29 Feb George is Awesome at Garthorpe
A thousand-strong crowd endured a chilly day at Garthorpe and were rewarded with some excellent racing. There were doubles for trainers Gerald Bailey and Tommie Morgan and wins for leading jockeys Gina Andrews and Claire Hart.
Sam Davies-Thomas enjoyed a double on Tulsa and Agent For Chaos after he stepped in for stable jockey Kelly Morgan who is suffering from a chest infection. She hopes to be back on the track in time for the next Midlands meeting at Garthorpe, in a fortnight.
John Russell rode the Gerald Bailey-trained Gunmoney to a third consecutive victory in a Mens Open, despite being pushed hard to the finish by second-placed Real Milan, who lost by a head. “He never felt like he was going to get beat,” Russell explained, “and he jumped a lot better than he did at Horseheath last time out, where he made a few holes!” The jockey was injured in the Restricted, later in the day, after being kicked during a a fall from Easythingsarebest.
Lara Mahon and Awesome George won the Club race here last May and this year took the AGA Ladies Open after leading for much of the race. “He ran away with me a bit,” joked Lara, “but when we turned round the top and started down the hill I still had two handfuls and knew there was plenty left”. The winner beat the impressive His Excellency (Claire Hart) by half a length, with Popaway six lengths behind in third.
The nine-year-olds and over Conditions race produced one of the most impressive performances of the day from Mr Madeit and George Greenock, beating Nobby Kivambo by ten lengths to complete a double for Gerald Bailey. “He’s a good horse,” Bailey explained, “but George had to work for it after he was cut up on the bend early on. He loves a bit of cut and we will now look for Opens on similar ground.” Thanks for Coming and Fred Henderson were 25 lengths back in third and Favourite Lough Inch made a rare mistake on the back straight and was pulled up after losing all his momentum.
Agent For Chaos was a very impressive winner in the Maiden at Thorpe Lodge just a fortnight ago with part-owner Kelly Morgan on board. Here Sam Davies-Thomas rode him in the Restricted Race but the performance was no less impressive and he finished very strongly, a distance ahead of Brianogue, with Eastern Witness a distance behind them. The horse has only been in the Morgan yard for six weeks having been spotted in Ireland but will now look for an Intermediate, potentially at the Belvoir meeting in a fortnight’s time.
Tom Morgan’s yard had started the day well with a victory in the Garthorpe Hunts Club Members Race for Sam Davies-Thomas and Tulsa. They come home four-lengths clear of For A Change, which was last seen winning the Melton Hunt Ride under jockey Rory Bevin. The Henderson’s Dream Mistress was third after briefly looking like she was a match for the winner with two or three to jump. The winning trainer was very pleased, “I was a bit worried about the ground her but I’m delighted. I think we could have another Lough Inch here. We’ll be back here in two weeks time, either for the same race or the Intermediate.”
The PPORA Club Members was won in style by Claire Hart, riding Dabinett Moon, who finished 20 lengths clear of Oliver James and Court Red Handed. The eight-year-old bay mare was carrying a lot of weight and the ground wasn’t ideal for her but she needed a run and never looked like she would be beaten.
The first division of the Maiden was won by leading jockey Gina Andrews and Samarnni, trained by husband Tom Ellis. “Very surprised,” Gina revealed, “because he fell at the third fence last time out and he’s only run four times. The plan was to go for a clear round and stay safe.” The eight-year-old wasn’t keen on sitting behind other horses who were making mistakes in front of him and, once he’d got himself clear of them, pulled away nicely to win by 15 lengths from Mister Serious and Another Coalition.
The Martin Weston-trained Western Climate won the second division of the Maiden on his British pointing debut with Leo Mahon in the plate. “It wasn’t the best of jumping performances,” commented Mahon, “but the horse clearly has an engine.” The winner finished eight lengths clear of Get Off My Cloud and Rudolph.
The next Midlands Pointing meeting is the South Wold at Brocklesby on Sunday 6th March. We look forward to welcoming you all there.