Dean Summersby and Darren Edwards enjoy a successful day, while an eight-year-old wins on his debut in our latest point-to-point round-up
Four Burrow, Trebudannon, Cornwall
TRAINER-JOCKEY duo Dean Summersby and Darren Edwards enjoyed a hat-trick of wins with three promising horses. Their first win came in the conditions (level three) with six-year-old gelding Port O’Clock. The gelding has now won his past three starts.
“We bought him as a store in Ireland three years ago,” said Dean. “He’s a lovely horse with loads of ability but hasn’t been the easiest. He’s a bit hot-headed and you can’t touch his mouth, but each year he is maturing and Darren has done a grand job on him. He’ll have one more run in an intermediate this season and maybe go hunter chasing.”
Next up was the maiden division one with seven-year-old ex-Irish pointer Party Tunes, whom Dean bought in Doncaster two years ago.
“Last year he got touched off a couple of times giving his weight away to four-year-olds, but the break has done him the world of good because he’s big, backward and gangly but he has now grown into his frame,” explained Dean.
“He is a brilliant jumper and if the ground stays right, he’ll run on until the end of the season as he didn’t do much last year.”
The pair’s third win came in the second division of the maiden with six-year-old Russian Invasion for the Little Acres Racing Club.
“I bought him late last summer at Doncaster sales,” said Dean. “He had one run in Ireland and finished second, and then went to Jonjo O’Neill’s and had a run over hurdles. He is as good as anything I’ve sat on. He’ll go through the ranks pointing.”
Also at Four Burrow, trainer Luke Price landed the mens’ open with Los Alamos, a horse he took on last summer, under Will Biddick. It was the eight-year-old’s first run in points.
“We knew he was a nice horse, but didn’t know if we had him fully fit enough and it was a hot mens’ open so we were surprised,” said Luke. “We go to the beach and train them on the farm so the horse got fit without us really knowing. He’s enjoying being on a quieter yard, too. He’d never run over fences, only hurdles, but he jumped brilliantly for his first time. He’ll probably stay in points to get his confidence up.”
Hill adds to his tally
Essex with Farmers and Union, High Easter, Essex
ALAN HILL continued his run of good form to win two races at High Easter, kicking off with a victory in the ladies’ open with 11-year-old Laurium under Immy Marshall (pictured). The horse has now won four races and finished runner-up from five starts.
“He came two me two years ago as an ex-Nicky Henderson horse because his owners wanted a younger prospect,” said Alan.
“Immy got a nice lead and he jumped and travelled well. When she pressed the button to make his attack for home, he picked up and won well. He’ll maybe run in another ladies’ race if the weather and ground are right.”
Alan’s second win came in the intermediate with seven-year-old Normofthenorth, also under Immy.
“He surprised us in this race as his last run was a bit of a lazy display, so we tried a set of cheekpieces and he travelled better and jumped brilliantly,” said Alan. “He’s very active and likes the top of the ground.
“He went far and above our expectations so hopefully we can maintain and improve on his form.”
“Covid allowed me to realise a dream”
AFTER being locked down due to Covid, Chris Hopkins decided he needed a challenge, and so embarked on a journey to realise a life-long ambition to ride in a point-to-point.
“I showjumped before giving up aged 12, but I’d always loved racing and my dream was to be a jockey,” said Chris. “So, when lockdown hit, I bought a 12-year-old racehorse out of a field in Wales called Gun Shy.”
Chris quickly decided he needed professional help and sought the guidance of Suffolk trainer Tony Humphrey.
“When the horse arrived with us in the autumn, he didn’t look great, but we fed him up and have been delighted with how he’s turned out,” said Tony. “He’s been an absolute saint and the perfect schoolmaster.”
Chris had his first run at Higham but was unseated before going on to finish fourth at Charing. His confidence rebuilt, he then entered the hunt members’ at High Easter where he held on in a tight finish to win by 1½ lengths.
“It was hard work and riding the racehorses was terrifying at first, but I couldn’t be more thankful for the Humphreys’ support,” said Chris. “Gun Shy looks like a different horse and being around other racehorses has given him his mojo back. We’re running at Mollington next and then we’ll see whether he has another season in him next year.”
“He’ll be a nice horse for the future”
PERSEVERANCE paid off for young horse producer Tom Weston, who collected two wins at Garthorpe from two home-produced horses having their first runs.
His first win came in the maiden (division one) with four-year-old gelding Pilot Show (pictured) under Luke Scott.
“I bought him as a foal from Ireland with the aim of producing him for racing and then to sell, so he’ll head to Doncaster sales in middle of May unless he’s sold before,” said Tom. “He wants softer ground, but hopefully he’ll be a nice horse for the future.”
He also landed the flat race with four-year-old gelding King Arise, also under Luke Scott. “He was also bought as a foal and produced to run him. He was impressive on his first start and will also head to Doncaster.”
Tim buys a batch of foals every year and has 16 youngsters coming through to produce for racing each season.
“We buy them as foals and the aim is to produce them to win a point-to-point and then sell them,” added Tom. “It rarely works out like that, but on this occasion, our perseverance paid off and it worked out for both of them.”
‘I’ve clicked with him’
SIX-YEAR-OLD Irish gelding My Little Cecil headed the maiden 6yo & up to land his first win for owner Tim Sleath, under D Ellis.
Trainer Nick Williams took the horse on a month ago and has spent the time training him on the sand dunes of his local beach.
“I always knew he’d be a nice horse,” said Nick. “I thought he’d want the ground a bit softer but we got it about right. He’s always worked well at home – he enjoys going on the beach and I seemed to have clicked with him.”
Tim bought him out of Ireland after his previous owners “thought he’d be too slow”.
“They didn’t give him a chance, and he hadn’t done anything at all,” said Tim. “We’ll run him in a couple of weeks in a restricted.”
This report can also be read in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 6 May
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