Brocklesby Point- to- Point Report – Saturday 18th February – By Emma Forman
The Brocklesby Point- to- Point, postponed from last Sunday due to the wet weather, was held at Brocklesby Park on Saturday. The organisers’ hard work paid off with a good crowd enjoying some thrilling racing action in fine, mild weather. The course had dried up well with jockeys reporting that the going, prepared for the final time by clerk of the course Harry Thorpe, was riding “good to soft”. The rearrangement meant that Monsieur Jourdain, a three time Grimthorpe Gold Cup winner was able to line up in the feature race; the Baillie Haylage Mixed Open race and take the top prize money of £400.
Monsieur Jourdain, in the hands of leading Yorkshire rider Will Easterby, took up the running turning into the home straight, he was in command at the last fence and able to hold off a determined challenge from All Great N Theory to win by three lengths. “He loves this track and it is just lucky that we decided to put entries in for here and the Sinnington when we saw that bad weather was forecast. We were always going to the Sinnington last Sunday if it was on but the re-arrangement of Brocklesby avoided the clash and we have been able to come here too.” Explained Easterby who this year has taken over the training from his Mother Sarah Easterby. “I knew he was well as he was trying to savage people on the way to the start! “He added. The family have had the now 11 year old Monsieur Jourdain for 10 years; he was originally bought as a yearling by Will’s father Tim and ran on the flat. The 3miles 5 furlongs Men’s Open at Corbridge could now be on the cards for Monsieur Jourdain before he bids for a fourth Grimthorpe Gold cup at the Middleton meeting in April. The first two horses have now qualified for the Skinner’s Ladies Open Final Hunter Chase at Stratford and the Timico Mixed Open Final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham.
Racing opened with the highlight for the local racegoers; the DDM Agriculture sponsored Members’ race. Somethingwonderful justified favouritism, taking the lead approaching the penultimate obstacle to score for the second year running. Ridden by Tom Strawson for his father Paul, who was absent due to a fishing break in Scotland, Somethingwonderful beat Kayjaydee by four lengths. This is was probably the final point- to- point ride for Kayjaydee’s jockey Tom Broughton who is about to embark on a career as a conditional jockey. The winner Somethingwonderful is certainly not the easiest horse to train; his health issues include stomach ulcers, but enjoys his hunting with Tom’s girlfriend Becky Crosbie Starling.
There was another popular local winner; His Excellency who landed the Clark Weightman Midlands Area Club race for Mike Dawson and Claire Hardwick. The 9 year old, who was kept on the side lines for much of last season with a hock injury, easily fought off the challenges of both Merrydown Black and I Wonder Why to win by 5 lengths. “At least we have been able to settle him; this has been his biggest issue and he runs in a Cheltenham gag now.” Explained Mike Dawson. The proximity of Mike Dawson’s Grainthorpe stable to the beach means that His Excellency has benefitted from regular visits to the seaside.
Claire Hardwick came close to riding a double later when she teamed up with the Pauline Harkin trained Exclusive Rights in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate race. However, the pair had no answers for Dale Peters’ progressive seven year old Wither Or Not who completed a hat trick of wins for the season. This race was a qualifier for the £7000 Connolly’s Red Mills Hunter Chase Final at Cheltenham in May.
Amigo returned to the winner’s enclosure following a 4 year break taking the Paul Wiseman Midlands Area Club Conditions race. The 10 year old, who 2 years ago finished fourth in the Scottish National when trained by David Pipe, has been rejuvenated by some days hunting with the Cambridge University Draghounds. Lauren Braithwaite now trains the gelding for the Signy and Marriage families and the plan is to run in a similar race at High Easter next month.
Leading Midlands area rider Tom McClorey brought his tally to 3 winners for the season in the HMT St Hugh’s and The Jockey Club Maiden race for mares when Demood beat Dulwich Hill by 2 lengths. Owned by Ian and Ann Pringuer and Steve Allen, the lightly raced 8 year old made the journey from Towcester worthwhile for connections who were delighted with their success. Quizzacle Nomad completed the course for the first time to finish second for Sue Smith and Tim Tarratt. Also an 8 year old, the mare is from the family of the prolific winner Doctor Kingsley, a family of late developers and may be able to pick up a similar race later in the season.
The final Open Maiden Race sponsored by Nunns Mitsubishi was won by the 5 year old Welsh’s Castle for David Kemp and Sam Davies- Thomas. Welsh’s Castle made the most of the 7lbs weight allowance for being a 5 year old to beat Hurricane Vic by 10 lengths. A first winner for breeder Rachel Murphy in County Wexford, the gelding finished third in an Irish Maiden race before being sold privately to David Kemp. The ride earned Sam Davies- Thomas an achievement award for perseverance; at Thorpe Lodge 3 weeks ago, tack problems early in the race led to Davies -Thomas having to ride a long way without irons before managing to pull up. Tom Strawson’s win with Somethingwonderful and second places with Quizzacle Nomad and Hurricane Vic meant that he was leading rider at Brocklesby Park for the second time.