The Revesby meeting may have kicked off the Midlands 2021-2022 point-to-point season unusually early this weekend, but the public came in droves and enjoyed some excellent racing in the autumn sunshine.
Many thanks to Clerk of the Course Adrian Dant who produced an excellent track which provided good racing ground throughout the day’s racing and attracted runners from far and wide.
Only two of the four entered runners declared for the opening race, the Intermediate. Annabelle Sowray-trained Manicman (Joe Wright) was the bookies odds-on favourite, but Name and Shame (Huw Edwards), trained in Shropshire by Simon Edwards provided a good challenge, leading for much of the race before ceding the lead in the final stages.
The Melvyn Leach Maiden was next, for which six runners came forward, with representatives from the yards of Tom Ellis, Alan Hill, Philip Rowley, Joe O’Shea and Cherry Coward amongst them. Let’s Getaway, the mount of Jack Andrews, started as marginal favourite with the bookmakers, and was up there with the leaders when he fell in the final stages. Alfoski, ridden by Henry Crow, made all the running, and even had more to give in the run in when challenged hard by Tres Francais (Izzie Marshall), who finished two lengths back. Third was Calypso Storm, two lengths behind these.
The winner was bought from Doncaster by Joe O’Shea, for whom Crow rides out. “He’s a very sweet horse and when I ride him out at home he’s a joy really,” the jockey said.
O’Shea followed up his success in the Maiden with a quickfire double in the Mixed Open. James King rode the Foxhunter’s winner Cousin Pascal, at the start of his next Aintree campaign, to an impressive victory. The Philip Rowley-trained Salvatore, with Ben Bromley in the plate, put up a valiant challenge, keeping the winner honest until a few from home, and finished six lengths back. Ben Smoult rode Game As A Pheasant for Cherry Coward into third.
The Midlands Area’s Kelly Morgan marked her return to training pointers after a spell under rules with victory in the Maiden Conditions race, next on the card. Alice Stevens piloted Feuille de Lune in an impressive display for the wonderfully named Snail Partnership, a syndicate of local owners which includes previous owner Johnny Weatherby. ” We wanted to get some local people involved because we feel it is good for pointing to have some new owners involved,” Kelly told me. “She was a bit more novicey than I though in the first circuit, but with the ground the way it has been, all of her work has been done on the all-weather track, limited to six furlongs.”
When I’m Ready (Tom McClorey) pulled up and Imperial Imp (Joe Wright) fell at the second last.
The Restricted race brought a popular victory for owner/trainer Luke Humphrey and Cave Queen, one of only two horses in training. Second to Black Jasper here last year, the pair went one better this time, despite a close finish with Ballymac Boy (Gina Andrews). Envious Editor had been the hot favourite going into this one, hoping to give jockey Alice Stevens a double and Joe O’Shea a treble on the day, but fell at the second last. Cool Desire (John Dawson) ran out at the last.
The Veteran Conditions race, the last race of the day over fences, also produced the best finish. Clondaw Westie and Izzie Marshall went off as favourites for the Alan Hill stable but pulled up at the start of the final lap. This left Tom McCLorey and the Gerald Bailey-trained Early Retirement in the lead where they stayed until the run-in. Jumping the last three lengths clear or so, they were chased home by Cooking Fat (C. Dun), coming from some way behind, and Earlshill (Lucy Burton), the latter finding some extra and heading the leader in the final few strides to win by half a length.
All point-to-point areas are using finish line technology this season, in the hope of reducing any human error. This expensive technology has been very kindly donated by Anthony Bromley of Highflyer Bloodstock, to whom we are incredibly grateful.
The last race of the day was a point-to-point flat race over two miles, but only actually raced for the final lap or so. Alan Hill-trained Santos Blue won this for the trainer and Nick Sutton, with Champion Jockey James King in the plate. Foxcote, ridden by Jack Andrews, finished six lengths behind them, with Bourne To Dance (J. Robottom) a way back in third.
At this point in every report we normally refer the reader to our next meeting, in a couple of weeks time. on this occasion, however, our next meeting will be on the 27th February of next year, when the Cottesmore will welcome us to the first of five meetings at Garthorpe.