ONE OF the accomplished riders on the Point-to-Point circuit secured a farewell winner on What A Bluff at the Wheatland Point-to-Point at Chaddesley Corbett.
Enville-based jockey Jane Williams will be retiring at the end of the current season and will be a major loss to the sport, both locally and nationally.
She rode her first winner at the start of the new millennium and has been West Midland Area Champion on four occasions and National Champion in the 2011/12 season.
What A Bluff’s success in the Mixed Open at Chaddesley Corbett on Saturday afternoon was a brilliant advertisement for her riding skills. It also enhanced her training CV because not many people would have been able to get a horse race fit after two years absence from the racecourse.
Three horses faced the starter but as is often the case with small fields it produced an exciting finish with the result in doubt until the closing stages of the race.
Williams did well to control her mounts exuberance on the way to the start and was happy to let Dandan and One More Turn to dominate the early stages of the contest.
With the pace increasing down the back straight What A Bluff moved closer to the action with Miss Williams asking her mount for an effort as they met the rising ground.
All three runners were in with a chance on the home turn, but the favourite One More Tune seemed to be getting the better of the argument as he held What A Bluff’s challenge approaching the penultimate.
Williams asked her mount for a renewed effort between the final two fences and found a willing partner. With race fitness in doubt after such a long absence, What A Bluff’s tank predictably began to empty at the last but he set off up the run in with a narrow advantage which One More Tune struggled to reduce on the flat.
The meeting ended with another locally trained winner in Neale Dalton’s Albrighton & Woodland qualified Overplan in the Maiden.
Mark Wilesmith and Jack’s Ranger and Sarah Bowen’s on Shantara set a strong pace from the start, but Overplan was always in a perfect position and had moved into third place going out onto the second circuit.
Jacks Ranger had Shantara’s measure at the 15th but the jockey was unseated just after the fence so when they turned into the home straight Alex Edwards and Overplan had a clear advantage over the remaining runners.
The favourite began to tire over the final two fences but had sufficient reserves to see off the challenges of his rivals in the home straight.
The meeting started with a double for West Country raider Jack Barber with the Dorset trainer taking the first two races with Innocent Girl and Amzac Magic.
The former justified favouritism in the Restricted being produced with a well-timed run by Champion Jockey Will Biddick to score an easy victory over Bridgnorth trainer Phil Rowleys Shan’t Agree.
Racecourse debutante Amzac Magic was given a beautiful ride by Martin McIntyre who pounced late to catch the leader Delgany Devil at the second from home.
Gloucestershire based jockey Lilly Pinchin consolidated her position in the battle to become the Areas Leading Lady rider by finishing runner up on Allerton in the Novice Riders Race.
Champagne Rian and Hugh Nugent took the lead at halfway and simple refused to give up the fight, finding extra every time a rival looked dangerous. Allerton never gave up trying but his challenge was beaten off approaching the last.