29th March 2015 Godstone
Point-to-pointing returns to Godstone for the third and final time this season and while there is not the same quantity of its previous two meetings, the quality is just as good.
The opening 2m 4f Maiden race has 12 entries, with Nick Pearce's Miss Alice Jones standing out. The six year old mare was running well on just her second start at Charing in February, just becoming outpaced over the final two fences. The experience will serve her well and there is sure to be a good bit of improvement to come.  
The following Club Members Conditions race has 13 entries, with some handy horses entered. Regular Godstone raider, Alan Hill, has Brians Well and Man Of Steel entered, while in form trainer David Kemp has Zagmeister and course winner Will Fight in it as well. Tim Underwood's Parham winner Commanche Conflict is looking to follow up on that impressive win, while David Phelan will be hoping that Rey Nacarado will reproduce his Ampton win after two disappointing efforts in hunters' chases. The race is wide open and hopefully a lot of them will be declared to run.
The £1000 South East Grand National Mixed Open has 14 entries, which include the in form Behind The Scenes, who is now the leading horse in the area. Also entered is the impressive Parham Open winner Harouet, as is the dual Cheltenham winner Hunters Lodge, who should be suited by the stamina sapping trip. Sandra Fryer's See You Jack is one of the highest rated entered and is on a roll having won his last two starts. Lord Multifix stays all day and can't be discounted, while Counting House ran with promise at Penshurst and may benefit from a more positive ride.
The three mile Maiden could be a competitive affair, with Slidecheck, Po Valley and Boy Of Boru all highly rated. The former was the beaten favourite at Penshurst, the latter ran disappointingly here last time having run well the time before, while Po Valley has been second on both starts this season for David Kemp.
The Restricted looks a quality race, with impressive maiden winners De Clare Man, Minerfortyniner and Simonsruudt all entered to take each other on. Added to the mix is impressive Charing winner Spiritofchartwell, whose form may be franked by Miss Alice Jones in the first.
The card is capped by a Novice Riders event, which has attracted a disappointing six entries. The stand out entry is Done A Runner, who has improved enormously since joining Alan Hill and can get back to winning ways after coming to grief when brought down by Little Legend here last time.
2m 4f Open Maiden (5 runners)
1. MISS ALICE JONES Mr P. Hall 8/11F
2. SOME SURPRISE Miss C. Swaffield 2/1
3. EBBISON Mr R. Dingle 10/1
Time: 5mins 47s
Distances: 25l, 30l
Club Member Conditions (6 runners)
1. MAN OF STEEL Mr J. Hill 11/10F
2. WILL FIGHT Mr D. Kemp 6/4
3. BATTLE BRIDGE Miss C. Swaffield 12/1
Time: 6mins 48s
Distances: 3l, 15l
3m 6f South East Grand National Mixed Open (7 runners)
1. REY NACARADO Miss G. Andrews 5/1
2. HUNTERS LODGE Mr P. York 3/1
3. ZAGMEISTER MR D. Kemp 7/1
Time: 8mins 27s
Distances: 1/2l, 5l
3m Open Maiden (7 runners)
1. PO VALLEY Mr D. Kemp 5/4F
2. BOY OF BORU Mr P. Hall 3/1
3. GLEANN RI Miss C. Swaffield 14/1
Time: 6mins 59s
Distances: 6l, runin
Restricted (5 runners)
3. BLUE BENNY Mr D. Kemp 10/1
Time: 6mins 49s
Distances: 8l, 25l
Novice Riders (5 runners)
1. DONE A RUNNER Miss L. Wheeler 1/5F
2. LORD MULTIFIX Mr C. Marshall 9/2
3. RATHER CURIOUS Miss T. Worsley 7/1
Time: 6mins 57s
Distances: 10l, runin
Race Reports by Nicola, Stephanie & Martyn Dean
Race 1: The Southdown & Eridge Open Maiden Race (2miles 4 furlongs)
Five runners were declared for the short maiden with Miss Alice Jones (Philip Hall) sent off the 4/6 favourite. Some Surprise (Chloe Swaffield) was next in the betting at 2/1 whilst What About That (Gina Andrews) was 6/1 and Ebbison (Rex Dingle) and See It As It Is (Tabitha Worsley) were both priced at 10/1.
See It As It Is set the early pace leading the runners over the first fence followed by Miss Alice Jones and Some Surprise and Ebbison and What About That. By fence three See It As It Is had a two length advantage over Miss Alice Jones and Some Surprise whilst Ebbison and What About That were a further 12 lengths back. The advantage of the leading trio had extended to 25 lengths by fence six (first open ditch) with See It As It Is leading by two lengths from Some Surprise and Miss Alice Jones. What About That was pulled up before fence seven whilst Ebbison continued by thirty lengths adrift of his rivals. Some Surprise moved up to lead at fence ten with Miss Alice Jones close behind as See It As It Is started to drop back. Miss Alice Jones took the lead racing towards the second open ditch (fence twelve) and after the thirteenth fence Miss Alice Jones started to pull further clear of her rivals. Miss Alice Jones took the final two fences well to secure the victory with Some Surprise finishing in second ahead of Ebbison who passed See It As It Is to take third.
1st Miss Alice Jones Philip Hall 4/6 (Favourite)
2nd Some Surprise Chloe Swaffield 2/1
3rd Ebbison Rex Dingle 10/1
4th See It As It Is Tabitha Worsley 10/1
Four finished
Distances: 30 lengths and 13 lengths
Time: 5mins 47secs
Race 2: The South East Hunts Club Members Conditions Race
Six runners made their way to the starter with Man Of Steel (Joe Hill) the 4/7 favourite. Will Fight (David Kemp) was next in the betting at 7/4 whilst Running In Heels (Gina Andrews) was also popular at 3/1. Coursey Rover (Gordon Gallagher) was priced at 10/1 and Battle Bridge (Chloe Swaffield) and Cork Twenty Ten (Phil York) were both 12/1.
The six runners set off at a reasonable pace with Coursey Rover leading from Cork Twenty Ten over the first fence followed by Man Of Steel, Battle Bridge, Running In Heels and Will Fight. By fence three (first open ditch) Man Of Steel had moved up to join Coursey Rover and the leading pair opened up a ten length advantage over their rivals as they turned into the home-straight for the first time. Coursey Rover and Man Of Steel battled at the front over the second circuit whilst Battle Bridge led Running In Heels, Cork Twenty Ten and Will Fight in the race between the other four runners until fence ten when Running In Heels moved into third followed by Cork Twenty Ten as Battle Bridge dropped back through the field. At fence twelve Man Of Steel moved into the lead ahead of Coursey Rover with Will Fight making up ground to pursue the leader. Coursey Rover pulled up before the thirteenth where Man Of Steel led from Will Fight by four lengths with Battle Bridge, Cork Twenty Ten and Running In Heels a further ten lengths behind. Running In Heels pulled up before the fifteenth as Man Of Steel continued to lead by four lengths from Will Fight with Battle Bridge and Cork Twenty Ten continuing for the minor places. Will Fight started to close on the leader at fence sixteen but then the leader found another burst of speed and pulled away again. Taking the final two fences well Man Of Steel secured the victory with Will Fight in second ahead of Battle Bridge and Cork Twenty Ten
1st Man Of Steel Joe Hill 4/7 (Favourite)
2nd Will Fight David Kemp 7/4
3rd Battle Bridge Chloe Swaffield 12/1
4th Cork Twenty Ten Phil York 12/1
Four finished
Distances: 5 lengths and 8 lengths
Time: 6mins 38secs
Race 3: The South East Grand National Mixed Open Race (3miles 6furlongs)
Seven runners contested the feature race of the day with Harouet (Katy Lyons) the 7/4 favourite. Rey Nacarado (Gina Andrews) was priced at 2/1 whilst Counting House (Anna Sansom) was 5/2. Zagmeister (David Kemp) was next in the betting at 3/1, Hunters Lodge (Phil York) was priced at 6/1 and Mauricetheathelete (Philip Hall) and Toubougg Welcome (Rose Grissell) were the 12/1 outsiders.
The seven runners set off at a steady pace with Toubougg Welcome leading from Zagmeister, Rey Nacarado, Hunters Lodge, Harouet, Mauricetheathelete and Counting House. The seven runners all jumped well over their first complete circuit with Zagmeister and Toubougg Welcome leading with Hunters Lodge and Rey Nacarado also prominent followed by Counting House, Harouet and Mauricetheathelete but by fence seven the lead had changed as Harouet and Counting House moved up to lead ahead of Rey Nacarado, Hunters Lodge, Zagmeister, Toubougg Welcome and Mauricetheathelete. By fence ten Rey Nacarado and Hunters Lodge had regained the lead over Counting House and Harouet with Zagmeister, Toubougg Welcome and Mauricetheathelete a further two lengths back. Counting House made a mistake at fence eleven and unseated reducing the field to six with Rey Nacarado and Hunters Lodge leading from Harouet. As the six runners set out onto their final complete circuit Rey Nacarado led by two lengths from Harouet and Hunters Lodge with Zagmeister, Mauricetheathelete and Toubougg Welcome a further four lengths behind. At the final open ditch (fence eighteen) Rey Nacarado had a length advantage over Hunters Lodge as the leading duo opened up a ten length advantage over their rivals. Rey Nacarado and Hunters Lodge continued to battle over the final three fences with Zagmeister also closing on the leaders as Harouet started to struggle. The leading pair had a three length advantage over the closing Zagmeister at the penultimate fence and they took the final fence side by side but Hunters Lodge stumbled on landing allowing Rey Nacarado to gain a half length advantage which he maintained racing to the winning post. Zagmeister took third ahead of Harouet whilst Toubougg Welcome and Mauricetheathelete had their own battle to the finishing post with Toubougg Welcome just taking fifth.
1st Rey Nacarado Gina Andrews 2/1
2nd Hunters Lodge Phil York 6/1
3rd Zagmeister David Kemp 3/1
4th Harouet Katy Lyons 7/4 (Favourite)
Six finished
Distances: 1/2 length and 3 lengths
Time: 8mins 27secs
Race 4 : The Strutt & Parker Open Maiden
Fence 18 omitted - fallen jockey
Seven runners were declared for the full length maiden race with Po Valley (David Kemp) the Even money favourite. Boy Of Boru (Philip Hall) was next in the betting at 7/4 followed by Crowd Control (Cynthia Woods) at 3/1. Forrest Blue (Gina Andrews) was priced at 4/1, Confederate Grey (Will Hickman) and Bollin Ali (Charlie Marshall) were both priced at 10/1 and Gleann Ri (Chloe Swaffield) was the 14/1 outsider.
Po Valley jumped away from the starter first to lead the runners over the first ahead of Boy Of Boru, Confederate Grey, Gleann Ri, Bollin Ali, Crowd Control and Forrest Blue. The seven runners completed their first circuit without incident with Po Valley continuing to lead from Boy Of Boru with Gleann Ri three lengths further behind in third ahead of Bollin Ali, Forrest Blue, Crowd Control and Confederate Grey. The seven runners remained grouped together as they raced over their second circuit with Po Valley continuing to lead from Boy Of Boru. Forrest Blue made a mistake at fence ten but the partnership was maintained. Crowd Control wasn't as lucky when he made a mistake at fence twelve and fell as he was starting to make up places. As the six remaining runners set out for their final circuit Bollin Ali started to drop back from his rivals and was pulled up before the next fence reducing the field even more to five. Po Valley and Boy Of Boru increased the pace on the run to the fourteenth fence and Forrest Blue was pulled up before the fifteenth (third open ditch) having dropped away from his rivals. Po Valley and Boy Of Boru were together at fence fifteen but racing to the sixteenth fence Po Valley started to pull clear of Boy Of Boru and at the seventeenth fence which was the runners final fence as fence eighteen was bypassed Po Valley had a three length advantage. Boy Of Boru tried to close on the leader as they raced to the winning post but Po Valley remained clear to win having led from the fall of the starter’s flag. Boy Of Boru took second whilst Gleann Ri and Confederate Grey had a battle for third with Gleann Ri just holding on.
1st Po Valley David Kemp Evens (Favourite)
2nd Boy Of Boru Philip Hall 7/4
3rd Gleann Ri Chloe Swaffield 14/1
4th Confederate Grey Will Hickman 10/1
Four finished
Distances: 5 lengths and a distance
Time: 6mins 59secs
Race 5 : The Subaru Restricted Race
Five runners were declared with Minerfortyniner (David Maxwell) the 1/2 favourite. Spiritofchartwell (Phil York) and De Clare Man (Rose Grissell) were both priced at 4/1 whilst Blue Benny (David Kemp) and Did You Ever (Will Hickman) were both priced at 10/1.
De Clare Man was the first away ahead of Spiritofchartwell, Minerfortyniner, Blue Benny and Did You Ever. Spiritofchartwell jumped up to lead at fence two with De Clare Man and Minerfortyniner close behind however De Clare Man made a mistake at fence three (first open ditch) and unseated Rose Grissell reducing the field to four. As the remaining runners completed their first circuit Spiritofchartwell led from Blue Benny with Minerfortyniner a length further back in third and Did You Ever a further five lengths behind. Spiritofchartwell and Blue Benny continued to lead as the runners took their second open ditch (fence nine) where Minerfortyniner joined the leaders with Did You Ever eight lengths further behind. Spiritofchartwell regained the advantage at fence eleven by a length with Minerfortyniner and Blue Benny racing side by side behind the leader. As the four runners set out onto their final circuit Minerfortyniner moved back up to lead but at fence twelve the leading trio were back together and they raced to their final open ditch (fence fifteen) together twelve lengths clear of Did You Ever. Minerfortyniner gained a two length advantage after the sixteenth fence over Spiritofchartwell as Blue Benny started to drop back from the leading pair. However the leader then made a mistake at the penultimate fence which allowed Spiritofchartwell to close on the leader again but Spiritofchartwell hit the final fence shooting Phil York up the horse’s neck which allowed Minerfortyniner to pull away on the run to the finishing post. Blue Benny completed for third ahead of Did You Ever.
1st Minerfortyniner David Maxwell 1/2 (Favourite)
2nd Spiritofchartwell Phil York 4/1
3rd Blue Benny David Kemp 10/1
4th Did You Ever Will Hickman 10/1
Four finished
Distances: 5 lengths and 20 lengths
Time: 6mins 49secs
Race 6 : The PPORA Club Members Race for Novice Riders
Five of the six entries were declared with Done A Runner (Lucy Wheeler) the clear 1/5 favourite. Lord Multifix (Charlie Marshall) was priced at 4/1 and Rather Curious (Tabitha Worsley) was 6/1 whilst Back Bob Back (Miss O Barlow) and Do you Follow Me (Izzy Mills) were both 10/1.
Rather Curious led the runners at a steady pace from the starter followed by Do You Follow Me, Back Bob Back, Lord Multifix and Done A Runner. Do You Follow Me moved into the lead at fence two and as the five runners completed their first circuit Do You Follow Me and Back Bob Back had a two length advantage over Done A Runner who had moved into third ahead of Rather Curious and Lord Multifix. Lord Multifix was untidy at fence seven and was also untidy at fence nine (second open ditch) whilst Done A Runner jumped well to move up to join Do You Follow Me at the front of the field. Do You Follow Me got in close to fence ten and hit the top of the fence unseating Izzy Mills leaving Done A Runner to lead by two lengths from Back Bob Back, Lord Multifix and Rather Curious a further five lengths back. As the four remaining runners set out onto their final circuit Done A Runner opened up a five length advantage whilst Back Bob Back pulled up having dropped back through the field reducing the field to three. Done A Runner continued to lead by six lengths from Lord Multifix with Rather Curious detached at fence fifteen (third open ditch) and continued to maintain his advantage over the final three fences. Lord Multifix completed in second whilst Rather Curious also finished although a long way behind his rivals to take third.
1st Done A Runner Lucy Wheeler 1/5 (Favourite)
2nd Lord Multifix Charlie Marshall 4/1
3rd Rather Curious Tabitha Worsley 6/1
Three finished
Distances: 7 lengths and a distance
Time: 6mins 57secs
Godstone spectators were put through weather of biblical proportions, as strong winds and lashing rain threatened to uproot anything that wasn't tied down. But any punters who toughed it out were rewarded with some decent racing which included five winning favourites.
The first of six point-to-point races was the 2m 4f Maiden race, which was won decisively by odds on favourite Miss Alice Jones. Phil Hall just had to steer her round as her rivals fell by the wayside.
The second race was a little less one sided, with the market leaders Man Of Steel and Will Fight giving each other a battle up the straight. By the finish line Man Of Steel was on top of his rival, giving Alan Hill his first winner of the afternoon.
The third race was the £1000 South East Kent Grand National, for which seven runners lined up for a shot at the £500 winners prize money. Rey Nacarado and Hunters Lodge were both useful stayers under rules and they tested each others stamina as they tussled for the final circuit. However, the Gina Andrews ridden Rey Nacarado always looked like he was on top and he just held of the Phil York trained and ridden Hunters Lodge. The winner was scoring his second win in point-to-points for David Phelan, clearly enjoying the step back down from Hunter Chase level.
David Kemp had come off second best in the Conditions race, but he went one better in the three mile Maiden, as Po Valley easily held off Boy Of Boru, who was the only horse who could get near the favourite.
Minerfortyniner had achieved a second and a win at Godstone's previous two meetings, and he followed up comfortably in the Restricted in the hands of his owner David Maxwell. He held off Charing winner Spiritofchartwell, who proved he stayed the three mile trip and looks a certainty to win a Restricted later in the season.
The concluding Novice Riders race was won by 1/5 favourite Done A Runner, who made up for unseating at the last three weeks ago. He was ridden by his regular pilot Lucy Wheeler, who has now won on him three times from four rides. He gave his trainer Alan Hill a double on the day, putting him within touching distance of Jack Barber, who is currently leading the National Trainers Championship.