Barbury International Point-to-Point's new date sees good support and great racing
Sarah Rippon was full of praise for Sonneofpresenting after her new charge upset odds-on favourite Cousin Pete it the Barbury International Racing Club meeting at Barbury Racecourse (December 16) - a new pre-Christmas date for this innovative fixture.
Rippon acquired the Paul and Clare Rooney-owned eight-year-old on a permanent loan through their racing manager Jason Maguire. Formerly trained by Kim Bailey, Sonneofpresenting made an instant impact between the flags by giving Rippon a second success in the Weatherbys Hamilton Mixed Open, having claimed the inaugural running with Vincitore in 2017.
Cousin Pete, who dead-heated for third place in the St James's Place Foxhunter at the Cheltenham Festival, attempted to bridge the gap, but Sonneofpresenting had five lengths to spare at the line.Rippon, who trains the gelding out of Henrietta Knight's yard near Wantage, was left clear on her front-running mount by Beau Phil's fall at the third-last.
Rippon was thrilled to have such a good ride on him: "I love this meeting and I really want to support it. I snook a look to see where Cousin Pete was because he is such an amazing horse I thought he might come past like a steam train, but I just kept Sonne going. I am honoured to have him."
Rippon had to settle for second spot on Vincitore in the preceding Carter Jonas Ten-Year-Olds And Over Barbury International Conditions Race over 3m 6f behind impressive winner The Dapper Fox.
Owner-trainer-rider Jack Veysey sent the ten-year-old into the lead going out on to the final circuit, and his mount quickly went clear for a 20-length triumph: "You have got to be fairly positive on him because he doesn't have much of a turn of foot. He is an out-and-out stayer for long distances races."
"He was third in this last year and I thought we would give it another shot, so I am very pleased."
Will Humphrey was in dreamland after notching his first winner on Local Show in the Highflyer Bloodstock PPORA Club Members Conditions Race For Novice Riders. The 16-year-old, having just his second ride after being unseated from the gelding at Cottenham, went clear after the third-last on the 3-1 shot, owned and trained by his mother, to record an eight-length victory over Flights.
Afterwards Will said: "It is an absolute dream. I knew he had a good turn of foot and I went for home coming round the dip. Dominic Elsworth had given me good advice on how to ride the course which helped a lot."
His first winner also saw him receive the Dubarry Outstanding Achievement Award of a £500 voucher to spend with the Irish clothing and footwear brand.
lived up to its international billing, with Irish trainer John 'Shark' Hanlon and jockey Roger Quinlan teaming up for a short-priced double courtesy of Be One and Woodbrook Boy.Boasting prize-money of £7,250, making it the richest raceday in the British calendar, the meeting
However, Woodbrook Boy's victory in the Four And Five-Year-Olds Tattersalls Ireland Open Maiden over 2m 4f didn't come in the manner the County Carlow trainer anticipated as the son of Doyen was pushed all the way by Bridge of Cally, to win by a length.
The Irish trainer, whose horses carried the colours of his partner, Rachel O'Neill, admitted: "I am disappointed with him. He won, but I think he is a very, very good horse. He only ran last Sunday and the shipping over probably affected him."
"He will probably go back to Ireland for a winners' race because he hasn't won well enough to get sold."
Hanlon's Be One had initiated the quick-fire double with a two-length triumph over So Socksy in the second part of Division 2 of the JRL Group Four, Five And Six-Year-Olds Point-to-Point Flat Race: "He is 17 hands and a big backward horse. He will probably go to the Doncaster Sales in January."
Wellington rider Jo Supple landed a double in Division 1 of the bumper and the first part of Division 2 on Isla's Dream and Merchant House respectively: "I came here with no expectations because they were first-time out, and we can only do what we can at home."
She was always handy on Isla's Dream, before holding off Wonderful Dreamer by a length, with the winner owned and trained by Taunton-based bloodstock agent Tom Malone, who bought her for €33,000 at the 2017 Fairyhouse August National Hunt Sale.
In the first part of Division 2, Supple then burst through on Merchant House to score by three-quarters of a length from Churchtown Girl for Leslie Jefford's Payhembury stables, near Honiton, and Colyton owner Jacqui McCullough.
Liam Harrison, who partnered Flights to be second to Local Show, had earlier made it two winners from as many rides when Truly Spoken got off the mark in the Goffs UK Jockey Club Open Maiden For Mares And Fillies Only over 2m 4f.
The 16-year-old sent the home-bred daughter of Dr Massini, trained by Sally Alner in Dorset, into the lead approaching the last fence, and she galloped away to beat Roseisaroseisarose by a length in the colours of the handler's wheelchair-bound husband, Robert, who was watching from his car.
Harrison, who is based with trainer Neil Mulholland, said: "It is only my second ride and my second winner, so it will be hard to keep that up."
Will Biddick ended a frustrating day with a winner when taking the closing Six-Year-Olds And Over Albert Bartlett Open Maiden on Rabunda. The former champion point-to-point jockey made much of the running on the eight-year-old, trained by Ed Walker and owned by Har and Michael Houghton, before shrugging off Mankala for a ten-lengths verdict.
Biddick said: "I just wanted to fight out a finish. I thought some of my other chances would have finished better." And Walker added: "It's nice to get Will a winner - that was his seventh ride today."
The winners of the Tattersalls Ireland and Albert Bartlett-sponsored maidens also received vouchers worth £500 each to be spent at any Irish sale thanks to a new initiative between Barbury and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing.