THE Lauderdale Point to Point took place on Sunday at the scenic Mosshouses, where the good crowd, enjoying the spring sunshine, witnessed some close finishes, writes Jules Furness.
Unfortunately, due to the unusually dry weather for the time of year, the fields were small with a walkover for Seafield Bogie, partnered by Laura Inness in the Campbell’s of Oxton Border Hunts Club members’ race.
Four went to post in the J Rutherford (Earlston) Ltd Young Horse Maiden, which saw the outsider of the field, Saujana, provide 17-year-old Rachel Robson with her first winner. This was a real family affair as Rachel’s winner is trained by her father, Kevin, for her grandmother, Margaret Armstrong.
Topaz Bay, ridden by another promising young jockey, Lucy Alexander, dominated proceedings, but was joined by the winner two from home and an exciting duel took place, with Saujana crossing the line a head in front.
Rachel then endured the ups and downs of racing in the following D. & J. Waldie NPPA members’ race, when she came to grief at the open ditch, resulting in her giving up the rest of her rides for the day. The race went to Leading Pearl, partnered by Luke Morgan, to beat Bromley Abbey by 10 lengths. The 10-year-old, who scored a hat-trick in 2008/09 but then lost his confidence, is trained by Willie Kerr at Moffat, who himself enjoyed success as a jockey at the course aboard The Odin Line.
Seafield Bogie was sent off odds-on favourite in the Whiterigg Ladies, but could only finish third in the three-runner race, which saw Tiger Billy get up on the line to win by a head.
By Accordion, the winner, was scoring for the third time this season and is owned, trained and ridden by 19-year-old Siobhan Doolan, granddaughter of Wilf Storey.
Siobhan, who is now one point ahead of Kit Alexander in the Novice Championship, said: “He didn’t jump as well as usual, due to the firmer ground.”
The Delta Restricted saw course specialist Little Vantage win for the third time at Mosshouses, when he led from start to finish.
Partnered by Criag Nichol, who is based with Lucinda Russell, the 12-year-old recorded the fastest time of the day – under six minutes.
Ironically, the winner was bred on the course by Lauderdale point to point chairman, Tony Hogarth, when he stood the stallion, Mutamarrid.
Although only two went to post in the Brewin Dolphin Men’s Open, it was a ding-dong battle all the way until landing over the last when Mr Twins saddle slipped and dislodged Dale Irvine allowing Gunner Jack to come home alone.
He is owned by the chairman of York races, Nicholas Wrigley, and ridden by his 22-year-old son Edward.
Having been bridesmaid on his last three starts, Reef Dancer finally got his head in front in the concluding Newlyn Property Developments Maiden race, when he came home 15 lengths ahead of Miss Toozy Betsy with Gala Queen 20 lengths back in third.
The eight-year-old was bought out of John Wade’s yard last year by trainer Sarah Fenwick and ably piloted by 21-year-old Toby Speke, nephew of royal wedding guests, Bunny and Rozzi Maitland-Carew.
Racing began with two Pony races sponsored by Swan & Turner, which saw wins for Georgie Baxter on Twice as Ice and Lorcan Murtagh aboard Miss Tiny.