5th FEBRUARY 2023
Written by Nicola Dean
Point-to-Point racing returned to the South
East on Sunday with a thrilling six race card
enjoyed by the public, many of whom were
attending for the first time.
The opening Maiden race over 2 miles 4
furlongs saw nine of the fifteen entries declared
to run. Hannah Clarke trained Right Hand of
God made the early running with David Phelan
trained Panorama Ridge and Fiona Dennington
trained Ker Melba, also handy in the early
stages of the race. The bookies favourite Purple
Empora was close behind the leaders when
falling at the seventh fence and the remaining
eight runners were all in contention until fence
eleven where the pace of the race increased.
Right Hand of God remained prominent
however Jasmin des Bordes, Bank On Frank
and Penniless all started to move from the held
up position to start a challenge to the leader.
At the penultimate fence all four runners were
still in contention but with the final fence being
bypassed Nigel Padfield’s Penniless was the
one who managed to gain an advantage and
ran home a two length victor over Tom Ellis
trained Bank On Frank. Jasmin des Bordes
finished a neck further behind in third whilst
Right Hand of God took fourth half a length
ahead of Panorama Ridge. Ker Melba was
the only other finisher with Gold Bandit and
Westtara both pulling up.
The RoR & Jockey Club Veteran Horse race
followed with six runners declared and was
the second race to see the favourite beaten
as 2022 area leading trainer Rob Varnham’s
Trappist Monk made all to secure the victory
by seven lengths over Jenny Gordon trained
Commanche Red. Gina Andrews ridden Poli
Roi finished two lengths back in third clear of
both Myplaceatmidnight and Buffalo Sabre.
Scooby who was trained by Rob Varnham in
2022 was unfortunate to unseat jockey/trainer
Ryan Botley at the tenth fence when hampered.
The Men’s open was a select affair with
three declared runners and was the second
victory for Zak Baker who rode Penniless in
the opening maiden race and was the first of
four victories for trainer Tom Ellis as Jetaway
Joey was victorious by one and a half lengths
over Fran Poste’s Kaproyale who was sent off
the 4/5 favourite. The pair battled in out from
the fifteenth fence with the lead changing
after they had seen off their only other rival
Ballintara. Kaproyale had regained the lead at
the final fence but a strong finish from Jetaway
Joey provided him with the prime spot in the
winner’s enclosure.
Ellis’s second victory was in the Ladies open as
4/9 favourite Latenightfumble ridden by Gina
Andrews held on by a head to deny previous
course winner Highway One O One trained by
Jenny Gordon. Alan Hill’s Back Bar was also in
contention at the final fence and finish a length
back in third but these three finished clear of
Fox Valley who lost touch with his rivals over
the final circuit. Imperial Acolyte ran out at the
eighth fence ending any hope he had of being
involved at the finish. This was the first part of a
treble for Gina on the day.
Ellis and Andrew’s second joint success came
in the level three Conditions race and much
like the Ladies’ open produced a thrilling finish
for the watching crowd. Fiver runners were
declared and the race was run at a decent pace
from the fall of the starter’s flag. Sarah Ashby’s
Whatsinthecorner ridden by Charlie Marshall
pulled up at the top of the hill on the final circuit
leaving the other four runners racing in a line
over the final four fences. David Phelan trained
Buachail Dana who won three of five starts in
2022 and was sent off the 6/4 favourite made
the first move to gain the advantage three
fences from home and did look as if he was
going to provide the second victory for the
area trainers on the day until he blundered
at the final fence losing all momentum.
This allowed Rob Varnham’s Count Simon
and Tom Ellis’s Master Templar to battle it out
on the run in with Count Simon having the
advantage until the final few strides where
Master Templar managed to get his head in
front. Thegallantway took third one and a half
lengths further back whilst Buachail Dana took
The final race of the day was the second to
be won by the bookmaker’s favourite as Ellis
trained Fairly Famous sent off at 1/2 favourite
in the betting of the four runners, followed
up on his maiden victory at Horseheath in
December with success in the Restricted race.
He was prominent throughout the race leading
for much of the time before briefly being
headed in the middle of the race by Andrew
Coveney’s Wireless Operator. But coming
down the Charing hill for the final time Fairly
Famous regained the advantage and was a
comfortable five length winner over Hannah
Clarke’s Monmouth Hill who finished strongly
to beat Wireless Operator. Alan Hill trained
Goleirihem finished in fourth a length further

Photo provided by Siggy Photography