Tedworth Point-to-Point - but first tomorrow's jockeys take their turn
The prologue to the Tedworth Point-to-Point at Barbury Racecourse (April 8) took the form of two pretty fast and furious pony races. These were sponsored by the Marlborough company Keyflow Feeds.
Why, I asked Keyflow founder Cam Price, choose to sponsor pony races? "They're the breeding ground of champions - it's the grass roots of racing - where it all begins."
He makes a very good point - alumni of pony racing include jockeys Bridget and Gina Andrews, Sean Bowen, James Bowen, Harry Cobden, Hollie Doyle and Sam Twiston-Davies. By no means an easily dismissed.
Pony racing is on the flat - not over hurdles or jumps. Barbury's first race of the day was the 13.2 race over four and a half furlongs for the Stableware Cup - with seven runners.
Not everything goes to plan. The starter's raised flag seemed to send a signal to Jack Dace's pony Tealson Topic - who was determined to reach something before someone else.
The pony - a 15 year-old gelding - bolted. Jack stayed well attached and finally pulled up not far from the finish line. Unflappable Jack then, after a quick check on the horse by a vet, simply trotted back to the start. And they were off.
The 15 year-old pony seems to have endless puff even after his 'practice run' - and Jack took him to fourth place. A very happy ending. Mind you, Jack has already won three good races this season. Jack is ten years old.
That race was won by Jack Osborne - at 14 a year older than his horse Stretcholt Hermes.
Next came the 14.2 race over one mile and two furlongs for the Sedgley Perpetual Challenge Cup with ten runners. This was a really good race - won in the end by 15-year-old Charlie Sprake on Goldwell's Gucci.
After receiving the cup and his rosette and a Keyflow saddle cloth, Jack Osborne faced a journalist’s questions and then a lengthy recorded interview. As Keyflow's Cam Price put it: "With these pony races they even get media training."
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