Father and son James and Fred Henderson teamed up with Otto The Great to deny Henrietta Knight a fairytale return to racing between the flags at the Cazenove Capital meeting at Lockinge, near Wantage, yesterday.

Knight, who trains at nearby West Lockinge, saddled Port Golan at the Old Berkshire Hunt fixture – her first point-to-point runner since 1989, after which she embarked on a professional career, which saw her win three Cheltenham Gold Cups with Best Mate.

And it was so very nearly a dream comeback as the seven-year-old finished with a flourish under Harry Bannister to be beaten a head by Otto The Great, with Perfectly Willing a neck back in third in a thrilling mixed open.

James Henderson, who trains at Buscot Park, near Faringdon, having moved from Grantham last June, said: “It was an exciting finish. I am hoarse after that.

“It was so lovely seeing Henrietta Knight here with a really good horse. It makes it more exciting for us.”


Knight reflected: “He probably wanted a bit further. He will probably go hunter chasing now, but he has run very well.”

The Hendersons were completing a double after taking the opening members’ race with Oliver James, who made all the running to beat Nodforms Violet by six lengths.

James Henderson, the cousin of top Lambourn jumps trainer Nicky Henderson, said: “He is really our main hunter and now the hunting season has finished they let me race him.”

The Hendersons were denied a treble when Dream Garden was beaten a length by Rivazza, who gave owner-trainer-rider Kate Derrick her first winner when taking the Point-to-Point Owners & Riders Association Club Members’ race for veteran and novice riders race.

The swimming teacher, from Badminton, said: “I never thought I would win a race in a million years.”

Atomic Tangerine was sent off a long odds-on favourite to take the confined race for Robert Waley-Cohen, who trains at Edgehill, near Banbury, and his jockey son Sam.

But the five-year-old mare unseated the rider at the ninth fence, before Midnight King took the honours by two lengths from Forget Bob for owner-trainer Joanna Mann, who is based at Ufton in Warwickshire, and her jockey son, Peter Mann.

Bingo Tiep gave Charlie Deutsch a first winner since returning to the amateur ranks when taking the open maiden by a length and a half from Off The Wall for Ledbury trainer Sam Drinkwater.

The four-year-old, a half-brother to the smart mare Pomme Tiepy, is owned by Tom Lacey and his Oxfordshire-based business partner Charlie Brooks, who picked up the trophy with his daughter, Scarlett, as his wife, Rebekah, looked on.

In an afternoon of exciting finishes, Swingbridge rallied gamely under Tom Ellis to beat Carnglave Cat by three-quarters of a length in the restricted for Barbury Castle trainer Laura Thomas.