THE Crawley and Horsham Hunt’s point to point meeting at Parham yesterday (Saturday) had the benefit of glorious sunshine, and the well-maintained course had withstood heavy rain during the week to enable racing to go ahead.
There were plenty of attractions for visitors, ranging from varied sidestalls, a funfair, refreshments and the opportunity to enjoy the friendly atmosphere at the track, where there is a fine view of the entire course.
The Crafty Butcher proved to be another shrewd purchase by West Sussex trainer Carolyn Gorman, when he won the opening race in fine style at the Parham meeting, partnered by her husband Marcus, and led up in the paddock by son George, who is a conditional jockey under Rules.
Carolyn had bought the horse in Ireland for her husband to ride before he retires from the saddle at the end of this season and Marcus enjoyed a fine win with this classy horse.
Although there were only two runners in this opening race, the nine-year-old Vinnie Roe gelding justified his 2-9 starting price, by putting in a superb display of jumping on his UK debut. He pulled away with impressive ease from Beneficiarius with Hayley Moore up in the closing stages. Carolyn reported afterwards: ” Both horse and rider enjoyed themselves out there today.”
Another trainer who enjoyed a particularly successful day was Norfolk-based David Kemp, who clocked up a treble at the meeting,making the long trip pay off. The three-timer was triggered by Will Fight taking the Mixed Open with ease, ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas.
A good victory followed in the Club Members Race when Curraigflemens got the better of runner-up Definite Ridge, trained by Philip York, when staying on better. The final leg of the treble came in the Club members Conditions Race with Sam Davies Thomas riding Brave Encounter, a lightly raced point to pointer with more to come.
Trainer Damian Carden was delighted when Nimbus Lad, owned by James Bull, had an impressive victory in the Tim Dunlop Memorial Restricted Race for the Mount Gifford Challenge Cup. Owen Wedmore partnered the lightly-raced eight-year-old, which had missed the whole of 2015 season-and had been well-beaten on his seasonal appearance at Godstone, following this lengthy absence.
Damian said:”He has done so well today and rewarded my faith in him. He last won a point to point in 2013 and we are thrilled with this victory and the great ride which Owen gave him.”
Tim Underwood was the winning trainer when Rescued Glory won the Open Maiden Race impressively at the end of the meeting, with veteran rider Phil York in the saddle.
Results: Hunt Members, Farmers and Subscribers Race: 1 The Crafty Butcher, trained by Carolyn Gorman, ridden by Marcus Gorman 2-9 favourite; 2 Beneficarius, ridden by Hayley Moore. Only 2 ran.
Tim Dunlop Memorial Restricted Race- 1 Nimbus Lad, trained by Damian Carden, ridden by Owen Wedmore 10-1; 2 Jenna Pride , trained by Nick Pearce ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas; 3 Rua Nua , trained by Phillip York, ridden by Richard Defago, 6 ran.
Mixed Open- 1 Will Fight , trained by David Kemp, ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas evens favourite; 2 Crazy Eyes, trained by Brenda Ansell, ridden by Miss T Worsley; 3 Rey Nacarado trained by David Phelan ridden by Miss G Andrews 7 ran.
Club members race for veteran and novice riders: 1 Curraigflemens, trained by David Kemp, ridden by S Roach; 2 Talkin Thomas trained by Nigel Padfield, ridden by Steven Croft; 3 Definite Ridge, trained by Phil York, ridden by R Glenn 6 ran.
Club members conditions race- 1 Brave Encounter, trained by David Kemp, ridden by Sam Davies-Thomas; 2 De Clare Man, trained and ridden by Rose Grissell; 3 Dallas Cloud, trained by Nick Pearce, ridden by C Roche , 5 ran. Open Maiden Race: 1 Rescued Glory, trained by Tim Underwood, ridden by Phil York; 2 Harodale trained by Stuart Morris, ridden by J Bailey; 3 Basher Brian, trained by Tom Ellis, ridden by Miss Gina Andrews.
The meeting ended with the spectacular sight of a hunt ride following the last race, with hunt members taking part over a circuit of ten fences on the point-to-point course in full hunting dress.
Date for the diary:The Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray is holding point to point racing at the Parham track on Saturday April 23.