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South Wold
Brocklesby Park
Sunday 8th February 2015
by Emma Forman

The South Wold Point-to-Point went ahead despite an overnight frost and "soft" going following the week of snow and bad weather. There were 7 races contested by 62 runners and a decent crowd enjoyed the winter sunshine.

Threapwood landed the D&M Barthorpe Mixed Open race for the Crown Partnership. Following on from a Restricted success on the course Threapwood benefitted from a below par run from Doctor Kingsley and Palypso De Creek staying away but taking away nothing from the winner trainer rider Oliver Greenall said; "Today was his day and he benefitted from only having to carry 12 stone." of the 8-1 winner. The 8 year old beat the gallant 13 year old My Old Piano and last year's winner Court Red Handed.

This meeting was the first of the season in the Midlands area so it was fitting that Midlands Chairman Gerald Bailey should train a winner. This came in the form of Empire Builder, a 20 length victor in the Connollys Red Mills Precision Nutrition Intermediate Race a qualifier for the £7000 3miles 1/2f Connolly's Red Mills Intermediate Point-to-Point Championship Final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham on Wednesday 29th April. "We've got options now and that may well include a crack at the final." Commented the winning trainer. Ridden by George Greenock for his Mother Countess Cathcart, Empire Builder beat Minella Friend. He was quickly away and put in a good round of jumping.

The Welton Aggregates Confined race saw a success for another progressive horse Carlton Ryan, trained by Steph Easterby for Steve Hollings. Steph's young baby son Albert was making a first visit to Brocklesby to witness the 5-6 favourite score beating The Talking Horse and Gallant Nuit. Gallant Nuit looked much improved from last season and was ridden by Tom Strawson who is sponsored by Aghaul Ltd Haulage Contractors and was the leading rider at Brocklesby in 2014.

There was a fairy tale success in the Novice riders' race when Gemma Garton landed the spoils. Garton who rode the 12 year old Kiestown Chief, a twelve year old owned and trained by her family in Cheshire has recovered from Non- Hodgkin's Lymphoma since last season. "I feel a bit like Bob Champion must have." Commented Garton for whom this was a first ride back since the illness. Sponsored by Gleadell Agriculture the race was a qualifier for the £1000 Dodson & Horrell PPORA Club Members race for Novice riders Series Final at Tabley on Sunday 17th May. The riders of the first three horses past the post scored points for the Harley Racing National Novice Riders Championship.

There was a popular local winner in the Restricted race for Murphy's Promise and Harry Burt. Burt whose Auntie Jenny is secretary of the Brocklesby meeting, was enjoying his third winner on the 8 year old who beat I believe by a length. NFU Spilsby sponsored the Restricted race and the winner has qualified for the Subaru Restricted Point-to-Point Series final at Stratford on Friday 29th May. Murphy's Promise had a spell in training with Dan Skelton showing promise and was unlucky to get a poor start in his earlier race at Sheriff Hutton. "I'm still just a passenger really." Said Burt modestly before heading off to make plans for a celebratory party.

The opening Open Maiden race sponsored by Richard Sanderson (On Course bookmaker) was divided at declaration; the first division was the fastest and won by the ex- Irish Stonefield who is owned by a syndicate of ten members headed by John Bruce. Trained and ridden by Tom Weston the seven year old Cloudings gelding loved the soft ground and jumped really well. Bought privately from Ireland last Autumn, Stonefield looks a decent prospect. Connections will look for a Restricted race in about three weeks on similar going; they are keen to qualify for the Subaru Restricted final. "He won really nicely and could be good but it was only a Maiden so we will try not to get too carried away." Said Weston who is based near Worcester. Division 2 was run in a slightly slower time and won by Christine Osborne's Kristian Gray ridden by Tom Ellis who is sponsored by NFU Mutual. The six year old was always prominent and lead going out for the final circuit under a confident ride from Ellis.

At the end of the meeting no rider had ridden more than one winner but Harry Bannister had ridden a winner and a second putting him in the lead for the Lilian Pickering Memorial Perpetual Challenge trophy to be presented at the end of the Brocklesby meeting on 1st March.

The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Midlands Area Club meeting at Thorpe Lodge on Sunday 15th February first race 12 noon and not 11.30am as published in the planner.

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