Sun blazes on 65th Axe Vale point to point

08:57 30 May 2012

Axe Vale point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 7560-22-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Axe Vale point to point. Photo by Terry Ife ref mhsp 7560-22-12TI To Order a copy of this photo visit www.midweekherald.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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HOT weather greeted the 65th anniversary meeting of the Axe Vale Harriers at Stafford Cross. Teenage jockeys Dominic Furnell, Jamie Bargary and Joe Hill will have lasting memories of this year’s renewal, writes Granville Taylor.

Furnell steered his own gelding, 200-1 shot, Clew Bay Cove to a hard-fought win over Gunner Be Quick (Rupert Tory) in the Mixed Open. “I had about 15 or 20 rides in Ireland and this is my first winner,” said the 19-year-old, who came over here last autumn to work in Lucy Wiegersma’s eventing yard at Hatherleigh. “I brought the horse over with me and keep him at the Weigersma’s”, he added. A winner five times in his younger days for JPMcManus, and now 12 years old, Clew Bay Cove had been struggling to find his form in recent years. He found the quick ground and sharp track to his advantage and was freely available at the remarkable odds of 200-1 in the eight-runner field.

Jamie Bargary’s first winner came in the Open Maiden where his mount Bathwick Scanno had five lengths to spare over Rock of Fife after showing in front from the fifth fence. “He was running away with me,” smiled the 18-year-old rider who hails from County Tipperary and is based with David Pipe. Four-year-old Bathwick Scanno was a first training success for Broomfield based Teresa Clark who handles the gelding for the five-strong Rising Sun Partnership from Knapp near Taunton.

Oxfordshire schoolboy Joe Hill is in the middle of his GCSE exams, but took time out to partner Ravethebrave to a 12 lengths victory in the Novice Riders’ event. Ravethebrave was scoring for the fourth time this season and had given his young rider his first success at Black Forest Lodge on the opening day of the season. Joe also partnered the Ed Walker trained Dr Cerullo to a walk over in the Hunt race which opened the Axe Vale card, and his tally of nine winners has already earned him the Wilkinson Sword trophy awarded to the leading novice rider in the country under 21 years of age.

Kayley Jones claimed her first training double thanks to Allerford Jack and My Runaway. Kayley took over the point-to-point side of the yard when her partner Richard Woollacott gained his full trainers licence earlier this month, and was saddling her fourth winner in the past 11 days

Richard brought Allerford Jack with a strong late run to win the Confined, thus following up their recent Cothelstone success. This eight-year-old has now won four times this season for his owners Geoffrey Brown, Saul Kidston, Andrew Maddox and Paul and Peter Govier. “He is in as good a form as ever and will probably run until the end of the season,” reported the trainer.

My Runaway kept up the good work for Kayley Jones by winning the Restricted, this time ridden by Robbie Henderson. Owned by Hannah and Andrew Broggio, My Runaway has had more than his share of bad luck through injuries and niggles. “He had colic as a four-year-old and then pulled muscles in his fall on the opening day of the season. He has a huge scar from an injury in the lorry on the way to Chipley Park but you can see how tough he is,” said Kayley as he followed up his Great Trethew success in good style.

Yet another lady trainer with cause for celebration was Jane Wilkinson who runs a small yard at Ibberton near Sturminster Newton. Her home bred ten-year-old mare Tenawa found the better pace on the flat to beat Amber Love and the warm favourite Googoobarabajagal in the Intermediate. Evergreen rider Rilly Goschen did the steering on the Portman qualified mare.

●Wee Antony (Lucy Mager) won the 138 pony race, and (Total Eclipse) Hannah Welch the 148cm race which preceeded the point to point. There was a big cheer for Axe Vale qualified Reigndance (Carly Ridout).

●The next point to point is on Saturday at Bratton Down, Exmoor, and there is pony racing at the South Tetcott point to point on Monday, June 4, where the first two mile 148 race will be held.

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