JOHN PHILLIPS was one of the VWH point-to-point’s most staunch supporters until his untimely death in June last year. His wife Scilla and sons George and Nick are continuing the family’s involvement with the sport and were rewarded with a double at Siddington on Saturday afternoon.
The sunny weather brought out a massive crowd and, after efforts earlier in the week to provide better ground, there was card full of competitive racing.
George Phillips was the first on the scoreboard after Phantomsmask’s all-the-way victory in the Member’s and the Bibury family’s red and white colours were back in the winners’ enclosure later in the afternoon when brother Nick guided Forget Bob to an easy success in the Restricted.
Two riders scored initial successes at this meeting. Annabel Roberts, 33, who works in Peter and Jennifer Mason’s yard at Ablington, got an immaculate display of jumping out of James Pine to see off his rivals in the Pegasus Club Member’s.
Ryan Potter, 22, showed nerves of steel when his mount Road To Recovery prevailed in the Maiden.
July Johnson held the call over Shy John, Sueski and the improving Road To Recovery at the 16th fence, but then Potter made what proved to be a race-winning move.
Road To Recovery quickened past his rivals to gain the lead and extended his margin of victory on the run-in.
“I look after two horses at Brockhampton, near Winchcombe,” said Potter.
Eleven horses lined up for the Confined but from the turn into the home straight the race developed into a battle between the favourite Ice Bucket and Knowhere.
The latter held a four-length advantage at the second from home, but Rolly Bowen-Jones and his mount had parted company on a couple of occasions earlier in the season so Ice Bucket’s supporters had not given up hope.
Bowen-Jones did nothing wrong as he steadied his mount into the fence, but unfortunately Knowhere clipped the top, overbalanced and the partnership was severed, which left Fossebridge-based Ali Sterling to steer her mount home for a facile win. The Mixed Open resulted in a popular success for Chorizo, ridden by former Wilts & Glos Standard point-to-point correspondent Ollie Garner.
Chorizo made a couple of sloppy errors down the back straight but left his rivals trailing in his wake as soon as they straightened up for the judge.
With his wife, Chorizo’s trainer Seanin McPherson, occupied looking after the couple’s three young children, husband Graeme reported: “We bought him out of Rae Guest’s yard at Doncaster Sales in August 2011 specifically to point-to-point from our Stow-on-the-Wold stables. We ran him in a Wincanton hunter chase last week.
“He likes good ground and his jumping has improved. His owner James Chamberlain is one of the Masters of The Cotswold, so he will probably go to Andoversford next and then perhaps have a tilt at one of the hunter chases at Cheltenham’s evening meeting in May.”