Anquetta gives Waley-Cohen a memorable ride at Lockinge

Anquetta with Sam Waley-Cohen and Robert Waley-Cohen. Photo: Andrew Norman
Anquetta with Sam Waley-Cohen and Robert Waley-Cohen. Photo: Andrew Norman

Sam Waley-Cohen and Anquetta put on an exhibition at Monday’s Old Berkshire Point-to-Point meeting.

Anquetta won the Cazenove Capital Mixed Open at Lockinge, where more than 7,000 witnessed a thrilling finish to the day’s feature race as the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup winning rider executed tactics perfectly to hold off the fast-finishing Saint Roque by a diminishing length.

That meant a lot because he’s been a grand servant and this may have been his last race

Sam Waley-Cohen

The 13-year-old gelding usually races prominently but Waley-Cohen, mindful of his mount’s stamina limitations, held up the winner before pinching a decisive advantage in the final mile and hugging the inside rail.

The rider said: “That meant a lot because he’s been a grand servant and this may have been his last race. I owe him a lot because he’s taken me to all the big festivals.

“He’s been a great friend. This point-to-point is always fun and the victory was extra special as I have lots of family and friends here.”

Owner and trainer Robert Waley-Cohen said: “I really enjoyed that! We wanted to sit behind early as three miles stretches him to the limit.”

Regaining the Lockinge Challenge Cup after Rumbavu had prevailed for connections in 2013, Waley-Cohen added: “He was returning to more suitable ground today. This is the perfect place to bring a horse wanting consistent, fast ground.

“We may retire him now, it would be a great moment to go out on. But if he gets his conditions again before the end of the season it may be difficult to resist.”