APRIL 2004
by Brian & Gill Armstrong

The Tedworth Hunt held their annual point-to-point at Barbury Racecourse near Marlborough on Sunday.

Friars Island walked over to win the opening Hunt Members race. Friars Island is owned and trained at Whitchurch near Andover by Major William Crosbie-Dawson and was a first-ever winner for Harry Wallace, 24. Harry, an officer in the Kings Royal Hussars, is stationed at Tidworth but is currently taking a Troop Leaders Course at Lulworth in Dorset.

The Restricted race went to Vinnie Boy and Polly Gundry, who got the better of a sustained duel with pacesetter Lord Ken. Fivehead owner John Burbidge reported that Vinnie Boy had recovered from a low blood count which had kept him off the course since winning at Larkhill in January. Vinnie Boy, a full-brother to Bannagh Mor, who won six races for John in the 1990s, could now be aimed at the Folkestone Hunter Chase evening on 19th May.

Storm Castle took the Ladies’ Open, making much of the running and holding off odds-on favourite Mrs Be by ˝ length. Storm Castle is owned by Nigel Cronin from Kings Langley, near Hemel Hempstead, and is one of two horses trained near Lingfield racecourse by winning rider Julie Wickens. Julie reported that Storm Castle had enjoyed the rain-softened conditions and had recovered well from a joint injury sustained at Charing earlier in the season.

The Men’s Open race for the Tedworth Gold Cup was won for the second year running by Gladiatorial, who forged well clear of favourite Polar Champ. Gladiatorial is owned and trained near Wincanton racecourse by Frances Bishop and was a sixth career win for son Tom, 20, who is studying Ancient History at Exeter University and rides out at David Pipe’s stables.

Le Cure survived an early blunder before easily taking the Countryside Alliance Club Members race under Tigger Barnes. Le Cure is one of two horses owned and trained at Foxham, near Chippenham, by Philip and Annie Bevins, the Avon Vale Hunt point-to-point secretaries. Philip and Annie arrived at the course early to allow the highly-strung Le Cure the opportunity to calm down before racing.

Seventeen-year-old Fairford A’Level student Freddie de Giles rode his second-ever winner when Alheri made all the running and finished alone in the 11-runner Open Maiden race. Alheri is owned and trained at Highworth, near Swindon, by Freddie’s father Jonathen, who describes the horse as a “failed polo pony” having bought him out of a Polo yard several years ago. Freddie also received the Award for Best Riding Performance of the day, judged by former three-time National Hunt Champion Jockey Stan Mellor.