Kingscliff thrilled racegoers with a breathtaking performance at the Farmers Bloodhounds meeting at Dunthrop, near Chipping Norton.

Arguably the best horse to have run at the Oxfordshire course, the former top class chaser spreadeagled his rivals in Sunday’s mixed open with a spectacular front-running display under Ian Chanin.

Sent off a very generous 4-1 shot with Cottage River made favourite, Kingscliff came home a distance clear of Irilut, who has won a stack of races in his time for Robert Waley-Cohen’s Edge Hill stables, near Banbury.

Applause rang out from the good-sized crowd as the 11-year-old, who won the 2003 Christie’s Foxhunters Chase and the 2005 Betfair Chase, passed the post.

Owner Arnie Sendell has no specific plans for his charge – who had lost his way under National Hunt Rules –- but he was thrilled to see him back in the winner’s enclosure.

“He is the type of horse who you never know if he has got his racing head on, but he still has the ability to do it,” he said.

Kingscliff was trained under Rules by Robert Alner, but now he has joined Marie McGuinness’s Bridgwater yard after connections felt he would benefit from a change of scenery.

And she admitted: “It’s a relief. Today was about whether he was going on or retiring.”

McGuinness completed a quickfire double when Shady Hollow – a maiden winner on this card last year – took the following restricted by ten lengths from Pretty Lady Rose in the hands of Ryan Bliss.

The two divisions of the open maiden were divided, producing a marathon nine-race card.

Part one of the first division provided a family success for owner-trainer Chris King and his jockey-daughter, Rachel, from Waterperry, near Thame, with Manta Point, who was making a winning debut.

Rachel, 18, who was recording her second winner, having got off the mark aboard Lady De Paris at Tweseldown last season, made much of the running on the five-year-old mare to beat Astormydayiscoming by ten lengths.

A former Wheatley Park School pupil, Rachel, who now works for top National Hunt trainer Alan King for whom she rides out 2006 Welsh National winner Halcon Genelardais, said: “It was unexpected really. She has been working nicely at home, but we didn’t really know how good she was.”

Top Benefit took part two of the first division by a distance to initiate a double for Julie Houldey, who trains at North Nibley, near Dursley in Gloucestershire, and jockey David Mansell.

They completed their brace of winners with We’re Confused, who held off the renewed challenge of Absolutely Barking by a length and a half to take the intermediate.

Turthen proved a poignant winner of the Point-to-Point Owners’ & Riders Association Club members for owner-trainer Charlie Fox, from Askers Wells, near Bridport, after his new recruit’s galloping companion, Cobreces, collapsed and died after finshing third at Wadebridge the previous day.

“It is a bit sad really because they worked together the whole time,” said Fox after watching the ex-Paul Nicholls-trained seven-year-old slam Grenfell by 15 lengths under Charlotte Tizzard.

Sudden Arrival, from Annabel Hamilton’s nearby Wigginton yard, was denied a third course win when ending up on the wrong end of a duel with Haggle Twins, who was given a good ride by Josephine Banks for Stow-on-the-Wold trainer Fergal O’Brien in the confined.

Part one of the second division of the open maiden went to Glen Tulloch and his owner-trainer-rider Nolan Byrne, while part two saw Definite Approach rally gamely under Jeremy Mahot to cut down Port Talbot on the run-in and claim the spoils by three-quarters of a length.


Open Maiden (Div 1, Part 1): 1 MANTA POINT (R King) 10-1, 2 Astormydayiscoming 4-1, 3 Lushes Run 5-1. Trainer: C King. Dist: 10l, 10l. 10 ran.

Open Maiden (Div 1, Part 2): 1 TOP BENEFIT (D Mansell) 2-1 fav, 2 Touchdown Kid 10-1, 3 Drom 3-1. Trainer: J Houldey. Dist: dist, 5l. 10 ran.

Open Maiden (Div 2, Part 1): 1 GLEN TULLOCH (N Byrne) 3-1 jt fav, 2 Cracking Cliche 11-2, 3 Rash Oak 5-1. Trainer: N Byrne. Dist: 6l, dist. 10 ran.

Open Maiden (Div 2, Part 2): 1 DEFINITE APPROACH (J Mahot) 4-1, 2 Port Talbot 11-4 fav, 3 Good Gordon 7-2. Trainer: J Paddock. Dist: 3/4l, 4l. 9 ran.

PPORA Club Members: 1 TURTHEN (C Tizzard) 5-4 fav, 2 Grenfell 4-1, 3 Fox John 20-1. Trainer: C Fox. Dist: 15l, 6l. 11 ran.

Mixed open: 1 KINGSCLIFF (I Chanin) 4-1, 2 Irilut 13-2, 3 Heavy Weather 25-1. Trainer: M McGuinness. Dist: dist, 3l. 12 ran.

Restricted: 1 SHADY HOLLOW (R Bliss) 2-1 fav, 2 Pretty Lady Rose 6-1, 3 One For The Lads 10-1. Trainer: M McGuinness. Dist: 10l, 3l. 19 ran.

Intermediate: 1 WE’RE CONFUSED (D Mansell) 4-6 fav, 2 Absolutely Barking 4-1, 3 Dracaena 10-1. Trainer: J Houldey. Dist: 11/2l, 8l. 7 ran.

Confined: 1 HAGGLE TWINS (J Banks) 2-1, 2 Sudden Arrival 8-13 fav, 3 Pardini 10-1. Trainer: F O’Brien. Dist: 1l, dist. 6 ran.