Sunday 14th December 2008
by Geoff Handley
Despite all the rain the previous day, the
course looked in great condition, the official going was good, good
to soft in places, though on the day many runners were finishing
tired and there were many pulled up suggesting it may have been
testing in places.
With so many declarations both divisions of
the Maiden were split and each race was run every 30 minutes
instead of the publicised 35 minutes
Open Maiden Division 1
Ten went to post to open proceedings for the Farmers Bloodhounds
meeting and victory went to Manta King given a fine ride by Rachel
Always up with the pace this 5 year old mare
jumped really well, and came home clear by ten lengths from
Astormydayiscoming for Kelda Wood; this ten year old should find a
maiden, jumped well in the main. This was his first race for two
years and should come on for the run.
One to note was Lushes Run back in third who
was finishing for the first time for Phillip York. This seven year
old grey is another to benefit for the run.
Nearly Dark was fourth Cynita Barbada was
nibbled in the market at around 4/1 for the yard of Marie
Mcguinness but on his debut never showed until pulling up.
Loiuse’s Princess pulled up at the seventh, Happy Flyer
pulled up and Imtheluckoneone and Owsten Ferry ran reasonable races
before weakening and pulling up.
Open Maiden Division 1
An impressive victory for Top Benefit. Held up
on the first circuit, David Mansell took it up second time round
and came home a distance clear in a time of 7/14, fourteen seconds
quicker than the opening division. Trained by Julie Houldey at
Sandfield Park Stables, Top Benefit pulled up on his only starts in
Irish points but showed a little promise under rules in
Touchdown Kid was runner up and Drom third.
Ardeotis on his debut was weak in the market but ran well for a
long way before pulling up.
Open Maiden Division 2
Glen Tulloch and Glen Mill went off at a fast
pace and Glen Tulloch stayed there leading all the way and jumping
well for Nolan Byrne, he tired somewhat up the hill after the last
but was always holding Cracking Cliché and Adrian Wintle (u/r
leaving the paddock). Rash Oak was eyecatching in third and Supreme
Henry in fourth
Open Maiden Division 2
The final maiden with nine going to post and a good finish with
Definite Article just getting the better of the fav Port Talbot;
these two were up with pace for most of the way and Port Talbot
looked like prevailing but Jeremy Mahot got the better on the run
in. Port Talbot has been second four times on the run now and can
surely find a win before long for the Mason’s. God Gordon was
four lengths back in third Redskyatnight one of the market leaders
never got competitive for Tom Ellis before pulling up.
The form should work out well and it's worth
following the winner Turthen and runner up Grenfell.
Turthen was most impressive, basically winning on the bit for
Charlotte Tizzard and had the option of running in the Open. He ran
twice over the National fences and finished second in the Grand
Military when trained by Paul Nicholls and is now trained by
Charlie Fox (of Red Brook Lad fame) . Turthen looks an exciting
recruit to Pointing and must be followed.
Heavily backed in the ring and starting
around 5/4, Sam Twiston-Davies had a dream ride on Grenfell but was
no match for the winner. Olivier never got into the race and was
disappointing for Claire Allen.
Kingscliff was probably the most impressive Points winner I have
seen, he looked well in the paddock, led from start to finish
jumping in fine style and coming home in splendid isolation with
the rest of this competitive field strung out across Oxfordshire.
This was a sparkling return to Pointing and he was given a fine
ride by Ian Chanin. Now trained by Marie McGuineess, Kingscliff is
on the shortlist for the Foxhunters on this performance, a race he
last won back in 2003 when a heavily backed favourite. He started
around 3/1 but better prices were available and it will be
interesting to see where he goes next but certainly won't be that
price next time.
The rest of this field never got near him.
The favourite Cottage River to his credit tried to go with him but
paid the price and pulled up four out. Irilut was second, Heavy
Weather ran a fine race in third with well touted Worship The Stars
and Little Ed finishing fourth and fifth.
A total of nineteen went to post for the Restricted and a quick
fire double for trainer Marie McGuiness with Shady Hollow (the fav)
with Ryan Bliss on board. Shady Hollow was never far off the pace
and always jumping well he won by a comfortable ten lengths from
Pretty Lady Rose, running an eyecatching run in second for Mark
Wall and is one to note next time. One For The Lads was third and
Scatterred Scarlet was fourth (looked well in the paddock and made
some late headway).
A double for trainer Julie
Houldey and jockey David Mansell with the odds on We're Confused
gradually warming to the task and running on strongly to hold the
determined challenge of Absolutely Barking. A winner at Maisemore
and Woodford last season, he's said to being aiming for the Red
was now getting rather cold and had been a long day but those brave
souls left probably saw the closest finish of the day with
Josephine Banks on Haggle Twins just getting the better of the fav
Sudden Arrival and Will Telfer. Both landed over the last together
but Haggle Twins got up near the line. The winner is trained by
Overall, a cracking days racing and this is
what Point To Point is all about. Ninety Four runners went to post
and at £10 admission, excellent value for money, though just
to see Kingscliff jump from pillar to post was well worth the