Four seasons in one day as Chaddesley Corbett delivers a Christmas cracker!

All kinds of weather, great racing, nearly as much mud as last season, girls get the better of the boys, new AGA hats make racecourse debut, and one committee member makes an early exit!

What a day at Chaddesley Corbett, an eagerly awaited phone call just before 8am confirmed that all was good, and that despite the storm that had raged through the night we were fit to race! Our legions of twitter and facebook followers were quickly informed, the point-to-point forum was updated, and with the word well and truly spread we were soon in the car and on our way.

Jockey Tom David leads up from his fellow course walkers
Jockey Tom David leads up from his fellow course walkers

Glorious sunshine greeted us as we arrived, but it was a touch muddy underfoot, and a stiff breeze was blowing across the course.  Still, there were plenty of smiles and the season at Chaddesley was soon underway with the first of seven very competitive races, although a piece of dodgy parking would come back to haunt us later in the day!

A flying leap from Silver Token (Charly Prichard) in the first
A flying leap from Silver Token (Charly Prichard) in the first (pic by Al Johnston Photography)

There are 5 fabulous photos in this update – including the one above – which have been kindly provided by Al Johnston Photography, and I can recommend that you take a look at his facebook page, and his website – thanks Al!

A very happy Charly Prichard - 6th in the AGA Championship last season -
A very happy Charly Prichard – 6th in the AGA Championship last season – with the AGA man in the background (photo by Al Johnston Photography)

The first race was won by Welsh raider Silver Token, piloted by Charly Prichard, who finished 6th in the AGA Championship last season, and is available at 14/1 to win it this time around. Not long after the post race presentation the heavens opened, but it was only a passing shower and the sun soon returned. Mrs S had scampered back to the car as the first rain drops fell, but unlike the sun she did not return!

Enjoying the sunshine in the paddock
Enjoying the sunshine in the paddock
Ruth Tutton-Cook is ready for her ride in the Harkaway Club Members Restricted
Ruth Tutton-Cook is ready for her ride in the Harkaway Club Members Restricted

The wind was biting but the action on the track was hot and we saw another winner with strong AGA connections in the next race – the Harkaway Club Members Restricted – Ruth Tutton-Cook.

Mr Mackay and Ruth Tutton-Cook following their victory in the Resticted race
Mr Mackay and Ruth Tutton-Cook following their victory in the Restricted race
Bruce Cook picks up the trophy after the race
Bruce Cook picks up the trophy after the race
L-R Corinne Swarbrick (Hon. Secretary), Judith Healey (Committee), Jen Hancox (Chairman)
L-R Corinne Swarbrick (Hon. Secretary), Judith Healey (Committee), Jen Hancox (Chairman)

The photo above was going to be accompanied by a witty caption until I remembered that I would be seeing these three lovely ladies at the next Harkaway Committee meeting!

Georgina Andrews
Georgina Andrews
Ally Stirling (light blue silks with maroon seams) chuckles as Jane negotiates the mud
Ally Stirling (light blue silks with maroon seams) chuckles as Jane Williams negotiates the mud
Brodie Hampson (light green and white check) and Charly Prichard
Brodie Hampson (light green and white check) and Charly Prichard
Hanna Jones (green silks with white star), Emma Todd and Charlotte Hawker
Hanna Jones (green silks with white star), Emma Todd and Charlotte Hawker
DSC_0228
Berties Dream and Gina Andrews
DSC_0208
The view back up the hill during the ladies open
DSC_0212
Shales Rock and Immy Robinson
DSC_0213
Bubbly Breeze and Ali Gallers-Pratt lead Cottage Oak and Emma Todd
DSC_0220a
Keenans Future and Ally Stirling

The AGA ladies series was due to get underway at Cottenham in two days time so as you would expect I was particularly interested in the ladies open. Despite saying that the race looked too competitive to call I decided to have a little punt on Berties Dream just before the off and I used one of the Scottish notes that I had won in Alnwick.

My bet on Bertie's Dream was not a winner, but I had a good run for my money
My bet on Berties Dream was not a winner, but I had a good run for my money

The very colourful and slightly foreign looking Scottish note caused a bit of consternation on the George Moir joint but it was soon tucked away in the satchel, and I offered to have it back if my bet was a winner! It wasn’t, but I had a good run for my money.

The winner, Bubbly Breeze
The winner, Bubbly Breeze
This one will win again!
This one will win again!
John Willis - one of the best announcers in the country
John Willis – one of the best announcers in the country

John Willis can rightly lay claim to being one of the best course announcers in the country and he did a splendid job again today.

Grand National winning owner John Hales presents Ali Galliers-Pratt with the Marsh Challenge Cup
Grand National winning owner John Hales presents Ali Galliers-Pratt with the Marsh Challenge Cup
Tracey Bailey
Tracey Bailey
'Hang on to your hats'
‘Hang on to your hats’
The boys head into the paddock before the mens open
The boys head into the paddock before the mens open
The vet keeps an eye on things in the paddock
The vet keeps an eye on things in the paddock
Robbie Henderson
Robbie Henderson was a little late into the paddock for the mens open
L-R Rachel Leyshon, Gina Andrews, Jane Williams, Annie Dalton, Judith Healey & Hannah Lewis watch the Mens Open
L-R Rachel Leyshon, Gina Andrews, Jane Williams, Annie Dalton, Judith Healey & Hannah Lewis watch the Mens Open
Smiles & a thumbs up from Rachel Leyshon (left) and Hannah Lewis
Smiles & a thumbs up from Rachel Leyshon (left) and Hannah Lewis
Philip Rowley (facing camera) holds court in the paddock
Philip Rowley (facing camera) holds court in the paddock

Robbie Henderson bagged the mens open, and there were also wins for Annie Dalton, Paddy Gerety & Rachel Leyshon, with the girls coming out on top on the day with a total of 5 wins, the boys had 2.

Heather Dalton leads up Mr McGregor
Heather Dalton leads up Mr McGregor (photo by Al Johnston Photography)

The rain returned with a vengeance during the Members Non-Rules Runners Maiden, accompanied by a pretty fierce hail storm. But I have a confession to make, due to a long standing Christmas lunch date, and a Pointing Plus deadline to meet, the AGA man and Mrs S were on the M5 when the hail really came down, having scooted out of the bottom gate as Annie Dalton crossed the line!

I had just left so sadly wasn't around to enjoy this win
I had just left so sadly wasn’t around to enjoy this win (photo by Al Johnston Photography)

I’d like to apologise to my fellow committee members for not sticking it out to the bitter end, it had nothing to do with the weather! I’m also dismayed that I wasn’t around to welcome Annie, Paddy & Rachel back to the winners enclosure!

Harkaway 2013 12Before we left there was still time for AGA Championship favourite, Gina Andrews and Diana Williams (mother of reigning AGA Champion, Jane Williams) to model the new AGA bobble hats. Jane also joined in, striking a pose for the camera, before my afore-mentioned dodgy parking ensured we required the assistance of four hardy racegoers to push us off the course!

Love the pose and love the hat!
Love the pose Jane, and love the hat!
More new hats! Gina Andrews and my fellow committee member, Diana Williams
More new hats! Gina Andrews and my fellow committee member, Diana Williams

The early exit paid off as I made my 5pm copy deadline for Pointing Plus, and we also arrived dry for our lunch date! It felt like we had four seasons in one day with sun, rain, hail and wind, but where would you rather be? In the fresh air watching great racing, or on the sofa? What  great day, can’t wait for the next one!

2 Thoughts

  1. Hi I noticed the aga point to point racing boards around, on my back from kiddy to Redditch, I was wondering if it was open to the public to watch? Is it free or do you need tickets?

    1. Hi Claire, its open to the public, £10 per head – children under 16 free
      Race cards – £3 or 2 for £5, pay on the gate 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s