after he’s retired.”
The Oriental Club-owner trainer conditions level three was won by 11-year-old Mr Witmore under jockey/trainer Tara Stockwell, for whom it was a first win from only two starts. Tara works full time for Lucinda Russell having just finished school.
“We started off mid-field but after a circuit he wasn’t settling so I thought the best thing would be to get in front and he settled and jumped them away,” said Tara.
“Coming up the home straight I had a little left, so when someone jumped upsides me over the last, he pulled away and stayed in front.”
Tara’s mother Alice got the former chaser from Rebecca Menzies for Tara to point.
“I train him here which is great as I can use the facilities,” said Tara, who enjoyed a successful pony racing career. “I learn so much from the other jockeys.”
King’s Quay takes the crown
Spooners and West Dartmoor, Cherrybrook, Devon
Hampton scored a double, kicking off with the maiden division one riding six-year-old King’s Quay for owner Laura Claydon. After three non-completions in his previous races, just finishing was a huge step forward for the young horse.
“We’ve had since he was a four-year-old but he’s just been very unlucky with an unfortunate start to his career,” said Matt. “It was good to finally get him round and he didn’t really come off the bridle. He’s got a very good attitude and he’s still young so we are hopeful he’ll continue to improve.’
The gelding will have another run in the next month.
“His owner Laura is in it for the fun not the money, so he’ll stay in pointing,” said Matt.
His next victory came in the restricted riding 11-year-old mare Where’s Wilma for Michael Watson and The Not So Innocent Partnership.
Seven-year-old gelding The Roestone landed the intermediate under Martin McIntyre for Robert Chanin and owners Andrew and Sue Knox. It was the gelding’s fourth win from only nine starts.
“It’s the first time I’d sat on him and he ran very well,” said Martin. “He was off for quite a while with an injury but Robert was quietly confident about him and had him really fit. He was a bit raw and took a while to come to hand, but he’ll keep improving hopefully.”
This report is also available to read in this Thursday’s H&H magazine (15 April, 2021)
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