by Emma Forman
The Brocklesby point- to -point races took place at a blustery, storm Dennis battered Brocklesby Park on Saturday. Despite the weather, runners held up well with 37 of the 86 entries lining up on the day, and full credit should go to the organisers for their perseverance given the bad weather.
One of the highlights of the day was the successful return to action of Duhallow Tornado following a 653-day absence from the track in the Baillie Haylage Mixed Open race. While the ground and the course were to his liking the slow pace didn’t suit the 8-year-old, however, Tommie O’Brien had him settled just off the leaders and managed to get him home a neck to the good of King Of The Clothe and Jack Andrews. “We know he is good; I just hope he comes out of the race alright; if he does he may go straight to the Cheltenham festival for the Foxhunters.” Said the delighted winning trainer Ollie Pimlott.
Rider Tommie O’Brien followed up with a win in the Duncan & Topliss Jockey Club Open Maiden race for fillies and mares with Gold Clermont. The four-year-old debutant was entitled to be a bit green and she did look to run back to the horseboxes at the top bend, however, O’Brien was able to keep her engaged and she went on to beat Latenightfumble by 3 lengths. Winning owner Tom Lacey was not present as he was saddling runners at Ascot, however it is likely that Gold Clermont will go to the sales possibly as soon as the Tattersalls Cheltenham sales on Friday.
Latenightfumble’s rider Gina Andrews, may have had to settle for the runner up spot in that race, however she did ride a treble, making her the leading rider at the meeting and bringing her seasonal tally to 14. In the INRG Solar Intermediate race, Dubai Quest followed up his Thorpe Restricted success beating Omar Maretti and Dale Peters by 11 lengths. “He was travelling well in the back straight on the wood side and I knew then I would win.” Explained Andrews. Owned by the Oak Partnership headed by Giles Sim, the 7-year-old will be aimed at the Intermediate Hunter Chase final at Cheltenham in May.
In the following Clark Weightman Restricted race, Revesby Maiden winner Benefaktor moved up a grade; he jumped much straighter and looked like he had learned a lot from his previous outing. Ridden by Gina Andrews and trained by her husband, Tom Ellis, Benefaktor is owned by a syndicate of enthusiasts and on this occasion he ran in Keith Load’s blue and white silks. “That was a good performance to give a stone to the second horse Classic Lady on this soft ground.” Said co-owner Brian Crawford who is looking forward to welcoming everyone to Garthorpe next Sunday.
The Andrews treble was completed in the concluding Nunn’s Mitsubishi Open Maiden race with the 4-year-old Getaway gelding Striking A Pose who scored readily by 30 lengths with Master Thyne and Will Easterby in second place. “He is a nice horse, he has a good pedigree and would be one of the best 4 year olds we have. He will go to the sales now as that is a big part of our business.” Explained winning trainer Tom Ellis.
There was an exciting finish to the PPORA Club Members Conditions Race sponsored by DDM Agriculture with the grey mare Absainte beating the best turned out Squirrel Esquire and James Martin by a length. Ridden by William Easterby, for whom this was the first winner of the current campaign, Absainte is owned by the Armstrong Partnership headed by Sharon Stiddard. She won at Brocklesby last year and although the soft ground didn’t suit her, she rallied gamely. “I would think she will run next in the novice Hunter Chase at Catterick in March.” Said winning trainer Robin Tate.
The meeting opened with Nicky’s Nipper walking over in the Hunt Member’s race for Clare Pickering. This horse was the only entry for the contest as owing to the conditions of the race, he was the only one eligible to run.