GRANTA HARRIERS, HIGHAM, SATURDAY MAY 7

GOING: FIRM

All photographs kindly provided by Richard Weller-Poley

Report

After the lows of Easter Monday and May Bank Holiday Monday, when the dry weather decimated racing, the East Anglian Point-To-Point season ended on a high note at Higham on Saturday with a thoroughly enjoyable Granta Harriers fixture.

Clerk Of The Course Jeffrey Bowles and his team saved the meeting with a well-organised watering programme that meant that the track was irrigated throughout Friday night in order to provide a firm but safe racing surface.

The new mid afternoon start time of 4pm was also a qualified success, with a small but enthusiastic crowd in attendance. There was certainly a happy ‘end of term’ feel to the day. The undoubted star of the evening - and of the whole season - was 19-year-old jockey Gina Andrews, from Lilley in Hertfordshire, who took her tally for the campaign to 22 and is assured of becoming the first East Anglian-qualified national lady riders champion since Lucy Gibbon (nee King) 30 years earlier.

Andrews began her afternoon at Kingston Blount Point-To-Point course in Oxfordshire, where she rode Batalov, who is owned by Anthony Howland-Jackson, from Wakes Colne, to victory in the Restricted Race.

She then jumped into a light aircraft, piloted by former top jockey Tim Moore, before landing at the farm of another former top local rider, George Cooper, at Raydon, just a few miles from Higham

 She comfortably made it to the course in time to guide Mountain Emperor to an easy win in the Club Members Race.

She later completed a double on the card, and treble on the day, on pointing debutant Arniecoco in the Maiden Race.

Mountain Emperor is trained at Chediston in Suffolk by John Ibbott, who has also enjoyed a tremendous season - this success was his seventh victory from just two horses.

 He was narrowly denied an eighth 90 minutes later when Andrews’s only other ride, Finnish Melody, came up a head short of Leatherback in a thrilling two-runner race for the Ladies Open. Leatherback was ridden by Louise Allan, from Newmarket, and is trained at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, by Joe Turner.

Leatherback had previously won at the Easter Saturday fixture at this course and, just like on that day, was joined in the winner’s enclosure by two stablemates, Basic Fact and Parrain, thus taking the Turner yard’s total for the year to 17 triumphs.

Both were ridden by Turner’s 25-year-old grandson, Ed, giving him a first ever double in the saddle.

Finally, the Restricted Race went to the Leicestershire raider, Mirage Prince, who was the 8-1 outsider of the five-runner field.

Results

Higham Hunts Club Members Race

1 Mountain Emperor - Gina Andrews 1/7f

2 Maree Hall - Rebecca Ward

 3 Feathered Storm - Sophie Whyte

Time 6 mins 12 secs   Dists: 5L,  Dist 3 ran

Mens Open

1 Parrain - Ed Turner 1/8f 

2 Vial De Kerdec - Richard Collinson

Time 6-13  Dist: 6L  2 ran

Ladies Open

1 Leatherback - Louise Allan Ev's

2 Finnish Melody - Gina Andrews 4/6f

Time 6-02   Dist: Hd   2 ran

CA Club Members

1 Basic Fact - Ed Turner 1/4f

2 Another Dude - Rupert Stearn

3 Onyx D'Ace - Rebecca Ward

Time 6-08  Dists: 3L, Dist   4 ran

Open Maiden

1 Arniecoco - Gina Andrews 6/4

2 Davids City - Patrick Millington

3 Cromartie Run - Jack Day

Time 6-24  Dists: 3L, 2L  4 ran Cashmere Ted 4/5f (Fell last fence)

Pony Racing

Pony Race 1 - 128cm and under

1 Shooting Star - Sam Wisbey

2 Hollizan Gloribee - Jasmine Holland

3 Rory - Honor Whyte

Time 1-15  Dists: 30L Nk  5 ran

Pony Race 2 - 148 cm and under

1 Doppio Moviemento - Charlotte Wyatt 1/4f

 2 Soulbury Island God - Edward Twinn

3 So Lord - Georgina Friswell

Time 1-39  Dists: 8L,4L  10 ran

Pony Race 3

1 Doppio Moviemento - Charlotte Wyatt 1/4f

  2 Soulbury Island God - Edward Twinn

3 So Lord - Georgina Friswell

Time 1-39  Dists: 8L,4L  10 ran