Alfie Bradstock celebrated his first success as a trainer with runaway winner Chouromanesco at the Old Berks Hunt meeting at Lockinge, near Wantage, yesterday.
The 17-year-old son of Letcombe Bassett National Hunt handler Mark Bradstock was thrilled after the gelding spreadeagled his rivals in the open maiden.
Patrick Harty, grandson of Eddie Harty, who won the 1969 Grand National on Highland Wedding, made all the running on the nine-year-old to storm home by 30 lengths from Stonesfield Coney for his first winner.
“It’s brilliant – and he got best turned out as well,” said Alfie, who rides for Great Britain showjumper Tina Fletcher, who is based at Woolstone, near Faringdon.
Harty, 20, who works for Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson, came in for the ride with Alfie’s official clearance from the Jockey Club to ride again after suffering a bang not due to come through until today.
And he said: “It means a lot. I have tried very hard to get a winner, and to get a spare ride like this is a big thanks to Mr and Mrs Bradstock.”
Paul Rich, who trains under a full licence at Hatford, near Stanford in the Vale, saw his colours carried to victory by Rio Alto in the mixed open in front of an crowd which was well down on the usual huge turn out.
Ben Poste took up the running approaching the second last, and his mount shot clear to slam Ben Tally Ho by 15 lengths.
The eight-year-old mare is trained by Adam Randell, and Rich said: “This is a bit of fun with it being my horse rather than the other way round.”
Himalayan Express, trained by Celia Plunkett at Wigginton, near Chipping Norton, was another clear-cut winner in the restricted.
Hook Norton-based jockey James Martin, 16, made all the running on the eight-year-old to come home 15 lengths clear of Caged Tiger.
And Plunkett said: “James gave him a really good young man’s ride. He took him off in front and trusted him.”
Or Bleu landed his second race for owner-trainer-rider Heather Kemp, who is based at Adstone, near Towcester, since she bought him at Cheltenham Sales out of Philip Hobbs’s yard with victory in the confined.
The ten-year-old was tiring on the run-in, but still had enough in hand to hold off Twocute.
Crank Hill made Blandford trainer Mary Tory’s first trip to the course worthwhile with victory in the Point-to-Point Owners And Riders’ Association Club Members’ race for veteran and novice riders.
Tim Hampton had to work hard on the ten-year-old, before he swept through to score by 15 lengths.
And Owston Ferry, trained by Neil Thomas at Denchworth and ridden by Zac Baker, took the members’ race for a second successive year – but this time on a walkover.
Members: 1 OWSTON FERRY (Z Baker) walked over. Trainer: N Thomas. 1 ran.
Confined: 1 OR BLEU (H Kemp) 4-6 fav, 2 Twocute 6-4, 3 Even Homer Nods 5-2. Trainer: H Kemp. Dist: 3l, 4l. 4 ran.
Mixed open: 1 RIO ALTO (B Poste) 6-4, 2 Ben Tally Ho 4-6 fav, 3 Castlemainevillage 4-1. Trainer: A Randell. Dist: 15l, 12l. 4 ran.
PPORA Club Members (Veteran & Novice Riders): 1 CRANK HILL (T Hampton) 1-2 fav, 2 Dasher Reilly 8-1, 3 Paserella 6-1. Trainer: M Tory. Dist: 15l, 4l. 5 ran.
Restricted: 1 HIMALAYAN EXPRESS (J Martin) 2-1, 2 Caged Tiger 4-6 fav, 3 Davids City 7-2. Trainer: C Plunkett. Dist: 15l, dist. 5 ran.
Open maiden: 1 CHOUROMANESCO (P Harty) 4-1, 2 Stonesfield Coney 7-1, 3 Winson 3-1. Trainer: A Bradstock. Dist: 30l, 10l. 7 ran.