Willie Twiston-Davies made a dream start to his career between the flags with a double on his first two rides at the Heythrop Hunt meeting at Dunthrop, near Chipping Norton.

The 16-year-old son of dual Grand National and Gold Cup-winning trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies and younger brother of Sam opened his account on Battlecry in the members’ race, before landing the men’s open for the Lord Ashton of Hyde’s Cup aboard Naunton Brook.

Willie made all the running on 1-4 favourite Battlecry to beat Menelaus by an easy 15 lengths.

The teenager was then seen to even better effect on Naunton Brook, who needed to be rousted along going out on to the final circuit of the four-mile marathon, before galloping on powerfully to land one of the sport’s four ‘classics’ by six lengths from Up There with Mount Benger a neck back in third.

Formerly trained under National Hunt Rules by Willie’s father, Naunton Brook and Battlecry are now handled by his mother, Cathy, at Naunton.

The meeting attracted an estimated 3,000 crowd, which included Prime Minster David Cameron and his family.

And there was a popular local victory for Wigginton trainer Celia Plunkett, who struck with Himalayan Express in the maiden conditions race.

Will Telfer produced his mount on the run-in to beat Gioiello by a length.

Sarah-Jayne Davies landed a training double and also rode Upton Springs, who sprang a 25-1 shock in the ladies’ open, beating Chiaro by eight lengths.

The Herefordshire handler then gave Jeremy Mahot the leg up on Miss Lightning, who ran out an easy 12 lengths winner of the restricted.

Coppingers Court gave rider Jake Hodson a first pointing winner in a finish of necks in the Point-to-Point Owners & Riders’ Association Club members race for novice riders.


Open maiden 6yo plus (Div 1): 1 RHYTHM SEEKER (O Murphy) 5-4 fav, 2 Mister Cee Jay 9-2, 3 La Grande Soeur 6-1. Trainer: A Bealby. Dist: 6l, 8l. 12 ran.

Open maiden 6yo plus (Div 2): 1 ROCALIXJIDE (S Allwood) 8-1, 2 Tywysog 7-1, 3 Holy Balloney 4-1. Trainer: S Allwood. Dist: 4l, 3l. 12 ran.

Maiden conditions 4-7yo: 1 HIMALAYAN EXPRESS (W Telfer) 7-2, 2 Gioiello 3-1, 3 I’llhavealook 2-1 fav. Trainer: C Plunkett. Dist: 1l, 6l. 6 ran.

Members: 1 BATTLECRY (W Twist-on-Davies) 1-4 fav, 2 Menelaus 3-1, 3 Apple Days 10-1. Trainer: C Twiston-Davies. Dist: 15l, dist. 4 ran.

Ladies’ open: 1 UPTON SPRINGS (S-J Davies) 25-1, 2 Chiaro 7-4 fav, 3 Virginia Preuil 25-1. Trainer: S-J Davies. Dist: 8l, 4l. 11 ran.

Men’s open (Lord Ashton of Hyde’s Cup): 1 NAUNTON BROOK (W Twiston-Davies) 4-1, 2 Up There 7-4 fav, 3 Mount Benger 10-1. Trainer: C Twiston-Davies. Dist: 6l, nk. 11 ran.

PPORA Club Members (novice riders): 1 COPPINGERS COURT (J Hodson) 6-1, 2 Shannon Springs 9-4, 3 Noadibou 16-1. Trainer: S Rea. Dist: Nk, nk. 14 ran.

Restricted: 1 MISS LIGHTNING (J Mahot) 4-1, Sky Hole 7-4 fav, 3 My Go Now 5-1. Trainer: S-J Davies. Dist: 12l, 5l. 12 ran.