SUSQUEHANNA RIVER EDGES HOME FOR BULLARD
A highly popular second career victory for young jockey Patrick Bullard capped an afternoon of tight finishes at the Thurlow Point-To-Point at Horseheath, near Haverhill, on Saturday (February 25th).
21-year-old Bullard, from Higham, near Bury St Edmunds, was given a rousing reception after he guided Susquehanna River to a three-quarters of a length success over Roberto Pegasus in the Novice Riders Race.
The complexion of this contest changed when the long-time leader, Bincombe, unseated his pilot, Tim Gredley, just as he had been overtaken by Susquehanna River at the second last.
This left Bullard with a healthy lead and, although Roberto Pegasus did his best to whittle away at that advantage on the run-in, a brilliant jump at the final obstacle effectively sealed the deal for Susquehanna River, who is trained at Badlingham, near Newmarket, by Nick Wright.
Another Newmarket handler, Lauren Braithwaite, was also on the mark, her decision to employ sheepskin cheekpieces on Pettistree paying off handsomely as he landed the closing Maiden Race.
This was almost a carbon copy of the Novice Riders event as Pettistree produced a fabulous jump at the last to seemingly put the race to bed only for Age Of Heroes, trained near Thetford by David Kemp, to rattle home and get to within a head of the winner.
It was a well-deserved success for the son of Kayf Tara, as he had finished second on each of his three previous outings, and was a particularly satisfying moment for his owners, Clare and Adam Signy, from Pettistree, near Woodbridge, as it was the first time they had won a Point-To-Point with a home-bred horse.
Jack Andrews, Petistree’s 18-year-old rider, had earlier initiated a double and taken his own tally for the season to nine when Neumond lifted the Club Members Race.
Jumping superbly when put under serious pressure by the runner-up, Counting Stars, over the final three fences, the Northamptonshire-trained Neumond drew clear up the run-in to extend his unbeaten record between the flags to three.
Another Northants triumph came in the Mens Open Race as Thetalkinghorse (pictured above left) got back to his best following a disappointing seasonal debut to hold off Legal Legend by three-quarters of a length. The Kemp-trained Curraigflemens ran a solid race to finish a close third, a further half a length adrift.
Long-distance visitors took the other two races on the card. Oh Toodles justified a five and a half hour round trip from Shropshire to land the Ladies Open by three-quarters of a length from Celtic Silver.
And Urban Storm journeyed even longer, from Wiltshire, to take the Restricted Race by a hard-fought half-length from Brianogue.
PONY RACING SPONSORSHIP
RACETECH REAFFIRMS ITS SUPORT FOR POINT-TO-POINT PONY RACING ALONG WITH THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF NEW SPONSORS FOR THE 2016 SEASON
- RaceTech supports pony racing for a fourth year
- Treehouse Sporting Colours to sponsor the Novice Rider Race Series, 14 qualifying races culminating with two Championship Finals
- Dunraven Stud proud sponsors of the 2016 Point-to-Point Pony Racing Planner
Broadcast media services company RaceTech will again be supporting the grass roots of pony racing by sponsoring the Championship Rider Titles and Pony Racing Graduate awards during the 2016 point-to-point pony racing season. The season kicks off at the Cambridgeshire and Enfield Chase point-to-point at Horseheath in the East Anglian Area, on Sunday 7 February and runs through until the last fixture of the season on Saturday 12 June, the Torrington Farmers at Umberleigh in the Devon & Cornwall Area. All in all, there are seventy-nine point-to-point pony racing fixtures due to be staged. Points will be awarded for all wins and placings and winners will be presented with prizes and a training bursary at Cheltenham Racecourse in October.
In addition to the Championship titles and Graduate awards, new for 2016, RaceTech will also be sponsoring gallop sessions for young riders coming through the Pony Racing Authority’s youth training scheme during 2016.
Additional sponsorship has been confirmed in the form of Treehouse Sporting Colours which, for 2016, will be the title sponsor of the Novice Riders Race Series. Fourteen qualifying races will be held throughout the country where those finishing in the first four will qualify for the finals, to be staged by kind permission of the Meynell & South Staffordshire point-to-point at Garthorpe on 4 June.
The 2016 Point-to-Point Pony Racing Planner, in its fourth edition, has generously been sponsored by Bridgend-based Dunraven Stud. The Planner is a must-have publication for everyone wishing to take part in point-to-point pony races this season and is issued to all PRA members or available from Mrs Lucy Tucker.
Pony racing is designed to encourage children aged nine to sixteen into racing competitively, with races held across two height categories (138cms & under and 148cms & under). All point-to-point pony racing fixtures are kindly hosted by the organising committees of those Hunts / Clubs who stage point-to-point racing and run in conjunction with the sport’s governing body, the Pony Racing Authority (PRA). Since the sport became regulated in 2004, more than 150 riders have graduated onto horses both between the flags and under Rules, with many more also working within the horseracing industry.
Catherine Pullan of RaceTech said: "We’re delighted to continue our close association with pony racing for a fourth year, where young children from a variety of backgrounds have the chance to experience the thrill of riding in a race. It’s great to see teenagers coming through and making their mark in the professional ranks, and going into other areas in the racing industry too. We wish all those taking part this season the very best of luck.”
Lucy Tucker, a Director of the PRA and who oversees point-to-point pony racing, said: “The generous sponsorship provided by RaceTech, Treehouse Sporting Colours and the Brace family from Dunraven Stud means we are able to put on a superb programme of point-to-point pony racing. The PRA is widening its reach to new riders – with training programmes designed for children who have little or no experience of ponies, and are therefore creating more opportunities for them to be able to get involved and ultimately have a go.”