RACING: Brocklesby point-to-point defies the elements

Last year's Brocklesby Point to Point
Last year's Brocklesby Point to Point

The South Wold Point-to-Point at Brocklesby Park went ahead on Sunday, February 9, despite the persistent wet weather that led to the abandonment of three fixtures scheduled to take place across the country.

The old Brocklesby turf dried out to give “good to soft” going on which 64 horses took part in the six races.

At the end of the meeting two riders, George Greenock and Fred Henderson, were sharing the lead for the Brocklesby leading rider award, the Lilian Pickering Memorial Perpetual Challenge trophy, to be presented at the end of the Brocklesby meeting on March 23.

George Greenock’s winner came on Shillingstone in the Malting’s Off Road Ltd Confined race. The 12-year-old, who missed 2013 with a slight tendon injury, had finished second on a previous visit to Brockelsby Park in 2012 and gave Greenock a first winner at the course.

George Greenock works for Lycett’s Insurance Brokers based in Fakenham, who also sponsor him, and Shillingstone is owned by Greenock’s mother Countess Cathcart and trained by Gerald Bailey. Fred Henderson finished second on Dream Garden and local rider Tom Strawson finished third on Reach For The Top.

George Greenock had to settle for second place in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Race with Empire Builder. The winner of this race, Nalim qualified to run in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Point- to- Point Championship Hunter Chase Final at Cheltenham in April.

An eight-year-old, Nalim, who is owned by William Bethell, seems to be still improving and could be seen next in either the Member’s race or the Confined race at the Bethell’s local meeting, the Holderness on Sunday March 16.

Fred Henderson was in fact riding his first ever winner when he steered Say No to victory in the Gleadell Agriculture Ltd Midlands Area Club Member’s Race for novice riders.

Owned by Fred’s father James, Say No was returning after a three-year absence owing to a number of training problems.

Leading Midlands Area rider Johnny Bailey was at the meeting and looking in good shape after a fall at North Carlton last Sunday. Bailey suffered fractured vertebrae and had only been discharged from hospital in the morning following a week in hospital that included an operation to pin the fracture.

Bailey’s place on Punchestowns in the D&M Barthorpe Mixed Open race was taken by Dickie Barett, but the new partnership failed to trouble the judge with 25-1 shot Court Red Handed springing something of a surprise when beating My Old Piano by three lengths. The success gave keeper Sarah Case a first winner.

Another rider to take a bad fall at North Carlton last week, David Kemp, was in the winner’s enclosure this week after Zagmeister beat favourite Drivehomeregardless in the NFU Spilsby Restricted race. Kemp, who suffered severe concussion in the fall, legged up Nick Pearce to take his place in the saddle.

“I walked past the bookies and saw he was 7-1 and thought that was a big price, he likes soft ground and he jumps well so we fancied him a bit today,” said Kemp after the race.

Tom Morgan was delighted to train his first winner for an owner in the opening Richard Sanderson Bookmakers Maiden race with Intentandpurposes. Purchased from Ireland, the nine-year-old had gone close to winning at Sheriff Hutton and was given a confident ride by Sam Davies-Thomas.

The next meeting in the Midlands Area is the Midlands Area Club Point-to-Point at Thorpe Lodge near Newark on Sunday, February 16, first race 11.30am.