14 May 2013 Report: Wheatland - Chaddesley Corbett
by Peter Mansell
Any equine discipline has potential risks and these were emphasised when Ollie Wadlow avoided serious injury during Sundays Wheatland Point-to-Point at Chaddesley Corbett. His foot got caught up in the stirrups after he was unseated from Hello Mr Kelly at the first in the Mens Open and was dragged along behind the horse for about a hundred yards.
Medical staff were quickly on the scene. After initial assessments he was transferred to hospital and later discharged with severe bruising and a broken collarbone.
The incident cast a shadow over the Mens Open where Presentandcorrect saw off the strong and persistent challenge of Trouble Digger in the home straight. The favourite produced a magnificent leap at the last but Trouble Digger did not go down without a fight and reduced the deficit in the last fifty yards with just half a length separating the two runners at the post.
"The ground is turning in his favour so he will either come back to Chaddesley on the 27th or go to Stratford a few weeks later", stated owner Tim Sage afterwards.
The early part of the afternoon belonged to Shifnal based mother and daughter Caroline and Immy Robinson who took the Members with Oh Toddles and the Club Race with Shales Rock.
Last years winner Ease and Grace made a vain attempt vainly to follow up that success but was passed by Oh Toddles in the home straight before galloping on resolutely to land the prize for the trainer and her co-owner Roger Mapp.
The strong early pace set by Empress Orchid during the first part of the club race was matched by Shales Rock during the second half. Flying Gnu and Brimham Boy made several abortive attempts to pass the leader during the final half mile but Shales Rock kept pulling out extra and did so again as the runners galloped towards the final obstacle.
The Ladies went to Enville based jockey Jane Williams and her mount Swift Counsel. They were ten lengths clear for most of the first circuit before the field began to take closer order as they went out onto their final lap.
Swift Counsel maintained his position at the second from home but Miss Williams sensed that her rivals were poised to deliver their challenges. She kicked again approaching the last with Findlay's Find poised on their heels but their rival met the last all wrong and paid the penalty.
Having seen off that challenge Swift Counsel then had another fight on their hands as Emily Rucker and On Borrowed Wings began to eat into their advantage. They flashed past the post with favourite gaining the verdict by a neck.
Chaddesley Corbett would not be Chaddesley Corbett without a win for a horse carrying the royal blue and cerise hooped colours of the Rushton/Tollitt dynasty. Mrs Tollitt's daughters Christine Banks, Katherine Smith-Maxwell and Angela Rucker have all enjoyed success over this course but this time it was the turn of Mrs Banks and her daughter "Phine" who took the Conditions race with Thats Ben.
Thats Ben led at the penultimate where Fairymount's effort started to flatten out and Smugglers' Run had no more to give in third. Thats Ben was steadied into the last and this allowed Fairymount to regain the initiative but that was short-lived as Thats Ben clawed back the deficit, drew level with and then passed his rival in the final 25 yards to prevail by three quarters of a length.