The East Cornwall Hunt managed to hold their point-to-point at Great Trethew after a two-week postponement due to waterlogging, but it was touch and go as overnight rain again threatened proceedings. Racing was put back for one hour as organisers worked hard to enable medical and veterinary vehicles to get safely round the very soggy track.
Dean Summersby's yard has been in great form this season, and the Lifton-based trainer added three more winners to his tally on the very testing ground.
The winner to give the stable most pleasure came in the PPORA Novice Riders' race as Dean and Emma Summersby's 16-year-old daughter Charlotte rode her first point-to-point winner, on Cloudy Music (pictured). This seven-year-old grey mare runs in the colours of John and Sonia Gardener, and was given an exemplary waiting ride as the young jockey, contesting her fourth point-to-point, swooped on runner-up Awesome Tunes approaching the final fence.
"She made a few little mistakes jumping. I waited until the bottom of the hill, gave her a slap and she took off," reported the delighted jockey, who rode her first pony race winner here three years ago on her first pony ride. Charlotte is a pupil at Launceston College and rides out as much as possible at home.
Chosen Lucky has been a real flagbearer for the Summersby yard and their Little Acres Racing Club in recent seasons. He won his 14th point-to-point in the club's colours in the Mixed Open, shrugging off the persistent challenge of the Welsh-trained favourite Spencer Moon before coasting to an eight-length success. Talk of the South took the runner-up spot as Byron Moorcroft eased the tiring Spencer Moon to a halt at the top of the hill. "Chosen Lucky is genuine. I wanted some cover from Spencer Moon and was pleased when Byron came to me. I poached a bit of ground round the top bend which gave me the advantage from the top of the hill," remarked winning rider Darren Edwards.
A double for reigning Devon & Cornwall Men's title holder Edwards, and a treble for the Dean Summersby stable, was sealed when Port O'Clock slogged through the mud to take the Restricted. Little could be seen of the first part of this race as one of the frequent squally rain and hail showers swept across the track. In the end the relentless gallop set by Port O'Clock had forced his three rivals into submission, and the gelding, owned by John Gardener and Torben Hughes, passed the post solo. Bought as a store in Ireland, the sturdy five-year-old was following up his South Dorset Open Maiden success last month, but an injury last year almost ended his career. "He split his chest when he fell at the Cotley last March," said the trainer, who is in a good position to defend his Area leading trainer championship.
Party Tunes almost made it four on the day for the yard in the Open Maiden for four- to six-year-olds, but edged towards the far rails and was overhauled up the finishing climb by newcomer Don't Rightly Know. Home-bred by owner Julian Selby from winning hurdler Thebelloftheball, the winner is trained at Ottery St Mary by Ed Walker. This strong bodied mare stormed up the hill under the talented Chloe Emsley. "She has scope and jumped for fun. She will be even better over three miles," reported the rider, who was taking her career total into double figures.
The Open Maiden for older horses went to The Meters Running for owner-trainer Gordon Chambers. The Milan gelding's stamina came into play as he drew right away from his rivals from the top of the hill. Jockey Jake Bament reported that, "He got a bit lonely out in front but just kept galloping."
Bament was narrowly denied a double in a close finish for the two-mile Flat Race for four- and five-year-olds. His mount Grumpy Freya made much of the running, but she was collared close home and was beaten a short head by the well-backed Bravo Buddy under Tom Chanin. "He is a bit green but is a super little horse," remarked the winning jockey, who had bought the four-year-old at Tattersalls Fairyhouse sales last year. "He was only broken last August and is a likely hurdler," said trainer Robert Chanin.