BLACK FOREST LODGE
by Lee Glanville
Racegoers were able to fend off
the chilly weather with a feast of hot finishes at the opening
point to point of the Devon and Cornwall season, the Silverton at
Blackforest Lodge on Sunday. And while the open races were won by
horses which have graced the winners' enclosure on many other
occasions County Derry and Phoenix Phlyer - there was the
chance to view future stars in the three divisions of the maiden
race for horses which have not won before. While the hunting
ban is imminent, the sport of point to pointing has never been so
popular and attracts thousands of spectators every week.
All the horses, and riders, in
the opening members' race were qualified to compete with the host
hunt, the Silverton Foxhounds.
SBS By Jove (Alex Charles Jones) and Mighty Mack (Lucy Gardner)
were neck and neck throughout but Ian Chanin on Barton Rose threw
down a mighty challenge with two fences left to jump. He managed to
edge into second place but could not dislodge SBS By Jove who
provided trainer Linda Blackford, who was herself a formidable
jockey, with a welcome win to start the season.
It took the judge to split the
winner and runner up in the Novice Riders' Restricted, many
thinking that Flying Fortress's (Jack O'Rourke) great leap at the
last had sealed victory. But Slip The Net (D Green) got back up on
the line to win. There was a stewards' enquiry into the running of
joint favourite Ryders Hill who was never put in the race by rider
Vanessa Shaw. Her explanation that the mare didn't go on the ground
- which was soft for the course - was noted.
Wahiba Sands, gifted to Lucy
Bridges by top NH owner David Johnson, looked nailed on to take the
ladies' open but Charlotte Stucley had other ideas and grabbed the
race by the scruff of the neck to make the running on her own
Phoenix Phlyer. Wahiba Sands could never quite get on terms and
Emma Tory on Wink and Whisper very nearly got up to win, staying on
well, but had to settle for second. Fourth placed Kali des Obeaux
will improve greatly for the run.
Exmoor trained County Derry is a
class act and jockey Neil Harris was on board for the pairs' 14th
career win, taking the men's open with a late burst of speed. Leon
Garcia ran well in second.
Sidford publicans Roger and
Linda Newton were delighted with their Bally Blue who was given the
perfect ride by Rilly Goschen to win the Intermediate, an Exeter
Racecourse qualifier, by half a length from favourite Toon Society
Goschen went on to complete a double with Pink Lady in the second
division of the maiden in which locally trained Tsars Twist (Lucy
Gardner) was third and should soon be winning.
Results: Members: 1, SBS By
Jove, A Charles Jones; 2, Barton Rose, I Chanin; 3, Mighty Mack,
Miss L Gardner. Five ran, 3l, 4l, 6.45.
Novice Riders Restricted: 1,
Slip The Net, D Green; 2, Flying Fortress, J O'Rourke; 3, All Eyez
On Me, Miss Z Hammond. Nine ran, hd, 5l, 6.39.
Ladies Open: 1, Phoenix Phlyer,
Miss C Stucley; 2, Wink and Whisper, Miss E Tory; 3, Wahiba Sands,
Miss L Bridges. Eight ran, 1/2l, 5l, 6.21.
Men's Open: 1, County Derry, N
Harris; 2, Leon Garcia, T Bishop; 3, Colquhoun, G Weatherley. 10
ran, 8l, 5l, 6.24.
Intermediate: 1, Bally Blue,
Miss R Goschen; 2, Toon Society, N Harris; 3, Highway Oak, M
Miller.Six ran, 1/2l, 1/2l, 6.29.
Maiden Div One: 1, Willoughby
Flyer, J Price ; 2, Warren Hill, D Turner. 11 ran, only two
finished, 15l 6.36.
Div Two: 1, Pink Lady, Miss R
Goschen; 2, Belle's Last, T Vaughan; 3, Tsars Twist, Miss L
Gardner. 11 ran, 2l, 2l, 6.41.
Div Three: 1, Minsgill Mans, T
Vaughan; 2, Minted, R Woollacott; 3, The Sycophant, Mrs S Brown. 10
ran, 1 1/2l, dist, 6.35.