The Belvoir Point-to-Point races took place at Garthorpe on Sunday where a fair crowd watched some competitive racing in fine early spring weather.
On good ground, highlights of the meeting included a double for leading lady jockey Gina Andrews, taking her tally of wins for the season to 28.
The opening race, confined to Belvoir and South Notts-qualified horses saw a close finish as She’s Real got the better of Distime by a quarter-of-a-length.
Owned by John Chatfield-Roberts and ridden by his son Tom, the 11-year-old mare earned a seventh course win and a return to form.
* George Chatterton, who finished runner-up on Distime, had to settle for second place again in the PPORA Club Members’ race for Novice riders.
This resulted in an even closer winning margin, with just a head separating the winner Susquehanna River and Harry Arkwright from Minella Friend in an exciting finish.
The riders of the first three past the post scored points for the Harley Racing Novices Riders’ Championship and the first four are eligible to run in the £1,000 PPORA Novice Riders Final at Edgcote, on Sunday, May 19.
* Nine of the 11 entries for the Intermediate race went to post and it was Christina Blockley’s progressive six-year-old Tully’s Touch which ran out a five-length winner.
Ridden by Gina Andrews, Tully’s Touch came to the last fence three lengths ahead of Hadmeathello and Dale Peters, drawing clear as he approached the line.
* Similar tactics were employed by Andrews in the later Restricted race.
She had General Arrow in a clear lead at the final obstacle, but this time Dale Peters and Law of Gold were closing the gap in the final furlong.
“He jumped superbly, but he doesn’t do anything once he hits the front.” Andrews said.
General Arrow is owned by the Odd Sock Partnership, headed by John Docker and trained by Gina’s husband Tom Ellis who was not at Garthorpe as he was attending Harry Skelton’s stag party in France.
* Peters did taste victory in the feature race of the day, the Mixed Open, thanks to an impressive performance by Caryto Des Brosses who beat the enigmatic Golden Tobouggan and Jack Andrews by three lengths, and will most probably be next seen in a Hunter Chase.
Golden Tobouggan was mounted on the track and made amends for some unruly behaviour which prevented his participation in a Hunter Chase at Stratford recently, while Newsworthy and George Henderson were third.
The race was a qualifier for the Timico Mixed Open Final Hunter Chase at Cheltenham and the Skinner’s Ladies Open Final Hunter Chase at Stratford, both in May.
* The day’s biggest field lined up in the Open Maiden race, with 14 runners facing the starter.
Five-year-old The Triple Pillar scored at the fourth time of asking in the hands of Tom McClorey, having been second to General Arrow in a competitive Maiden at the Cottesmore meeting.
The Gerald Bailey-trained five-year-old beat Sabbatical.
* The four-year-old Staithes made a winning debut for Tom and Sophie Lacey in the concluding two-and-a-half-mile Open Maiden race for four, five, six and seven-year-olds, beating Signed And Sealed by four lengths.
* The next action at Garthorpe will be the Quorn meeting on Sunday, April 28.