Pointing the way
Point-to-Pointing may be in the close season, but its participants are keeping busy under Rules, as proved by a four-timer on Sunday.
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Sheepclose, last seen between the flags when third in the Middleton Hunt Members race, kicked off proceedings with a two and a half length win over the French-bred Otto Quercus in Southwell's 2.10, a two mile handicap chase. Owned by Lord Daresbury and in training with Mick Easterby, the son of Beneficial was sent off at a tasty 11/1 after pulling up over 2m5f at Hexham last month.
Over at Stratford, Tzora posted the first of three wins for former Point-to-Pointers, succeeding under Rules where he had failed between the flags. The drop back in trip certainly seemed to suit this son of Sakhee, beating Smalib Monterg by one and three quarter lengths for Stratford's Summer Salver, a 2m½f handicap hurdle.
An hour and a half later, Lidjo De Rouge ran out the easy winner of the afternoon's 2m4f handicap chase under Paddy Brennan. The 13-year-old made ten appearances between the flags last season, and though a consistent finisher, was unable to get his head in front. Yesterday was a second outing under Rules since switching back to National Hunt, and followed a runner-up spot at Newton Abbot behind Red Law.
Cottenham winner Bobowen wasn't far behind, making his way to the winners' enclosure after the final race 30 minutes later following another facile performance, this time in the 2m3f Conditional Jockeys' Handicap Hurdle under Christopher Ward.
Unsurprisingly, the Bob Back six-year-old was sent off 11/10F after a hat-trick of promising runs since returning to Rules, including a 12 length victory in his first outing over fences at Market Rasen seven days earlier.
Moyode Wood and Mr Goofy also did the Point-to-Point brigade proud too, both finishing second in the 1.40 and 2.40 at Southwell respectively.