Southdown & Eridge Hunt Point-to-Point
Report by Nicola and Stephanie Dean
Race 1: The Southdown & Eridge “Best Mates” Open Maiden Race.
9 runners went to post in the first division of the maiden race. Star Gift (Philip Hall) who had finished 2nd at Detling in January was sent off the odds on favourite at 1/2. High Toby (Phil York) was next in the market at 3/1 followed by Caged Tiger (Heather Kemp) at 9/2. Kanga Gold (Miss A Panman) drifted out to 8/1 and the others were all 12/1 or bigger.
The nine runners all set of at a reasonable pace with Prince Rodney (Will Hickman) taking the early lead whilst Kanga Gold was the back marker. High Toby jumped the first open ditch (fence 3) well to move up to the front of the field. Freddy’s Dream (H Kinchin) made a mistake at fence five and lost some ground on his rivals. At the end of the first circuit High Toby was the leader with Prince Rodney and Caged Tiger just behind whilst Star Gift was moved through the field by Philip Hall to sit just behind the leading group. By fence ten, Walter Gee (Miss R Tutton) was starting to get tailed off and was pulled up at fence eleven by which time Kanga Gold was starting to loose touch with the other seven runners. High Toby had a 6 length advantage at the end of the second circuit with Star Gift in second place ahead of Prince Rodney and Caged Tiger and the other remaining runners. Caged Tiger made a mistake at fence fifteen where High Toby continued to lead but Star Gift was closing the gap quickly. At fence sixteen, High Toby had a narrow advantage over Star Gift and this pair had opened up a large lead over their rivals. Turning into the home straight Star Gift challenged High Toby, but High Toby had enough left in reserve to hold off the challenge despite hitting the final fence. Freddy’s Dream was pulled up at the final fence.
1st High Toby Phil York 3/1
2nd Star Gift Philip Hall 1/2 (Favourite)
3rd Prince Rodney Will Hickman 16/1
4th Caged Tiger Heather Kemp 9/2
Time 6 mins 22 secs Distances 2 lengths and a distance
The Southdown & Eridge “Best Mates” Open Maiden Race.
8 runners contested the second division of the maiden race which saw The Last Optimist (Claire Allen) sent off the 5/4 favourite with Jack Knappy (Alyce Fisher) at 4/1, Midleton Madness (Rilly Goschen) and Cherokee Indian (O Garner) at 5/1, Sherman Bay ( ) at 6/1 and the other four runners at 12/1 or 14/1.
After an initial false start, Golding Hop (Chris Thomson) was the early leader whilst Smolidor (H Kinchin) was lucky to survive a first fence blunder. Golding Hop set off at a reasonably fast pace and by the second fence 20 lengths separated Golding Hop from the back marker. Midleton Madness hit the second fence and was them slow over the third where Mad Genius (B Manning) made a mistake. The field had bunched up again by fence four where Cherokee Indian unseated. Sherman Bay was the next casualty unseating at fence five. Golding Hop continued to lead at the end of the first circuit whilst Midleton Madness continued to make mistakes or jump slowly, loosing ground at each fence. Fence ten was bypassed with Golding Hop continuing to lead followed by Smolidor, The Last Optimist, Midleton Madness, Jack Knappy and Mad Genius. By fence thirteen Mad Genius was struggling to stay with the others. Smolidor hit fence fourteen loosing ground on Golding Hop and The Last Optimist who had moved to join Golding Hop at the front of the field. At the final open ditch (fence fifteen) The Last Optimist jumped to the front, the field bypassed fence sixteen where Mad Genius and Jack Knappy were both pulled up. Golding Hop started to loose momentum and dropped back leaving The Last Optimist and Smolidor at the front. Turning into the home straight, The Last Optimist started to pull away from Smolidor who started to look tired. Golding Hop blundered at fence seventeen allowing Midleton Madness to gain third place.
1st The Last Optimist Claire Allen 5/4 (Favourite)
2nd Smolidor H Kinchin 12/1
3rd Midleton Madness A Goschen 5/1
4th Golding Hop Chris Thomson 14/1
Time 6 mins 37 secs Distances 12 lengths and 6 lengths
Race 2: The Mitchell & Cooper South East Hunts Club Members Conditions Race.
A field of 10 went to post in the member’s conditions race where Letterman (Nick Pearce) was sent off the 4/6 favourite with Good Vintage (Georgina Andrews) next in the market at 4/1. The other eight runners all drifted in the market with Long Courrier (T Underwood) next at 7/1 and Little Saltee (Anna Sansom) at 8/1. The others were all 16/1.
Good Vintage took the early lead whilst Long Courrier was slow away from the start. It’s Showtime took a wide route around the bend after fence five to gain the advantage and lead at fence six, with Beggars Brook (David Evatt) in second place ahead of the other eight runners who were tightly grouped together. It’s Showtime was pulled up at fence seven leaving Beggars Brook at the front. Beggars Brook got in close to fence ten but managed to safely negotiate the fence, but lost some momentum and had dropped back through the field by the end of the second circuit where Exodus led from Letterman, Little Saltee and Good Vintage. Good Vintage started to loose places at fence fourteen whilst Long Courrier was tailed off and was a fence behind the others. Long Courrier was pulled up at fence fifteen where Rushing Again (Phil York) made a mistake. With three fences to jump Exodus and Letterman started to pull away from their rivals, with Exodus just holding the advantage, but at the penultimate fence Letterman was urged on and Exodus was unable to find any more leaving Letterman to pull away on the approach to the final fence where he put in a great jump to justify his favouritism. Exodus had enough of an advantage to take second place with Good Vintage holding off Little Bit of Hush (J Merry) for third.
1st Letterman Nick Pearce 4/6 (Favourite)
2nd Exodus Peter Bull 16/1
3rd Good Vintage Georgina Andrews 4/1
4th Little Bit Of Hush J Merry 16/1
Time 6 mins 24 secs Distances 6 lengths and 6 lengths
Race 3: The Southdown & Eridge “Best Mates” Ladies Open Race
Eleven runners were declared for the Ladies Open race including Carryonharry (Cynthia Haydon) making his seasonal debut and was unsurprisingly the favourite at 2/1 with Blue Business (Angela Rucker), Duchamp (E McMahon) and Scare Lotte (Clare Hobson) all at 4/1. Wain Mountain (Claire Allen) was next in the market at 8/1 and the others were priced at 10/1 or 20/1.
Blue Business led over the first fence from Wain Mountain and Scare Lotte, but the field were grouped together and Carryonharry swiftly moved up to join Blue Business at the front before fence two. The field all jumped the first open ditch (fence three) well, and the lead had changed by fence four where The Bandit (Rilly Goschen) had moved to the front. Carryonharry had moved back to the front by the end of the first circuit to lead by ½ a length with Fantastic Champion (J Lodge) also making places and Glenblower Woods (Hannah Grissell) just the back marker. Carryonharry continued to lead throughout the second circuit and had a length advantage as the field set out on their final circuit. New Entic (C Cowe) was pulled up at fence fourteen where Attorney General (Anna Sansom) was untidy. At fence fifteen Carryonharry continued to lead whilst Scare Lotte was starting to struggle and the Bandit was pulled up. Turning to the penultimate fence, Glenblower Woods and Blue Business were challenging Carryonharry, but a blunder saw Glenblower Woods unseat Hannah Grissell. Wain Mountain also unseated at the penultimate fence. Blue Business and Carryonharry were together at the last with Duchamp and Scare Lotte just behind them. Scare Lotte was a faller at the last whilst Carryonharry and Blue Business battled neck a neck on the run in, with Blue Business just managing to get his head in front before the line to win by ½ length. Duchamp took third with fantastic Champion the only other finisher in fourth.
1st Blue Business Angela Rucker 4/1
2nd Carryonharry Cynthia Haydon 2/1 (Favourite)
3rd Duchamp E McMahon 4/1
4th Fantastic Champion J Lodge 20/1
Time 6 mins 17 secs Distances ½ length and 1 ½ lengths
Race 4: The Highfields Farm Men’s Open Race
The men’s open saw 6 runners going to post. Charing winner Bee An Bee (Stuart Robinson) was sent off the 1/4 favourite with Armoury House (T Ellis) at 7/2, Valley Henry (Phil York) 5/1, Noakarad De Verzee (David Maxwell) 6/1 and Big Al (Peter Bull) and Sharlom (J Ackhurst) at 12/1. At the drop of the starter’s flag, Bee An Bee was unsurprisingly taken to the front to lead over the first fence with Noakarad De Verzee in close attendance. Bee An Bee set a fast pace from the start and by the end of the first circuit had a 20 length advantage over the back marker Sharlom, who was pulled up soon after. Noakarad De Verzee continued to press Bee An Bee for the lead and just had the advantage over fence eight, but Bee An Bee took the inside line to fence nine to regain the advantage. Big Al made a mistake at the second open ditch (fence nine) loosing places. By fence twelve the field had bunched up again and Bee An Bee had a good look at the horsebox area at the start of the third circuit but was quickly pulled back on track by Stuart Robinson. Big Al was pulled up at fence fourteen, whilst Bee An Bee continued to lead Noakarad De Verzee and Valley Henry started to make ground up on the leading pair. Valley Henry had joined the pair by fence sixteen, but put in a slow jump allowing Bee An Bee to gain an advantage again, whilst Noakarad De Verzee also started to struggle with the pace being set. Bee An Bee continued to pull away from his rivals over the final three fences to win by a distance in the day’s faster time. Valley Henry held onto second from Noakarad De Verzee with Armoury House the only other finisher.
1st Bee An Bee Stuart Robinson 1/4 (Favourite)
2nd Valley Henry Phil York 5/1
3rd Noakarad De Verzee David Maxwell 6/1
4th Armoury House T Ellis 7/2
Time 6 mins 15 secs Distances a distance and 5 lengths