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Sunday 8th March 2009
by Graham Taylor

Photos by Neale Blackburn

Some exciting Point to Point racing took place in front of a decent size crowd, when the Cottesmore Hunt opened the Leicestershire Point to Point season at Garthorpe, near Melton Mowbray last Sunday. On going described as good to soft, local rider, Dickie Barrett, rode two of the Bailey team’s horses to complete a double. Unfortunately Barrett dislocated his shoulder in the last race and may be out of action for a few weeks.

A field of six went to post for the opening race, The Hunt Members Race, which was kindly sponsored by Mallard Jewellers & Pawnbrokers. This was won by the Laura Pomfret trained, French Bey, ridden by Matt Mackley. Magicastle and Rules Apply took second and third placings.

French Bey [right] and Matt Mackley track the leaders as Croftburn and Richard Gault suffer a difference of opinion at the first open ditch

Richard Gault somehow avoids the hoofprint tattoos squeezed between horses after unseating at the ditch

Second race on the card, The Confined Hunts Race, attracted eight runners and this was won by the Bailey six year old, Pleasure Shared, who held the lead for most of the trip. This was the first leg of a double for stable rider, Dickie Barrett. Teeton Dazzler and the twelve year old Jackson took the minor placings. This race was sponsored by Sturgess Jaguar of Leicester.

Pleasure Shared and Dickie Barrett [right]

Marshall Land Rover sponsored the Mixed Open Race and although only three ran, this produced the fastest time of the day and a fine finish. In form, Richard Armson, held the useful, Menchikov close up and produced the best speed from the last fence to pull three parts of a length clear of Cheyne. Sleep Bal was a faller three fences from home. The winner may now go for the Foxhunters at Aintree.

Cheyne and Dickie Barrett make a race of it but Richard Armson and Menchikov land the Mixed Open

A jubilant Richard Armson after winning the Mixed Open aboard Menchinkov

The Intermediate Race, sponsored by Stephen Diggle, Jewellers of Peterborough and Oakham, attracted a field of eight runners. This race was won by the unfancied Fr Freddy, trained by Jimmy Tarry. Rider Tom Ellis always had the gelding handy and held off the consistent Sovereign Quest with Paulinski taking third spot.

Fr Freddy and Tom Ellis [centre stripes]

Race five, The Maiden Race, for four, five, six and seven year olds and run over two and a half miles, produced the closest finish of the day. This race went to the seven year old, The Boat, ridden by Eoin Linehan. The seven year old had a neck to spare from the favourite, Lucciolina, with Sprout a distance back in third. The race was sponsored by Melton Mowbray Building Society.

The Boat [red and Black colours] - lead all the way under Eoin Linehan holding the challenge of the Waley Cohen runner Lucciolina to prevail by a skinny neck at the line

Frank Corrigan kindly sponsored The Restricted Race, where a field of thirteen went to post. Little Fountain completed a double for the Bailey stable and rider Dickie Barrett. Barrett had the eight year old up with the pace for most of the way and ran out a five length winner from Latenightdip with Pingaro De La Vire a further four lengths away in third.

Little Fountain and Dickie Barrett [green and Yellow]

Eleven went to post for the final event, The Stonelodge Industries Open Maiden Race.
This produced an easy win for the Grafton based nine year old, My Diva, ridden by Tom Ellis. The mare had twenty lengths to spare over second placed, Royal Crystalcadou with Posh Dude half a length away third.

Tom Ellis and My Diva [left violet with Dark sleeves] have a moment at the ditch and a few besides on route to the open maiden

The remainder of the Garthorpe fixtures for this season are:
Belvoir: Saturday 28th March. 1.30pm.
Quorn: Sunday 19th April. 1.30pm.
Melton Hunt Club: Sunday 10th May. 2.00pm
Meynell & South Staffs: Sunday 24th May. 2.00pm

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