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Axe Vale
Stafford Cross
Sunday 26th April 2009
by Lucy Johnson

FAST ground and front running tactics saw Lisheen Storm come home in front in the mixed open holding on by a length and half under a vintage ride from Richard Woollacott at the Axe Vale Point-to-Point on Sunday to the delight of both his owner trainer Lee Glanville and the large crowd.

“I used to be secretary of the point-to-point here so it’s lovely to be able to win in front of so many friends,” explained Lee.

The decision to make the running was made in the paddock before the race when Woollacott suggested he would allow the horse to bowl along in front. “He really enjoyed it and jumped brilliantly. It’s been a long time coming for this horse and he really deserved that,” said the jockey.

Quicker ground was also the key to success for Xila Fontenailles, ridden by Darren Edwards, in the confined race when she stayed on to record a two and a half lengths having taken up the running after the final fence. A race at Bratton Down could be on the agenda with trainer Chloe Newman’s nephew Josh back on board. “He broke his leg schooling at Alan King’s and he’s having the plaster off next week so he will be riding him again,” said Chloe.

Major Matt had pulled up on his last three starts but the gift horse from leading National Hunt owner Brian Kilpatrick put past problems behind him when running out the decisive winner of the restricted under a fine ride from farrier Becky Barnett.

Andy Jackson, who trains the horse for a syndicate of friends near Witheridge, said: “He’s a very nice horse but he needs a flat track and fast ground and he’s had a problem in the past with bleeding. Becky rode him beautifully and she deserved to win with him as she has been helping us for three years now.”

Robert Chanin can now boast a magnificent 40 per cent strike rate this season following Europspoofer’s win in the first division of the maiden race. The six year old led from two out and held on to win by a neck under another fine ride by Chanin’s son Ian.

“We bought this horse a month ago from Yorkshire to replace Royal Gemstone for Andrew and Sue Knox as we thought we could improve him and we are very pleased,” said Chanin.

The first division went to the Charlotte Tizzard trained and ridden Wynbrook who won by a convincing 15 lengths. The six-year-old is out of the good mare Lily The Lark and named after one of owner Alan Tizzard’s farms.

Krac D’argos had done much of the work in the intermediate race but was caught on the run-in by Martin Pitchwood who went on to score by three lengths under TIgger Barnes and Thisthatandtother made easy work of the novice riders’ race, winning convincingly in the hands of Jack Barber.

Labarynth, a sister to Saturday’s Betfred Gold Cup winner Hennessy, earned herself a break for the summer after landing the opening members race, her third success of the season, with her trainer Polly Gundry on board.


Members Race: Labarynth (Polly Gundry) 1; Simon’s Seat (Rachael Green) 2; Fenny Lily (Martin Sweetland) 3. 1l,dist; 6.11.

Confined: Xila Fontenailles(Darren Edwards) 1; Askers Jack (P John) 2; Tres Bien (Richard Woollacott) 3. 2 1/2l, 6l; 6.03.

Mixed Open: Lisheen Storm (Richard Woollacott) 1; Touch of Flame (Mike Miller) 2; Gudlage (Darren Edwards) 3. 1 1/2l, 2l; 6.16.

Intermediate: Martin Pitchwood (Tigger Barnes) 1; Krac D’Argos (Richard Woollacott) 2; Presenting Jack (Sam Allwood) 3. 23l, 5l; 6.01.

Novice riders: Thisthatandtother (Jack Barber) 1; Cookies Bank (D Hawkins) 2; Bobosh (O Murphy) 3. 15l, dist; 6.04.

Restricted: Major Matt (Becky Brnett) 1; Winter Sport (Darren Edwards) 2; Flying Shuttle (Sam Allwood) 3. 10l, 6l; 6.07.

Maiden Div 1: Wynbrook (Charlotte Tizaard) 1; Inching West (Jenny Carr) 2; Macswiggan (Sam Matthews) 3. 15l, 1 1/2l; 6.09.

Maiden Div 2: Eurospoofer (Ian Chanin) 1; Great Appeal (Charlotte Tizzard) 2; Shrewd Dude (Richard Hawker) 3; nk, 12l; 6.33(?).

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