POINT TO POINT: Barbury glory for Charlie

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Illicit Illusion and Tom Weston win the 2m 4f Maiden Race at the PPORA meeting at Barbury Racecourse on Sunday Illicit Illusion and Tom Weston win the 2m 4f Maiden Race at the PPORA meeting at Barbury Racecourse on Sunday

SIXTEEN-year-old Charlie Marshall made the perfect start to his riding career by guiding former graded chase winner Kornati Kid to a thrilling victory in the Novice Riders race at the PPORC meeting at Barbury on Sunday, writes ANDREW NORMAN.

The winner led at the last, then surrendered his advantage on the run-in before battling back close home to deny runner-up Euro Farmer in the shadow of the post.

Another rider making his debut, 2013 National Pony Racing champion Sean Bowen (son of trainer Peter), caught the eye aboard Natural Action before unseating three out when disputing the lead.

Tactical nous from Cirencester trainer/rider Peter Mason enabled the consistent Shy John to score on the card for the second year running, following up last year’s Intermediate victory with an all-the-way success in the Men’s Open.

After a fine waiting ride at the venue last term, Mason decided to bounce the seven-year-old out with none of his rivals keen to make the running and he never saw a rival.

“Hopefully he can translate this form into hunters’ chases,” said the rider, whose late father Alex bred the gelding.

Cheltenham Foxhunter Chase third Cottage Oak jumped poorly to enable Latest Trend to run out a convincing winner of the Ladies’ Open.

“That was a massive surprise,” said rider Bridget Andrews after the chance to partner the 20/1 shot had been turned down by her sister Gina in favour of the odds-on favourite.

Handler Stuart Penny, who trains in Henstridge, Somerset, said: “We’ve kept him sweet and had him fit for the job.

“I tried to book Gina, who has been in to school him, but she had already agreed to ride Cottage Oak.

“I’d have thought Bridget will keep the ride now. You can’t take a winning jockey off can you?”

Hall Kelly, making his first start for Ludlow trainer Alistair Ralph, appreciated the sound surface to land the Conn-olly’s Red Mills Intermediate Qualifier decisively under Abigail Banks.

Ralph, assistant trainer to Henry Daly, has taken over one of his boss’s old satellite yards with greater stabling capacity and has 13 horses in training.

“He’s done everything right at home after join- ing me in August,” said Ralph.

“The Final (April 30) is a long way off but Cheltenham should suit him.”

Pampelonne put her rules experience to good use in the Mares Maiden and shed her maiden tag between the flags at the first attempt with a comfortably six length success under Sam Davies-Thomas.

Northampton- shire owner/trainer Sylvia Edmunds, who purchased the mare a fortnight after finishing second at Fontwell in June, said: “We bought her privately from Charlie Longsdon and she’s as genuine as they come.

“My only doubt was whether she’d get three miles, which she seemingly does, so hopefully we’ve found a fun horse for the season.”

Chipping Norton trainer Tom Lacey saddled the winner of the closing 2m 4f Maiden Race for the second year as Illicit Illusion made a pleasing British debut under Tom Weston.

Owner Paul Drinkwater, who collected the trophy from race sponsor Alan King, said: “I sent my wife Karen to Doncaster sales with a budget of £5,000 but she spent £11,000.

“It might not be bad business though as the horse that finished three lengths in front of him in Ireland made €170,000.”

MORE SPORTS NEWS & PICTURES IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD

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