Sun proves bright spark
The Point-to-Point Racing Company reviews last weekend's action from around the country.
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The Devon and Cornwall area season began much as the last had finished. Wet. Locals who had eagerly awaited then lamented the loss of Umberleigh's season finale must have despaired last week as yet more relentless rain struck the country, and despite the best efforts of all concerned, the Black Forest Club were forced to postpone.
On a brighter note, the meeting has already been rescheduled for this coming Sunday, filling the gap left by an even earlier abandonment after the South Midlands Area Club also had to admit defeat against the elements, their popular Whitfield track unlikely to recover in time.
Point-to-Pointing 2012/13 did manage to get underway at Cottenham however, as the Cambridge University United Hunts Club welcomed 52 runners on a bright and breezy afternoon.
Corredor Sun, first winner of the season when sent off at an enormous 40-1 for the PPORA Club Members race, came as much of a surprise to his handler Richard Bevis than anyone else. Bevis, also known as 'Sparky', had been asked by gelding's owner Steve Catton to put £50 each way on their runner; in an effort to spare Catton some money however the Naunton-based trainer parted with only £20 instead, helping the bookies save a few pounds, if not the owner.
It was a good day for Irish-breds, with half of the six race card claimed by those bearing the IRE suffix.
Former Irish pointer Lough Inch made a winning British debut in the 4&5yo 2m4f Maiden ahead of Moscow Menace and Raynell, helping Sam Davies-Thomas also enjoy a successful seasonal return.
Just Dave warranted his evens favouritism when 30 lengths clear of the field under Tom Weston to land the 3m Maiden, with the frame filled by fellow Irish-breds Banksandditches and Did You Ever. It was the fourth time of asking for William and Angela Rucker's young charge, who was twice runner-up last season before unseating last time out, a fate suffered by Alex Edwards on Saturday when parting ways with Chief Heckler at the last when upsides the eventual winner.
Hall Kelly, whose career also began in his native Ireland, added another win for the Rucker extended family when ridden to victory by Angela's niece Abigail in the Restricted, taking the lead from a weakening We Never Give Up, who clung on to second by a head from Tamara King.
Angela herself made a triumphant return following a season-ending fall at Brafield back in March, after which the broken shoulder sustained required two operations. Despite thoughts of retirement, the thrill of race-riding proved too much to give up, and on board her open specialist Sagalyrique, she promptly returned to winning ways in the first AGA-sponsored Ladies Open of the season.
Filling second place was newcomer Jess Quinlan, daughter of trainer Noel, who made a smart debut on board former Rules runner Park Lane. The six-year-old, now trained by Jess's mother Jo, was also making a first start between the flags.
With the loss of Black Forest Lodge, the decision of where to run those double-entered was made significantly easier. One such horse, Ocean Du Moulin, made the trip from his Oxfordshire base a winning one when easily leading home the four-runner Mens Open, followed home by Monogram. Victor Thompson's charge had made the long journey south from Northumberland, but often in need of a run, will likely atone for his 25 length second.
As rain continues to cause havoc with racing fixtures across the country, Pointing fans can but hope Black Forest Lodge survives the continuing deluge this week to ensure action between the flags on Sunday.