THURLOW - HORSEHEATH

Saturday 28th February

Report

Horseheath’s second meeting of the season on Saturday attracted runners from far and wide, but the soft and holding conditions led to generally small fields although with plenty of quality.

It was a meeting that will go down in history for the Andrews Family as all three siblings rode winners on the same point-to-point card.  Former national lady rider champions Gina and Bridget Andrews were joined on the scoresheet by their little brother Jack who recorded a memorable first career winner in the opening Club Members Race aboard Irish import Heads Or Tails, trained by father Simon and mother Joanna at Lilley in Hertfordshire.  Heads Or Tails had shown promise when finishing third in a Restricted race at Larkhill on debut for the yard and provided owner Cliff Myers with another exciting victory to add to the point-to-point and hunter chase successes of his Can Mestret this season.

The second leg of the Andrews treble arrived 35-minutes later when Bridget steered the ever-consistent See You Jack to a facile success in the PPORA Members Race for the Sandra Fryer yard in Wymondham, Norfolk.  See You Jack has now finished in the first three on every one of his last ten starts and gain this deserved success after a gallant second to the prolific Berties Dream in the Ladies Open at the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace fixture at Horseheath earlier this month.  This victory capped a memorable week for Bridget Andrews as this win meant she enjoyed five consecutive winning rides stretching from a win aboard Troufion at Higham last weekend prior to three winners under rules during the week.

Remarkable Man in the Restricted contest provided Gina Andrews with her winner taking her season’s tally to eight winners as she aims at another national title.  The pair had combined to win the maiden at Horseheath two weeks ago providing former East Anglian champion jockey James Owen from Exning near Newmarket with his first winner as a trainer with his first runner and another ready win from Remarkable Man marks him down as a horse with more to come.

The Ladies Open could have had a very different result had the hard-pulling odds-on favourite Swift Counsel not unseated Jane Williams at the fifth last fence when still travelling well in the lead, but their departure left the door open for Life Long to record a third win from his last four starts for trainer Jo Messenger from Creaton near Guilsborough racecourse in Northamptonshire.  14 year-old veteran Swift Counsel had not been seen since finishing a very close second in the Aga Ladies Final at Stratford in June 2013 and his freshness and exhuberence proved his undoing.  Nevertheless Life Long is a progressive performer in his own right, was winning in Open company at his first attempt and has provided jockey Faye Conway, girlfriend of the trainer’s son Tom Messenger, with all three of her career winners to date.

An exceptionally well-judged ride from the experienced Paddy Gerety aboard odd-on favourite Mr Mercurial may have given trainer Sheila Crow a few heart-stopping moments, but the six-hour round trip from Shrewsbury in Shropshire proved worthwhile in the end as Mr Mercurial nosed to the lead jumping the final fence and was cajoled up the run-in to deny the gallant Gunmoney by half a length.  Paddy Gerety still had Mr Mercurial 15-lengths off the leaders on the home turn, but mindful of his preference for better ground, he nursed the exciting seven year-old up the steep home straight to record the horse’s fourth win in point-to-points from just six starts for the yard.  He has finished a close second in a point-to-point and a hunter chase on the other two outings.  The Intermediate Final at Cheltenham’s prestigious Hunter Chase Meeting in May is the end of season target with an eye on the Cheltenham Foxhunters in 2016.

The prolific Crow/Gerety team were unable to double up in the concluding Open Maiden as their odds-on favourite Cooladerry King was left trailing in the wake of the ultra-impressive winner Fearthedark for Gerald Bailey’s Northamptonshire yard.  A cheap recruit from Ireland after three uninspiring runs in Irish point-to-points, Fearthedark looked a totally different proposition powering clear under Alex Vaughan-Jones in the style of a very exciting prospect.  He was heavily eased on the run-in yet still recorded a 20-length success and rates a horse to look out for.

Heads Or Tails gets the Andrews treble under way when getting Jack off the mark at the expense of the chasing Evening Echo

Heads Or Tails gets the Andrews treble under way when getting Jack off the mark at the expense of the chasing Evening Echo

See You Jack (blue and yellow stripes) jumps alongside Earl Grez

See You Jack (blue and yellow stripes) jumps alongside Earl Grez

Life Long pops the last in splendid isolation under Faye Conway

Life Long pops the last in splendid isolation under Faye Conway

Mr Mercurial is locked in combat with the almost obscured Gunmoney at the final fence

Mr Mercurial is locked in combat with the almost obscured Gunmoney at the final fence

Remarkable Man jumps in between Kilbeg Opera (orange and black) and Printing Blue

Remarkable Man jumps in between Kilbeg Opera (orange and black) and Printing Blue

The Pye blunders, chased by Fearthedark and Jopaan (orange cap)

The Pye blunders, chased by Fearthedark and Jopaan (orange cap)


Results

GOING:  Soft with heavy patches

Horseheath Hunts Club Members

1st HEADS OR TAILS (Jack Andrews ) Evens Fav         TOTE WIN £2.60

2nd  Evening Echo ( Andrew Braithwaite)   11/4                    DF  £1.50

ONLY TWO FINISHED

Time: 7 mins  00 secs    Distances:  5L           4 ran

 

PPORA  Members

Ist  SEE YOU JACK (Bridget Andrews)    6/4 Fav           TOTE WIN £2.10

2nd  My Boy Paddy (Camilla Cotton)             10/1                  DF  £54.00

3rd  Emergency Cover (Charlotte Wyatt)       33/1                                                       

Time: 7-00                      Dists:  15L : 5L    8 ran


Ladies’ Open

1st LIFE LONG (Faye Conway)                  9/4                 TOTE WIN £ 3.10   

2nd Chandlers Cross (Anna Metekohy)          20/1                DF £1.10 winner with any        

3rd Mauricetheathlete (Gina Andrews)           16/1   

Time: 6-59                    Dists:   15L :  10L    6 ran ( Swift Counsel 2/5 Fav UR )

 

Men’s Open

1st MR MERCURIAL (Paddy Gerety)       1/2 Fav           TOTE WIN £1.30

2nd Gunmoney (John Russell)                    13/2                   DF  £2.20     

3rd Will Flight (David Kemp)                        5/1

Time: 6-50                    Dists:   Half :  20L      5 ran

 

Restricted

1st REMARKABLE MAN (Gina Andrews)       2/1              TOTE WIN  £4.10             

2nd Printing Blue (George Bingham)                11/1                DF £7.10            

3rd Blue Benny (David Kemp)                          4/1      

Time: 7-12                    Dists: 8L :  5L         6 ran (Lule Kyle Evens Fav  PU )

 

 Open Maiden

1st FEARTHEDARK (Alex Vaughan-Jones)          20/1                TOTE WIN £6.30

2nd Cooladerry King (Paddy Gerety)                        4/7 Fav             DF £14.80                 

3rd Jopaan (Richard Spencer)                                 11/2

Time: 7-03                  Dists:   20L : 5L           11 ran  

ENDS