Silverton Foxhounds at BLACK FOREST LODGE
Sunday 30th January 2000
by Fred Sampson
Point-to-Point Correspondent for Equestrian Cornwall

Today, Monday 31st January I will remember for a while, as it's only 1030 am and I have completed the 'hoovering', dusting and prepared this evening's meal. You may be asking why! Well its because I am trying to get back into the good books and earn some browny points so that I can borrow money for next week's Point to Point at Wadebridge. Yes you have guessed it - I lost the lot yesterday! Not one winner! Worse, my charming wife did win, at least on one race.

We arrived at the course quite early and found it rapidly filling up with cars. Entertainment soon commenced as an overweight (and possibly aged) golden Labrador flushed out a hare in the ditch of the adjoining cornfield. The chase commenced but when the hare was half a field in front, he slowed, the keen Labrador continued. He gave up the chase at the field boundary as the hare skipped over it and shortage of breath was evident on poor Labrador!

Two black and white collies, out for a 'walk the course' stroll, spotted Mr Hare, travelling at slow speed and took up the chase. This was better, sheepdogs at this time of year are a bit leaner and quicker and good sport continued, alas, these were two 'dog' sheepdogs and the chase was discontinued as they came across another sheepdog, needless to say, a lady one, who obviously smelt better than a fast grey hare and attentions were diverted. A hare for dinner might not be on the cards, but a litter of black and whites could possibly be.

Onto racing. The Ticknell Fuels Hunt race where 6 ran was a good race, and Mr Jervis (2nd) who was well rumoured as being previously trained by Josh Gifford, was well ridden by Miss Tremelett, her first Point ride, I believe. She will have gained a lot of experience and I bet Alice Shorelark (favourite-1st) ridden by Tom Greed will not pass her again on the run in. She carried my money but I don’t begrudge her one-penny of it and I look forward to seeing her ride again. Another notable ride was the third, Mr C Willis and Mrs J Browning's , Clontoura (3rd), ridden by Mr D Dennis; this one will be winning soon!

The Howard and Howard Confined race did not go quite as expected. Mrs L Sharpe and Mr D Williams's Well Armed (Tim Mitchell favourite 1st) was expected to do really well bearing in mind his record from last season. Miss Joe Cummins on Mr R G Westacott's Western Fort (IRE) had different ideas about who should win this and to my mind (and money) was unlucky to get caught on the line. Mr D Hooper's Summit, confidently ridden by Miss J Congdon was third and is also in my other notebook.

Ten ran in The Greig Middleton Ladies Open . A fine sprinkling of top class lady jockeys took part in an eventful race. Play Poker's (Miss A Dare) early mistake caused a loud grunt of despair all round, as, with last year's record I believe this one was expected to win. The time of this race by my stop watch (it’s a new one but I sometimes forget to switch it on!) was, at 6 mins 8 seconds, the fastest of the day and the honours went to Messrs Gibbs and Richards's Royal Mountbrowne, well ridden by Miss E Jones, so the Tim Tricks Memorial Challenge Cup plus a few quid would be off to Wales as would the Dalgety Agricultural Challenge Cup for the winning lady rider. Second home was Mrs J Barren's Hillhead, ridden by Miss S Sharratt. These first two horses now qualify for the Greig Middleton Hunter Chase Final at Uttoxeter on Wednesday (evening) 24th May 2000 where a bonus of 5,000 will be presented to the owner. Well done!

The Land Rover Men's Open Race attracted 8 runners and it was up to everyone to find the second placed horse as Mr B A Kilpatrick's Slew Man, ridden by Mr Mitchell and trained by Mr D Pipe would win, so who would be second? A certain Mr C White had different ideas! A whole lot different in as much as he would be first over the line and not Mr Mitchell.

First -Mr C A L White's Bells Wood, trained by Mrs T White and ridden by Mr C White and if anyone is ever short of a pick me up please take a look at a picture of the smile on Mr White's face when he has just entered the unsaddling enclosure having ridden the winner of a Land Rover Men's Open. Well done to all concerned. A lovely family result on the step up in class for this very game horse. Good luck in future and see you also at the Open Championships and don’t worry Mr Pipe - Slew Man won't loose many races. A Few Dollars More will defy the form book and get rid of that statement "hard to win with"- watch this space! My wife got 5/1 from her bookie and picked up on this race. I didn't so hence the homework.

There were 16 entrants for The Knight Frank (International) Restricted Race with the winner to receive the late E N Hughes Challenge Cup. I was impressed in the paddock with the change in a horse call Peyton Jones. He had won at Bratton Down last season but quite a few had fallen in that Open but he seems to have filled out and made up very nicely. With Mr Miller riding I thought I was in with a chance to recoup my money. They provided me with more than my 50p worth of sport for the race so I was not disappointed when he didn't win(?) but he did run a good race and must be a tonic for his new owners.

Miss R David's Fair Wind was never far from striking distance and Mr Miller brought him home to win comfortably, in a good time of 6.11, followed by Mrs M E Turner's No More Nice Guy, (Mrs M Hand) third Mrs M Williams and Mrs C Marles's Market Springer and, fourth, Mrs H A Snell and Mr P Haslam-Fox's See Me Shine (Mr D S Jones)

The Open Maiden for the D H Amory challenge Trophy race was split into three Divisions and Division One was then split again so it took a little sorting out. Division One section one, 8 runners and Division One section two, 9 runners followed by Division Two, 15 runners and then Division Three, 9 runners.

I don’t think many supporters left before the completion of the last race and they had watched some really good racing in the Maidens.

I will skip through the details but please don’t think the standard was anything but really top class with Dom Alers-Hankey riding a good double on Vellator (Div 1 Sect 2) and Sea Urchin (Div 3), Mr Bush bringing home Noble Star (Div 1 Sect 1) to win by a very short margin, beating Mikes Dream (and my money) and Mr M Yardley overtaking long time leader Bonny Rigg to win by 4 lengths on Jobsagoodun to the delight of the owners who go under the name of "4 Cricket Partnership", yes-its legal now.

That’s it for now; I'm off out gathering news about the North Cornwall meeting and I don’t mind it if Chipley Park is not in Cornwall I'm still interested in what they are doing up there and I'll be there next Sunday.

See you at Wadebridge on Saturday 5 February, and make yourself known if you want to get on 'ere.

Fred Sampson

For the latest Cornish Point-to-Point news and reviews, visit Equestrian Cornwall