A large crowd enjoyed an eventful evening’s racing when the
Weston & Banwell Harriers held their point-to-point at Cothelstone on
Wednesday. Seventy horses
contested the eight races. Richard Burton and Ashley Farrant each rode a
winner, leaving them tied at the head of the Men’s Championship table with
Sarah West rode her first winner of the season when Normania took the opening Hunt Race. This was a family success as Sarah trains the horse for father Chris at Lambourn where she works as a secretary at Ralph Beckett’s stables.
The Alison Dare-trained Machalini was an easy winner of the Countryside Alliance Club Members Novice Riders race under 47-year-old owner-rider Andrew Morley, a Wotton-under-Edge property businessman. This was a fifth career win for Andrew who bought Machalini out of Tom George’s yard at Doncaster Sales three years ago.
Richard Burton rode his 41st winner of the season when Slaney Lass made all the running in the Restricted race. Slaney Lass is trained at Bishop’s Frome near Hereford by Mark Jackson and carries the familiar yellow and white “Grimley Gale” colours of owners Robin and Maureen Phillips.
Burton’s hopes of a double in the Men’s Open were quickly dashed when Jemaro went through the wing at the first fence. The race went to Sir William who led five out for a comfortable win under Richard Woollacott. Sir William, a course winner in April, is trained at South Molton by Emely Thompson and was winning his seventh race for retired farmer Richard Westacott, also of South Molton.
The Ladies’ Open went to Traditional and Rachael Green who caught longtime leader Gipsy Cracker and Charlotte Stucley at the last. Traditional is trained at Woolminstone near Crewkerne by Chloe Newman, 25, for Merriott owners Gail Hill and Granville Taylor who lease the horse out of Nigel Hawke’s stable. A large crowd gathered around the winners enclosure to greet Gail and Granville, a point-to-point race reader and journalist for over thirty years.
Ashley Farrant drew level with Richard Burton at the head of the Men’s Championship table when Brian Kilpatrick’s Colquhoun was an easy winner of the Confined race. Colquhoun was not particularly impressive when winning at Holnicote four days previously, but on this evidence could well run up a sequence before the end of the season.
The closing Open Maiden race was divided on the
day. Division One went to Rody who made all the running under David Mansell.
This was a first ever winner for Rockhampton owner Beth England, who was
keen to credit fellow trainer Vicky Meek for all the work she does with the
Division Two was won by Keep The Day Job and Nadden Wilmington, who got the verdict in a close finish with Sex Kitten and Robbie McCarthy. Keep The Day Job is trained at Witchampton near Wimborne by Ali Tory for husband Nick and New Forest estate agent Bryan Snape, who bought the horse privately as a two-year-old.