The long haul from Gloucestershire paid off for trainer Alan Philips and rider Ally Stirling when Kilbeggan Blade ran out the surprise winner of the Shepherd Neame Kent Grand National at the handsome odds of 20/1 last Sunday. Normally held at Detling, the 26th running of this feature race took place at Charing and was the highlight of the first point-to-point in the South East season. Philip Hall emerged as top rider and trainer of the day when Adept Approach and No Pain No Gain won the last two races, while Frankie Hickman won the Ladies Open on Mount Sandel to take the lead in the lady riders' championship.
A handsome crowd enjoyed six exciting races on perfect jumping ground. The fastest time of the day went to Flowersoftherarest in the opening novice race. Winning jockey Paddy Smith's mount in the next race, the aptly named Nothing's Easy, fell at the last, giving his young rider a broken collar bone. The race was won by Commander Kev and Tom Cheesman.
The next point-to-point in the area is the Southdown& Eridge meeting at Godstone on February 12th. First (pony) race is at 10.30am.