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POINT-TO-POINT HORSEHEATH 4 February A perfect 10 for Hazel Hill Hazel Hill extends his unbeaten streak, and a father and son combine for a novice success Hazel Hill shows his class under Alex Edwards to win the men’s open at Horseheath Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace, Horseheath, Cambs A BLISTERING performance by Hazel Hill took his unbeaten streak to 10 consecutive victories. The 10-year-old gelding showed his class to secure the men’s open title by a confident three lengths under jockey Alex Edwards. “That was quite a hot race — that may be the best race we have run him in,” said Alex, who is jockey to trainer Philip Rowley. “We’ve always liked him. Jane Williams had him before and won five out of five with him and we’ve carried that on, he is great.” Hazel Hill will be aimed at a hunter chase later this month and has qualified for the mixed open final at Cheltenham in May. The quality of racing was high throughout the day, with large fields in all seven races. A 13-strong field lined up for the first race, the intermediate, won by Mr Maclennane — ridden by Archie Wright and trained by the jockey's father Nicholas. “Coming up the hill I just had Joe [Hill, riding Allie Beag] in front of me so I knew we had some work still to do,” said Archie, adding he dodged both Jack and Gina Andrews who fell on the final circuit. “Joe’s horse has lost nothing in defeat, she went round brilliantly — unfortunately someone had to lose.” FATHER AND SON FULFIL THE DREAM ANOTHER family victory was By LUCY ELDER celebrated in the novice riders’ race, won by Irish Guardsman Billy Aprahamian aboard Bayley’s Dream. The horse is owned by the Aprahamian family and trained by Billy’s father John. “It didn’t help that I dropped my whip at the open ditch the second time,” said Billy. “He is a monster up the hill at home, normally he comes to the track and runs for two-and-a-half miles then decides he has had enough, but he fought well there — I think the loose horse at the bottom helped him.” Gina Andrews put her fall behind her to win the ladies’ open on Blue Mountain Boy. Welsh’s Castle’s win in the restricted was particularly special for joint-owner Malcom Kemp. The family lost a horse by the same sire, Mahler, a few years ago and returned to Ireland in 2017 to look for another, where Welsh’s Castle caught their eye. “We are a little bit dreaming of going to Cheltenham with him for the final — that’s our dream and you have to have one in this job,” said Malcolm. Jockey Johnny Bailey enjoyed his first win of the season on the Michael Kehoe-trained Keel Over TEAM CHASING AND HUNTING TRICKY SILENCE won the open maiden by a neck, in the closest finish of the day. “I spent all night thinking about the race and it is one of the only times it has gone as well in my head as it has here,” said jockey Sam Lee, who credits trainer Jamie Goss and his team. IOWE IT TO... in the final race, the seven-yearolds and over open maiden. “He was a bit slow early on, but once we had warmed up he took to it nicely,” said Johnny, who sat on the horse for the first time that day. Laganbank sadly collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack following the men’s open. Vets were quickly in attendance, but he could not be saved. The horse did his first season of team chasing this year and hunted with the Farmers Bloodhounds. “The hunting and team chasing has made a man out of him,” added Jamie. THIS WEEK’S WINNERS WESTERN HUNT, WADEBRIDGE, SUNDAY 4 FEBRUARY confined.— 1, C Wonnacott & J Davenport’s Heaney (M Wonnacott) C Wonnacott. ladies’ open.— 1, R Newman’s Sobre Tresor (C Emsley) C Newman. intermediate.—1, The Bradley Partnership’s The Two Amigos (D Edwards) N Martin. open maiden.—1, The Little Acres Racing Club’s Raloo Rocket (D Edwards) E Summersby. men’s open.—1,E&TWorth’s Robin De Souza ( D Edwards) D Summersby. restricted.—1,R Sims’ Double Captain (N Sims) K Hawke. CAMBRIDGESHIRE WITH ENFIELD CHACE, HORSEHEATH, SUNDAY 4 FEBRUARY intermediate.— 1, N Wright’s Mr Maclennane (A Wright) N Wright. 4,5&6yo open maiden.— 1, J Goss’ Tricky Silence (S Lee) J Goss. novice riders’.—1,J Aprahamian & B Aprahamian’s Bayley’s Dream (W Aprahamian) J Aprahamian. men’s open.— 1, D Williams’ Hazel Hill (A Edwards) P Rowley. ladies’ open.—1,M Wills’ Blue Mountain Boy (G Andrews) T Ellis. restricted.— 1, M Kemp & D Kemp’s Welsh’s Castle (S Roche) D Kemp. 7yo and over open maiden.— 1, M Tetley’s Keel Over (J Bailey) M Kehoe. SOUTH DORSET, MILBORNE ST ANDREW, SUNDAY 4 FEBRUARY 4,5&6yo open maiden.—1,K&MYeo’s Swincombe Toby (L Williams) S Alner. members.— 1, S Bingham, S Maxse & G Bingham’s Boher Call (G Bingham) R Bandy. open maiden.— 1, W Rowles’ Kilcrea Bridge (N Williams) N Williams. restricted.—1,P Barber & D Martin’s Blackwater Bramble (M McIntyre) J Barber. ladies’ open.—1, S Rippon’s Argocat (S Rippon) S Rippon. men’s open.— 1, R Waley-Cohen’s Facile Bien (S Waley-Cohen) R Waley-Cohen. novice riders’.— 1, J Veysey’s The Dapper Fox (J Veysey) J Veysey. PERCY, ALNWICK, SUNDAY 4 FEBRUARY men’s open.— 1, R Woodward & J Wright’s Levelling (J Wright) J Landy. ladies’ open.— 1, I Crane’s Knocklong (C Walton) J Landy. conditions.— 1, The Heading For Home Partnership’s Weston Flame (J Wright) J Landy. restricted.— 1, The Gold and Silver Club’s Sir Lonica (J Wright) J Landy. open maiden.— 1, D Davidson’s Worcester Pearmain (C Wood) T Dobbin. members.— 1, Messrs FT Walton’s Ripstick (C Walton) J Walton. Picture by Neale Blackburn 72 Horse & Hound 8 February 2018

Edited by Hannah Lemieux @hannah_lemieux1 MILBORNE ST ANDREW 4 February Pictures by Tim Holt Boher Call leads from the front to take the hunt members’ under doctor George Bingham Doc makes the Call Boher Call battles to the line in the hunt members’ to land a victory under doctor George Bingham South Dorset, Milborne St Andrew, Dorset DOCTOR George Bingham didn’t let a tiring week of night shifts at St Thomas’ hospital in London affect his performance as he steered Boher Call to victory in LADY riders have been hitting the headlines in the UK on a regular basis in recent months — for all the right reasons — led by two graduates from the pointing field, Lizzie Kelly and Bryony Frost. It’s a subject which is close to my heart and I did my bit to raise the profile of lady riders during my six years coordinating the AGAsponsored lady riders’ point-topoint series. I remain passionate about seeing them succeed. I crossed paths with both Lizzie and Bryony during the By LUCY PEARSON the hunt members’. George led from the front and when joined by Creative Inerta in the finishing stretch, he squeezed Boher Call on to win. AGA years, as they both enjoyed victories in that series, and I was thrilled when Bryony led home a one-two for the girls in the 2017 Foxhunter at Cheltenham on Pacha Du Polder. She then went on to finish fourth on the same horse in the Aintree version and she has now become a rising star of the weighing room. Lizzie led the way by becoming the first female jockey to win a Grade One jumps race in Britain (at Kempton in 2015) and Bryony has followed suit, bagging her first Grade One win last year — in the exact same race as Lizzie. With the spotlight firmly on “I’ve only ridden him about six times and I was told just to go out and enjoy myself,” explained George. “I only get to ride a couple of times a week, but I cycle and go to the gym to keep fit.” Runners in the open maiden, for four-, five- and six-year-olds, set out at a sedate pace but as the field entered their second lap, Troed Y Melin lifted the speed. He looked to have the win in the bag but Swincombe Toby responded brilliantly to his jockey, Lorcan Williams, and stormed up the home straight to steal the win. KILCREA BRIDGE DIGS DEEP RED RASCAL’S chances in the open maiden were short lived when he fell at the first — the start of a few casualties. By the last circuit only nine of the sixteen starters remained and four fences from the finish Dragon De La Tour and Kilcrea Bridge were left eyeballing each other out in front. A tired Kilcrea Bridge, managed to dig deep to win under Nick Williams. Both Argocat and Aikideau managed to reel in All Great N Theory, who had set out very quickly in the ladies’ open. But Aikideau ran out of steam and left Argocat to win easily for owner/ trainer and jockey Sarah Rippon. “I only came here as I fell off last weekend and wanted to run him again,” explained Sarah. “I am a livery at Henrietta Knight’s, where I have two horses. Argocat the girls I would hope that more of them will get the chance to shine in the 2018 Foxhunters. Last season there were four jocked up in the Cheltenham version and five at Aintree. ‘I TOOK OVER FROM MY HUSBAND’ BLACKWATER BRAMBLE and jockey Martin McIntyre gave trainer Jade Barber her first win when landing the restricted. “I’m glad to get off the mark,” said Jade. “I took over the pointing operation from by husband, Jack Barber, as he turned professional at the beginning of the season. “This horse has been off for a long time with a leg injury and I told Martin to ride him FIRST WIN handy as he is a front runner and a very good jumper.” ONLY IN HORSE & HOUND ‘The spotlight’s on the girls’ David Simpson flags up the female jockeys to watch ahead of Cheltenham David Simpson attended his first point-to-point in February 2011. He has since visited 73 courses and became an owner last year. He writes a blog on his experiences of point-to-pointing. OPINION has so much class and we have a very good partnership.” Facile Bien not only won “best turned-out” in the men’s open but also out-jumped the field to win under Sam Waley-Cohen. Jack Veysey steered The Dapper Fox to win the last race of the day, the novice riders’. “This is the horse of a lifetime for Jack,” said the jockey’s mentor Martin Sweetland. “He was only a cheap horse from Ascot sales and it is days like today that make all the bad days and hard work worthwhile.” All deserved their place in the line-up, although there was one glaring omission from both races. I wasn’t the only person who was astonished that the current and four-time national ladies’ point-to-point champion, Gina Andrews did not feature. Gina won the Kim Muir at last year’s Festival and may well repeat the feat this year — let’s hope she also gets the chance to shine in the two flagship races for our amateur riders. A recent article in the Racing Post suggested that we could see a female champion jockey within the next five years and, with plenty of talent coming through the pointing ranks, I don’t see why this can’t happen — I certainly hope it does. H&H 8 February 2018 Horse & Hound 73

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