After the postponement of the Easter Monday meeting, the Vine and Craven hunt was rewarded with a cloudless sky, warm weather and competitive racing at their re-scheduled Point to Point, sponsored by JM Finn, at Hackwood Park on Saturday 5 May.
The event, which ran from 3.45pm until early evening, attracted a good crowd, who enjoyed entertainment on and off the track.
The six jump races were preceded by four pony scurries, the first of which was won by Jaspar Bandey, six-year-old son of local trainer Richard, who had enjoyed success at Cheltenham the night before.
The R Hunt Ltd Open Maiden had 12 runners, the largest field of the day and was won by Kalinite, ridden by Sam Lee, trained by Fred Hutsby, fresh from a recent second at Kingston Blount, who won it comfortably.
“It’s great to have a winner at my local track,” beamed the delighted owner, Peter Corbett, who lives at Binley, near Andover. Jockey Sam Lee, enjoying a good season and likely to be crowned South Midlands leading jockey, confirmed that the step up in distance suited the six-year-old. “We’ve been waiting all year for three miles on good ground.”
Peter Corbett completed the double – his first since Medic and Golden Tangle won at the same meeting in 2012 – when Kinlochspelve won the five-runner Fullers Brewery and the Jockey Club Mares Maiden. Peter commented: “Kinlochspelve (named after a village on the Isle of Mull where the owner has a house) was the last horse bred by my late wife Muff, who died six years ago – she’ll be so chuffed.”
Kinlochspelve completes a double for Sam Lee and Fred Hutsby in the Mares &Fillies Open maiden at Hackwood Park Hutsby in the Mares/Fillies Open Maiden Photo courtesy of: courtesy of MJAY PHOTOGRAPHY & MEDIA
Another in double form was jockey Zac Baker. His first win of the night was on hot favourite Templebraden – also a winner at the last meeting here – in the five-runner JM Finn Mens Open over three and a half miles.
“He seems to like it round here, despite the different ground conditions,” admitted winning owner Sarah Oliver. Templebraden has changed stables since his last win and new trainer, Droitwich-based, Max Young confirmed, “It’s been a great season. We’ve had three winners and several knocking on the door.”
Change of Luck completes a double for Zak Baker who rode the Alan Hill charge to win the Members Race at Hackwood Park
Photo courtesy of MJAY PHOTOGRAPHY & MEDIA
Zac completed his double with a patient ride on the night’s only winning odds-on jolly, Alan Hill’s Changeofluck, in the concluding BFJ Consultants Ltd Conditions Race, in which five ran.
Odds-on favourite, Broken Eagle, suffered disappointment in the two mile four furlong At The Races Ladies Open, but beaten for the first time in three years by Starkie, ridden by Katy Lyons in the closest finish of the day.“I didn’t think we’d beat Broken Eagle,” admitted winning owner-trainer Anthony Ward-Thomas.
“But Katy gave him a perfect ride – they went very quickly, but she kept some petrol in the tank.”
Katy was complimentary about both the course and the race, saying, “They’ve done a really good job. It’s the best ground we’ve had all year and you’d run anything on it – that’s the best Ladies Open I’ve ridden in.”
The opening event of the evening, the J Passey & Son Novice Riders Race, may have only had five runners, but it was a competitive contest, with the whole field still tightly bunched three fences out. The well-backed Tom Barton was still in the lead at this point, going better than odds-on favourite Tempelpirate, but Connor Brace – who had held the splendidly-named Itchymei’mscratch up in rear – jumped to the front after the fence and was never headed subsequently, holding off the dogged pursuit of Tom Barton, with Tempelpirate in third.
Winning owner Keith James commented: “Connor (who, with 13 wins, is in pole position to be National Novice Champion this season) has ridden him all season and I’m so pleased for him.”