Martin Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, brought to an end his marathon quest to train a winner when Castle Road lifted the Members’ Race at the Granta Harriers Point-To-Point at Higham on Sunday.
Ward first started trying in the late 1970’s and, following a 20-year gap in order to bring up his three children, he finally came up trumps as Castle Road responded to a well-judged front-running ride from Rachael Barrow to beat Campbellhill by three lengths.
Castle Road was also a first winner as an owner for Ward’s neighbour, Jason Glenister, who works in the City for EFG Private Bank – fittingly sponsors of the Ladies’ Open Race here.
The closest finish of the day came in the second division of the Restricted Race, as Crackrattle, who ‘makes a noise like Darth Vader having an asthma attack’ according to his Rutland-based trainer, Ben Pollock, touched off Round The Bend by a head.
Another tight battle seemed likely in the Countryside Alliance Race only for Gatchou Mans,who had just drawn level with the favourite, Endeavour, to crash out at the final fence. This left the George Cooper-ridden Endeavour, who is trained at Raydon, near Hadleigh, by Cherie Cunningham, to come home six lengths clear of Rustic Revelry.
The Mens’ Open saw a second Higham success of the year for Shanavogh while the Ladies’ Open resulted in a popular victory for Sussex raider Bitofamixup. His rider, Jenny Gordon, was not only completing a weekend double, but was also gaining compensation for the fine that the Higham stewards had hit her with for riding ‘an ill-judged race’ on the same horse four weeks earlier.
The weekend’s 15-race bonanza drew to a close with Philip York, from Cobham in Surrey, completing a brace of via the victory of Charlie’s Angel in Maiden. York, who also won a division of the Restricted on Star Glow, had a great day as he also notched two second places and yet Charlie’s Angel, who cost £1,155, was the most expensive of the four horses involved!
Race One (Members Race):
1 G Glenister and M Ward’s Castle Road (Granta Harriers) (Miss R Barrow),
2 H Hill’s Campbellhill (Granta Harriers) (A Williams),
3 P Andrew’s Nonplussed (Granta Harriers) (owner).
Also: Lone Star (4), Henry’s Folly (5), Fair Storm (f). Three lengths, distance. 6m 37s. W £3.10. DF £27. SP 5-4 fav.
Race Two (Men’s Open Race):
1 R Hunnisett’s Shanavogh (Pytchley) (owner),
2 Miss E Delaney’s Jackie Jarvis (SC and RMAS Drag) (P York),
3 A Chinery’s Royal Action (East Essex) (P Chinery).
Also: Avondale Illusion (4), Wrekengale (5), Borotown Lord (pu), Lord Of The Chase (pu), Castle Arrow (pu), General Assembly (ref). Ten lengths, 20 lengths. 6m 17s. W £1.80. DF £2. SP 4-6 fav.
1 R York’s Star Glow (SC and RMAS Drag) (P York),
2 M Robert’s Itsmyturnnow (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (C Gordon),
3 Mr and Mrs D Lay’s Run Monty (Essex and Suffolk) (T Lane).
Also: Paddy’s Dream (4), Chasing The Wind (5), Quick Bowler (pu), Bright Torind (f), Uncle Buck (pu), Surprisedly Gifted (pu), Little Petoski (pu). Six lengths, two lengths. 6m 26s. W £2.30. DF £2. SP 7-4 fav.
Race Four (Restricted Race – Division Two):
1 Mr and Mrs J Polito, S Russell and L Stillwell’s Crackrattle (Fernie) (N Pearce),
2 F Allan and P Phazey’s Round The Bend (Fitzwilliam) (Miss L Allan),
3 Mrs C Andrews’ Naughty Dandy (Ashford Vale) (Mrs C Andrews).
Also: Namron (4), Henry Henbit (5), Ishma (pu), Zafan (pu), Sence Of Duty (pu), Pharangel (pu), Two Of Diamonds (ur). Head, two lengths. 6m 35s. W £2.70. DF £5. SP 5-2 (Henry Henbit 6-4 fav).
Race Five (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 M Roberts’ Bitofamixup (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Miss J Gordon),
2 J M Turner’s Celtic Duke (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
3 Mrs J Maylam and A Maylam’s Man Of Steele (East Kent) (Miss O Maylam).
Also: Silk Vestments (ur). Fifteen lengths, distance. 6m 32s. W £2.30. DF £1.30. SP 11-8 (Celtic Duke 4-6 fav).
Race Six (Countryside Alliance Members Race):
1 D Clarke’s Endeavour (Essex and Suffolk) (G Cooper),
2 R York’s Rustic Revelry (Surrey Union) (P York),
3 The Random Optimists’ Sean’s Minstrel (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (P Hall).
Also: Gatchou Mans (fell, remounted, finished 4th), Happy Medium (pu), Brassis Hill (pu), Top Note (pu), Musical Hit (pu), Treasure Dome (pu), Dock Master (pu), Red Channel (pu). Six lengths, distance. 6m 33s. W £1.50. DF £2.70. SP evens fav.
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race):
1 C Cheesman’s Charlie’s Angel (SC and RMAS Drag),
2 Mr and Mrs Townsend Etc’s Game On (Fernie) (N Pearce),
3 S Smith and H Winton’s Return The Call (Pytchley) (S Morris).
Also: Rommel (f), Asthefellowsaid (pu), Mistrio (f), Manhattan Storm (pu), Captive (f), Victory Salute (pu), Secrete Contract (bd), Archbishop (f). One length, one length. 6m 41s. W £18.50. SP 16-1 (Asthefellowsaid 7-4 fav).