Written by Granville Taylor

A remarkable treble for 16-year-old  jockey Ed Vaughan , all saddled by his father Tim, lit up the East Cornwall fixture on an overcast, windyafternoon, punctuated by showers, at Great Trethew.

The young jockey is yet another aspiring rider from the pony racing circuit and readily took the opportunities offered as his father (who clocked up over a century of pointing winners himself in the saddle) sent a box full of runners to the Cornish track from his yard near Cowbridge, South Wales.

Five-year-old Mary’s Fortune became the first winner for the Vaughanfather and son combination when taking a section of the Open Maiden which had to be divided on the day. The sturdy Soldier of Fortune mare was making her pointing debut in Tim Vaughan’s colours, but had useful place form in France. Paying his first visit to the winner’s enclosure, the gleeful rider, watched by family and friends, said, “She got very tired in the home straight but kept on gamely. I am taking A levels at Howells College in Cardiff but this has always been my ambition.”

There was more to come as former Irish bumper winner State of Fame started at a generous 5-1 when making a successful pointing debut in a decent nine runner Restricted. The seven-year-old coasted clear of the favourite Templier D’ Habert (Anna Johnston) and Will Biddick’s mount Swearer from the second last.  “We thought he might need the run but was never out of second gear,” reported the rider on completing his double. 

The attractive grey Halo Des Obeaux put the icing on the cake when outclassing his three rivals in the Conditions race to complete the Vaughan treble. By this time the ground had become quite testing as fellow Welsh traveller Dr Des set the pace. Martin McIntyre sent Joey Steel to the front on the top bend, but young Vaughan’s mount cruised past at the penultimate to win as he liked.  

So in one memorable afternoon, fresh from a ride at Cheltenham 24 hours previously, the youngster had elevated himself from having ridden no winners to pole position for the National point-to-point riders’ title. 

Will Biddick knows all about titles and the eight times champion point-to-point rider opened his account for the new season by getting a tune out of the quirky Humaniste to win the Mixed Open. The winner easily held off Millbank Flyer (Ed Rees) as the favourite The King’s Writ dropped out of contention round the top bend. “He wanted to do it today”, reported Will as his mount left a recent disappointing Dunsmore run behind him. Stoodleigh near Tiverton trainer Danni Kenealy has done a good job for owner Kieran Johns and described her charge as, “A good fun horse. We play about with him without working him hard and turn him out a lot at home.” It is unusual for a point-to-pointer, but Humaniste had further revealed his talent by being placed in a flat race at Bath in the summerafter a successful pointing campaign.

Last season’s leading novice rider Callum Prichard partnered his second winner of the new season as Longshanks readily followed up their Dunsmore success in the Conditions race for Grass Roots riders (20 winners or less). Trained by Josh Newman for owner Richard House, the nine-year-old ex-chaser is relishing a spell in the pointing sphere. “It was more of a test today but he coped well as the ground has got a bit tacky,” said the jockey whose day job is with the Philip Hobbs/Johnson White yard.

The combination of jockey James King and trainer Max Conley added to their Portman win with Jay Bee Whiskey last week when the heavily backed four-year-old filly Venus Queen took the nine runner flat race in good style. “She was a bit green but knew more about it despite getting a bit lonely out in front,” reported the rider. Max Conley has 30 horses in his care and said, ”She was bought privately in Ireland. We will back off a bit now and look for a racecourse bumper in the spring”. When asked about the unusual ownership name of the Pound Coin Syndicate, the Naunton, Gloucestershire trainer said, “ It was because the first few syndicate members only paid one pound. There is one share left.” (I guess it will cost more than a pound now).

The well bred Kingston James was an impressive winner of his Maiden division in the familiar colours of Jill Dennis. The four-year-old jumped well  for Jake Bament to beat the equally promising Deep Purple and Getaway Cory. The winner’s owner explained, “He has needed time. We rushed him a bit last spring to get a race into him when he ran at Chaddesley Corbett with a lot of promise.” Kingston James was bought as a foal by trainer Tim Dennis who had just returned from buying seven foals at the recent Fairyhouse sales.