SATURDAY 16 MARCH 2002
by Brian & Gill Armstrong
Highlights of Saturday's Quantock Staghounds Point-to-Point
at Cothelstone included doubles for rider Dominic Alers-Hankey and for
trainer Fiona Browne and a first ever winner for 22-year-old Hemyock rider
Dominic Alers-Hankey enjoyed his first success of the season
when Wayfarers Way finished alone in the opening Hunt race. Wayfarers Way
is trained locally at West Bagborough by Anna Bucknall for her mother,
Dinah Little, who bought the horse at Malvern Sales 18 months ago and was
delighted to receive the Sir Gerald Boles Memorial Trophy which
commemorates a family member. Anna has three horses in training including
Urban Hunter, a promising second in the Confined Maiden later in the day.
Liz Harrington's home-bred Lily Brown led throughout to take
the 2½ mile Open Maiden under trainer Paul Keane. Paul admitted to being
nervous before the race, but was reconsidering any thoughts of retirement
after this success! Lily
Brown relished the soft ground and may be one to note in similar
Dictum went clear from three out to take the Ladies' Open
under owner/rider Susie Samworth, girlfriend of Cheltenham Gold
Cup-winning jockey Jim Culloty, who rode Dictum under Rules. Trained by
Fiona Browne at Kingston Lisle near Wantage, Dictum was formerly owned by
Anne Humphries, but was sold to Susie as a point-to-pointer after a leg
operation. Anne confessed to being more nervous than when her good horse,
Hati Roy, ran at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival during the week.
Fiona Browne completed her double when Bow Tie took the Men's
Open under 25-year-old Ran Morgan, who leases the horse from owner
Catriona Morgan. Left clear when favourite Polar Flight unseated with a
circuit to go, Bow Tie comfortably held only other finisher Bells Wood.
Lambourn-based Ran left after the race to fly up to Scotland for six rides
at the following day's Northern Area meeting.
Thirty-two-year-old owner/trainer/rider Dominic Harvey took
the Confined when his Mr Magnetic led two out for a comfortable success
from long time leader Cool Wager. Mr Magnetic was led up by Dominic's
girlfriend, Fran Bell, and by brother Luke Harvey, former rider and now
Racing Channel presenter. This was a second career success for Dominic
after his success on Mr Magnetic at the 2001 Silverton fixture.
Twenty-two-year-old Ken Rixon from Hemyock rode his
first-ever winner when Chris Batterham's Rescator took the Intermediate.
An "over the moon" Ken, who celebrated by waving his whip when
crossing the line, has ridden six races under Rules, while seven previous
point-to-points included seconds on Stacky Light at Barbury Castle and on
Iranos at Wadebridge. Rescator disappointed under Rules, but could go
Novice Chasing next season if continuing to do well in point-to-points.
Mogul and Gordon Shenkin led three out to take Division 1 of the Confined Maiden. Gordon, who is training as an airline pilot, has ridden over 20 winners under Rules, but was enjoying his first point-to-point winner here. He was keen to credit trainer Ashley Farrant for Mogul's success. With Ashley in action at Wadebridge, Mogul was led up by Gordon's girlfriend, Vicky Lucas. Division 2 went to Wilberforce, trained at North Molton by Mike Trickey. Wilberforce is jointly owned by Angela Marshall of Taunton and Sarah Lucas of Nailsea, who was enjoying success at the first attempt before rushing off to her daughter's engagement party that evening. Winning rider Dominic Alers-Hankey was keen to credit Richard Woollacott, who had done much of the schooling on Wilberforce.