Albi Tufnell, enjoying a gap year with Fergal O'Brien, enjoyed his second Rules winner at Stratford's fixture yesterday, when I'm Wiser Now got up late home to win the Grass Roots Hunters Chase.
It looked an unlikely victory even in a four runner field. Always handy, he was outpaced four out, but rejoined the lead around the home turn, before a last fence blunder appeared to have put paid to his chance. However, under strong riding, I'm Wiser Now ran on to win close to home, by a length.
Andoversford fans will recall Albi winning the Tayler and Fletcher Conditions race at our last running in 2019, his first Point-to-Point winner. He'll be pleased to have played his part in getting Fergal O'Brien to the 99 winner mark with 6 days to go before the season closes.
Meanwhile, the perils of race-riding have been dramatically and sadly illustrated by the sad announcement of Lorna Brooke dying following her fall at Taunton on April 8. This is the latest human fatality since my own brother James died in a Point-to-Point at Larkhill 4 years ago. Lorna had been put into an induced coma on Friday for a spinal injury incurred in the race.
Racing has a unique way of giving you both the highest highs and the lowest lows, often within moments of each other. Our thoughts are with the Brooke family.
Fixture 2021 Cancelled
Look out for 2022 dates later in the summer
6m SE Cheltenham, nr junction of A40 and A436 (Exit 11A, M5)