A large crowd enjoyed glorious spring sunshine and some fantastic racing at the Quorn Point- to- Point on Sunday. Brian Crawford, the clerk of the course at Garthorpe, recovered from illness in time to produce superb watered going officially described as "good, good to firm in places".
The highlight was a thrilling race for the Michael Farrin Memorial Men's Open race sponsored by Robert Whowell and Partners, which saw Denvale and owner rider Richard Hunnisett lift the Quorn Gold Cup for the third time. The thirteen year old Denvale, who was defying a seven pounds penalty, disputed the running early in the race with The Camerengo before establishing a clear lead after the tenth fence. Aztec Warrior and George Henderson were the nearest pursuers but couldn't get any closer than twenty lengths away at the finish. Denvale, who is known as Gordon at home, was a very popular winner "Gordon was thinking "Come and take me on." But nobody did." Said a delighted Richard Hunnisett. Denvale had fortunately recovered from a nasty stomach infection and had been quite poorly just six weeks before the race.
Denvale's win was the second leg of a training double for Gerald Bailey who was celebrating his birthday. Earlier in the afternoon he had saddled Jonny Rye to take the Quenby sponsored Quorn Member's race. This seven year old had finished second at the Belvoir meeting and on this occasion went six lengths clear approaching the third fence from home and went on to win by twelve lengths. Jonny Rye was ridden by the promising novice rider Sam Davies -Thomas who works for the Bailey yard and was recording his second winner having scored earlier in the season at North Carlton. The winning owner was Bill Foulkes whose daughter Helen Connors saddled the second horse Django.
Zilcash scored easily in the AGA Ladies Open race for the Hutchinson family. This horse is unbeatable at Garthorpe and was winning there for the sixth time in total and the third time this season. Poppy Day and Jo Mason set up a good lead in the race before being joined by Zilcash at the pen fences. Poppy Day is almost back to her best following a viral infection and may run in the AGA final next.
Gemma Hutchinson quickly followed up this winner by scoring in the next race the Six Hills Leisure Park Confined Hunts race. This time she was riding the former Jonjo O' Neill trained ten year old Wild Is The Wind who was scoring for the second time this season. "That was my first double." Said Gemma Hutchinson after the race. The Hutchinson horses are likely to come under the hammer at the end of the season prior to Gemma Hutchinson's marriage to Tim Lane after which she will be moving to the stud he manages near Chepstow.
Camisky provided Michael Gates with an easy winner in the Prestwold Hall Restricted race. "He's been very difficult to keep sound". Said the delighted winning owner of his eleven year old charge. Camisky who was ridden by Will Telfer, had been bought by Gates along with another horse at Ascot sales, with the aim of attaining a permit to train under rules, a goal which has now been achieved.
The Maiden races were both won by horses trained at Antonia Bealby's stables at Barrowby close to the course. In the William Hercock Open Maiden race it was the mare Ordelia who beat Present Of Flame by a length. Ordelia, who is by Overbury, ran in snatches; she was in the lead early before being headed and then finishing with a strong run. "She needs blinkers." Said jockey Olly Murphy. Both the second horse Present Of Flame and the third horse Tommy Atkins should soon be able to pick up Maiden races. Tommy Atkins is now for sale and may return to Garthorpe for the Melton Hunts Club meeting.
George Henderson steered the five year old Say No to a very easy victory in the Motorpoint Four, five, six and seven year olds Open Maiden race over the shorter distance of two and a half miles. George Henderson, who works for Hughie Morrison, said that he hoped Say No, who was bred by his father, would have a few more runs before the end of the season.
The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Woodland Pytchley Point- to- Point at Dingley on Easter Saturday 23rd April followed by the South Notts Point- to- Point at Thorpe Lodge on Easter Monday 25th April.