Photos: The Melton Hunt Club at Garthorpe.
The Melton Hunt Club meeting at Garthorpe produced doubles for jockeys Jack Tudor and Dale Peters, the latter’s victory in the penultimate race being a milestone 100th race win under all codes. This all marked a double for trainer David Kemp.
The good ground and fine weather were perfect for an enjoyable afternoon’s racing, starting with two pony races for 148cm ponies. The first of these, for novice riders, produced a great finish between Harwent Miss Moneypenny (Eliza Wadd) and Jamie Gambin on Follow The Stars, the former winning by a small margin on the line. The second pony race, for more experienced riders, was won more convincingly by Henry Main and his pony Madame Mimi, with Millie Parrington and Belle Vitesse second and Lewis Joe Dobb and Igo Zuminov in third.
The mixed open produced the first of Dale Peters’ wins: his mount Law Of Gold led Proximo and Jack Andrews from start to finish and never looked in danger in the final stages. This is the horse’s third consecutive win in recent weeks and is certainly one to watch.
Peters followed this up immediately with a win on Rivercourt Guy, owned by David Kemp and John Ridge, in the open maiden race which followed. Once again this was a dominant performance, second-placed Master Campbell (Jack Andrews) finishing some 25 lengths behind the six-year old who will now head to the John Corbett Cup. Dale Peters’ 100th race win was his 95th in point-to-points and brought him an early bath.
Jack Tudor’s first win came from the opening race of the day, a very competitive members conditions race, in which he had the ride on his Godfather’s Blazing Tom. The race was led at different points by Max O (Philip Armson), Merrydown Black (Sophie Walker), Kazuri Kate (Claire Hardwick) but a tactically timed move by Tudor brought Blazing Tom to the front with two to jump and a fabulous finish ensued, Kazuri Kate and fast finishing Warden Hill (Meisha Micklewright) both missing out by a mere half length. Jack Tudor is leading the Novice Rider Championship at present and this was the 5th win for this horse from its 14 runs to date – well worth a 188 mile trip.
The double came from Tudor’s ride in the third, Northgeorge in the novice riders race. Taking the lead at the end of the first lap, the 11-year-old encountered little resistance and won by 25 lengths, from Spanish Fleet (Dan Cherriman) in second and Minella Friend (George Chatterton) in third.
Jack Tudor’s previous visit to Garthorpe had been as a pony racer and, as if to reinforce the quality of jockeys that pony racing has produced, the second was won by Tom Broughton, riding the 12-year-old mare KayJayDee. “Annie”, as she is known, has been suffering from a hoof infection this week and was a doubt. “We are very grateful to everyone who has helped, particularly the farrier,” Broughton said. On his race tactics he added, “I thought I might have gone to early but she’s lovely and she dug deep.”
The 2m 4f veteran horses conditions race produced another great finish. Pair of Jacks (George Greenock) made much of the running until caught with one to jump by Singininthevalleys (Lucy Turner) but they made a mistake at the last. Countess Cathcart’s Pair Of Jacks saw a great stride and stole a length and a half but the mare in second wasn’t finished, gaining ground with every stride and will be wishing the line had come a length later.
The last race of the day was another over the shorter distance, this time for four, five and six-year-old horses. Much of the running in this one was made by Courtly Love (Jamie Brace) but when they were caught with two to jump by Jack Andrews, riding Signed And Sealed, they couldn’t respond. “He’s a tricky horse, ” Jack Andrews said, “and it has taken a while to get the tactics right. He’s bred for 1m 4f on the flat so I have to keep him quiet for a lap before I let him go.”
Pointing returns to Dingley on 25th May for the Fitzwilliam meeting, for which tickets are available online from midlandspointing.com now.