Sunday 7th February
Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace @ Horseheath nr Haverhill
David Kemp sent two horses from his Kilverstone, near Thetford, yard to the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Point-To-Point meeting at Horseheath, near Haverhill, on Sunday and both returned home triumphant following hard-fought but decisive victories.
Will Fight held off the challenge of the hot favourite, Fearthedark, to lift the Intermediate Race and then Brave Encounter made every yard of the running to land the Restricted Race.
Both were partnered by jockey Sam Davies-Thomas and the second allowed him to reach the notable career landmark of a half century of winner. They would normally be ridden by Kemp himself, but he is still recovering from a nasty fall back in November which left him with damaged nerves at the base of his spine.
Afterwards, Kemp was full of praise for a new gallop at Brettenham that his string has been using for only the past fortnight, enabling him to get the two horses to peak fitness.
“Will Fight doesn’t take too much work, anyway, he is usually ready for his seasonal debut,” he admitted. “Brave Encounter is a stressy horse, who always works in front at home, so it made sense to make the running with him.”
A second jockey to notch a double was the National Champion Lady Rider, Gina Andrews, who was successful on Berties Dream in the Ladies Open and Total Compliance in the Older Horse Maiden.
Although Berties Dream was taking his British Pointing record to a remarkable eight wins from just 12 starts, he has never been the type to score impressively. And, as usual, he gave his Newmarket trainer, Lauren Braithwaite an anxious few moments when dropping back to third place rounding the final bend.
But once Andrews got serious on him, he responded well to beat the gallant Goodnight Vienna by four lengths.
Trained in Warwickshire by Gina’s husband, Tom Ellis, Total Compliance jumped superbly and managed to hold off the late thrust of Wivannie, who was posting a lifetime best effort for her Ely-based handler, Martin Ward.
Andrews had earlier been able to watch her younger brother, Jack, produce arguably the day’s best riding performance when he bullied Nightcap Jack (trained at Sawtry in Cambridgeshire by Dale Peters) into a very narrow victory in the Novice Riders Race.
Again, the runner-up - on this occasion Pebbleglen - deserves plenty of credit too as he was providing rookie trainer-rider Ruby Knights, from Saxlingham, near Norwich, with her best ever result in only failing by a head.
The Northamptonshire raider, Gunmoney, overcame a series of sloppy jumps to record a wide-margin victory in the Mens Open Race while the Young Horse Maiden went the way of Pedro King, trained in Buckinghamshire by Sarah Bosley.
GOING: GOOD to SOFT
1- WILL FIGHT Sam Davies-Thomas 9/2
2- Fearthedark Alex Vaughan-Jones 1/2fav
3- Heads Or Tails Jack Andrews 5/1
Time 6 mins 28 secs Dists: 3L, Distance 7 ran
4,5 & 6-year-olds Open Maiden
1- PEDRO KING Charles Dando 12/1
2- Bengo Alexander Ferguson 6/1
3- Pettistree Jack Andrews 10/1
Time 6-33 Dists: 1L, ½ L 12 ran
( Pride of Parish 6/4 fav 5th )
PPORA Club Members’ ( Novice Riders )
1- NIGHTCAP JACK Jack Andrews 6/4fav
2- Pebbleglen Ruby Knights 4/1
3 –Ballyboker Boy William Degnan 20/1
Time 6-43 Dists: Head, Neck 10 ran
1- GUNMONEY John Russell 4/6 fav
2- Court Red Handed Max Kendrick 5/1
3- Flaming Gorge Joe Hill 2/1
Time 6-32 Dists: Distance, 4L 6 ran
1- BERTIES DREAM Gina Andrews 1/3 fav
2- Goodnight Vienna Tabitha Worsley 6/1
3- Emperor Concerto Lucy Wheeler 6/1
Time 6-29 Dists: 4L, 7L 8 ran
1- BRAVE ENCOUNTER Sam Davies-Thomas 9/1
2- Emperor Arcadius Gina Andrews 5/2
3- Dido Dale Peters 9/2
Time 6-36 Dists: 2L, 4L 10 ran
(Tommy O’Dwyer 11/8 fav 4th )
7 year-olds and over Open Maiden
1- TOTAL COMPLIANCE Gina Andrews Evens fav
2- Wivannie Carey Williamson 7/1
3- Floreat Tim Donworth 4/1
Time 6-37 Dists: 4L, 8L 13 ran