By Andrew Norman


Thetford trainer David Kemp guided progressive seven-year-old Moroman to a fourth victory in his last five starts between the flags at Kingston Blount’s Kimblewick Point-to-Point on Saturday.

The son of Morozov, who landed the Restricted on this card twelve months ago, ran out an easy seven-length scorer of the Conditions race under a typical front-running ride.

Kemp, who rode his 100th Point-to-Point winner last month, said: “He races freely and this track suits him as it’s fairly sharp. He’s improving and Huntingdon [Paul Rackham Champion Novice Hunter Chase, May 27th] is the plan but I know of other trainers with the same target.”

Owner Barry Belchem was gaining compensation after narrowly being denied in the Restricted as Blue Benny was claimed by the Jimmy Tarry-trained Triggers Ginger close home.

The nine-year-old, who lost her maiden tag here in March, came with a decisive late run on the outside of her rival to prevail by a head. James Martin’s mount now heads the Mares Area Championship.

The winning streak of Tim Underwood’s Tempelpirate, who was attempting a tenth straight success, ended in the Hunt Members race as Agent James supplemented last month’s course and distance victory. With rider Richard Spencer content to let the favourite engage in a ding-dong battle with Viel Gluck in the back straight, the winner was produced confidently to cruise to the front before showing a likeable turn of foot.

The seven-year-old made headlines in January 2013 after providing 40-year-old owner John Reddington with a triumphant riding debut in a Navan bumper. The gelding had shown little promise since in Ireland but Reddington, a London-based building contractor, sent his charge tofledgling trainer Thomas Gallagher, for whom he rides out at his Shenley base in Hertfordshire.

Gallagher said: “He has a little touch of quality about him. He’ll go for a holiday now as he’s been on the go a long time in Ireland [for Charlie Swan] but there should be plenty of improvement to come next season.”

The handler, formerly based with Ger Lyons, added: “I’ve been pre-training for a while now, with a view to Point-to-Pointing, and ultimately I want to train under rules. I hope to have a decent team of horses for next season.”

Clondaw Island produced a remarkable performance to take the 2m5f 4, 5, 6 & 7-year-olds Open Maiden by a distance. After two narrow defeats on British soil since joining Francesca Nimmo, the keen front-runner was not disappointed by the enterprising Will Telfer and quickly established a 30 length advantage over the 12-strong field.

The hooded six-year-old had failed to last home under similar tactics the last twice but was even further clear when climbing Crowell Knoll for the final time and scored unchallenged by the length of the run-in.

Nimmo, who also gave the gelding an entry in a Southwell Hunter Chase on Tuesday, said:  “I think he’s talented and has been unlucky the last twice. He’s laid-back in the paddock but very keen on the racecourse, he sees the fences and wants to eat them! The softer ground might have helped the others not getting back to him. Realistically he’s probably a two-mile chaser.”

Alan Hill continued his push for the Connolly’s Red Mills Trainers Title as Ravethebrave gained a hard-fought triumph in the AGA Ladies Open. Pulling clear with chief market rival Niki Royal, the odds-on favourite stumbled turning out of the back straight for the final time but began to assert in the straight, with a mistake at the last costing the runner-up all chance. The success propelled rider Hannah Watson to the top of the Area Lady Riders Championship.

When asked if the ten-year-old would take in the Series Final on May 30th, Joe Hill, son of owner/trainer Alan, said: “If David [Simpson, AGA’s Commercial Development Manager] is asking then yes, but we’ve got a trainers title to try and win so he might return here in a couple of weeks instead.”

Former Cheltenham Festival runner-up New Alco had too much class for his rivals in the Mens Open. The 13-year-old, under Max Kendrick, put ten lengths between himself and runner-up The Big Freeze after drawing clear four out.

The Dom Alco gelding, transferred to Case after Kendrick, who hopes to turn professional in time, started work for the yard, will be given an entry for Whitfield next weekend. “That might come a bit quick for him,” said Case, “but it was only his second run of the season. We’ve been waiting for better ground for him. He’s been a brilliant schoolmaster for Max and if he’s still enjoying the game, I can’t see why he can’t have one more season.”

Andrew Pennock’s Conkies Lad was produced late on the scene in the Intermediate to score going away for Ben Rivett. The eight-year-old, providing the rider with his 16th winner of the campaign, had too much in reserve for brave runner-up Nightcap Jack to win a shade cosily.