Racing manager's joy at partnering first point-to-point winner
David Redvers, racing manager to Qatar Racing, is no stranger to putting his body through turmoil but, after completing the arduous Mongol Derby last August and running a personal best 2hrs 58mins in last month's London Marathon, he topped those achievements by riding his first winner on Wednesday night.
Redvers, who partnered 11-year-old Sacre Toi to victory in a novice rider contest at Cothelstone point-to-point in Somerset, put the thrill of partnering a winner above his previous exploits by saying: "Nothing quite comes close to it."
He adds: “I'd finished second and then third on the horse [in April and May], but before that I last rode 21 years ago when I was 25 and finished second at Barbury Castle.
"I always struggled with my weight so I retired after that, but after training for the charity race at Aintree I had the ambition to give it a go.
"I rode out for James Fanshawe before Aintree and my local trainer Tom Lacey has been very patient more recently. I enjoyed the buzz and loved being part of a team and working in the yards."
Redvers came seventh in the Mongol Derby – a 1,000km endurance test across the Mongolian Steppe – and at the time described it as "the most amazing experience of my life".
David Pipe was on hand to watch Redvers, who put up 4lb overweight, partner Sacre Toi to victory, and the trainer tweeted: "Congratulations on riding your first winner at Cothelstone point-to-point. Great to be there for a celebratory drink."
Whether the 46-year-old bids for a follow-up – there are options for Sacre Toi the week after next – remains to be seen.
Redvers says: “It was a lifetime ambition to ride a winner and I’m both depressed and elated. I’m depressed it took so long and that I might not do it again.
"I’m in negotiations with Mrs Redvers about whether or not I’ll go again. I won’t risk the horse on soft ground and he could go to either Chaddesley Corbett [in Worcestershire] or down to Devon.”
Jack Lander digs out his walking boots
Jack Lander, who many will remember from his epic charity walk from Stratford racecourse to Oaksey House that raised £13,700, is back in action.
The young jockey, who hopes to turn professional over jumps one day, has almost tripled his target distance to 161 miles, pounding the pavements and paddocks from Newmarket’s July course to Jack Berry House in Malton. He sets off on his huge hike on July 23, aiming to arrive in the north eight days later – covering an average of 20 miles per day.
In the process, Lander, 11, will be raising money for the Injured Jockeys Fund and Racing Welfare. To donate, click here.
Two Rhododendrons on show
If you can’t make it to Epsom to see Rhododendron line up in the Oaks, you can enjoy her namesake and more the following Sunday, June 4, when the Fonthill House Gardens will be open to the public in aid of the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust.
The gardens, in Fonthill Bishop, Wiltshire, offer visitors a variety of formal gardens with mixed borders, woodland and an organic vegetable garden. The gardens have recently undergone major redevelopment, and are only open for charity events on a select number of days per year.
The Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust is now in its 20th year, raising more than
£5 million for six welfare charities – Blue Cross, Brooke, Compassion in World Farming, World Horse Welfare, Racing Welfare and The British Thoroughbred Re-Training Centre – in that time.
The gardens will be open from noon until 5pm. Admission is £6 per person or £12 per car (more than three people). U12s free.
Happy birthday and get well soon to Simon Bullock, who turned 51 on Thursday. Simon, from Kent, has recently come out of hospital, so we hope this excellent cake made by his wife Helen cheered him up!