The second of this season’s Midlands area point-to-point fixtures took us to Garthorpe, where Brian Crawford and his hard-working team had prepared an excellent racing surface, complimented by jockeys, trainers and owners alike.
The spoils of the day were shared as doubles were secured by jockeys James King and Luke Scott, and trainers David Kemp and Tom Weston.
James King his current remarkable run of form as he took the win in the first, a competitive conditions race. He rode Mickey Bowen-trained More Buck’s, who shared all the running with Tom Ellis-trained favourite Al Shahir and Jack Andrews before pulling away to win by seven lengths. “He didn’t really feel like he wanted to win,” James King said, “so I had to work quite hard to get him home.” Port Melon (H. Myddelton) was a distant third.
There were a number of lead changes in the Mixed Open, next, but it was Dale Peters and Law of Gold who were the eventual recipients of the Quorn Gold Cup for the winners of the feature race of the day. This was the sixth win in a row between the flags for the eight-year-old gelding owned by David and Imogen Kemp. Peters had tracked the leaders until left in front, and was able to see off a challenge from BadBad Leroy Brown and Zac Baker who were spirited in second but couldn’t respond in the run-in. Third went to Rupert Stearn and Just Cause.
Francesca Nimmo-trained Largy Mountain, the winner of the Restricted race, which gave James King the second half of his double on the day. The son of Yeats was a comfortable winner by seven lengths from the favourite Rebel Dawn Rising, another trained by David Kemp and ridden by Dale Peters. Tekap was third for the Nick Wright, with son Archie on board.
Jack Andrews opened his account for the day on Bingo Star, the Stuart Morris-trained winner of the 9-year-old and over Conditions race which produced the biggest field of the day with 15 runners. The ten-year-old, by Protektor, led with two to jump and won easily from Easythingarebest (Tom McClorey), who had done much of the running, in second, with Caviar d’Allen (Lottie Crane) promoted to third after a Stewards Enquiry. “We thought this was his race.” Stuart Morris told me afterwards, “He’s been beaten a couple of times here, and we learned from those races. If he had been wearing cheek pieces in those I think he would have won.”
The first of two Maiden divisions was won by another son of Yeats, this time the four-year-old Pilot Show, trained by Tom Weston and ridden by Luke Scott. They were able to hold on despite strong finishes from Go On Chez (Cai Williams) and favourite By Appointmentonly (Dale Peters).
David Kemp completed his double with the winner of the second division, How To Get Away. Alex Chadwick piloted this Getaway gelding to the best finish of the day as they were chased down by favourite and long-time leader Go Go Geronimo (Tom Chatfeild-Roberts) in the final yards before the flag. The winner will look to the restricted here at the next meeting for their next outing. Singasongsam (J. Dawson) were third.
The last race of the day was a point-to-point flat race which provided the second half of the doubles for Tom Weston and jockey Luke Scott when King Arise came home by five lengths from Universal Run (Gina Andrews) and Whitsand Bay (James King).
Midlands area racing now returns to Dingley for the joint meeting of the Fernie and Fitzwilliam next Sunday, 2nd May, where watering is in progress.