Saturday April 28th @ Horseheath
A heart-warming result to the first running of the Robert Clifton-Brown Memorial Ladies Open was the highlight of an excellent Thurlow Point-To-Point at Horseheath, near Haverhill, on Saturday as a gloomy afternoon was brightened up by a series of close finishes, with all six favourites getting turned over and no race being won by more than two lengths.
Clifton-Brown, from Great Bradley in Suffolk, was a staunch supporter of East Anglian Point-To-Point Racing for over 60 years prior to his death in late 2016 at the age of 87.
Latterly, much of his involvement in the sport was in conjunction with the Newmarket-based trainer-rider, Louise Allan, so it was entirely fitting that Allan, now herself in her late 40s, should carry off the Memorial Cup thanks to the victory of Kriss William.
Having built up a decent lead beginning the uphill home straight, Kriss William held off the late thrust of Sharp Suit by half a length to give Allan the 79th win of her career in the saddle and provide a first success of the season for Ed Turner, who runs his family’s training operation at Ampton Hall, near Bury St Edmunds.
The Mens Open witnessed a rematch of the equivalent race at this venue on Easter Saturday between Ardkilly Witness and Curraigflemens. On that occasion Curraigflemens prevailed by a mere short head, but this time Ardkilly Witness took revenge by half a length as the pair again fought out a compelling duel through the final half mile.
Trained at Atherstone in Warwickshire by Kirsty Smith, Ardkilly Witness represents the father/son owner/rider combination of Tim and Will Thirlby.
The card began with a big shock as Legend To Be, the outside of a six-strong field at 20-1, made every yard of the running under a fine, attacking ride from Dickie Collinson, from Sutton, near Ely, to lift the Club Members Race.
Avid form students would not have been surprised by the result as this was just the third time that Collinson had ridden the son of Midnight Legend between the flags and all three outings have now resulted in victories.
Owned, trained and bred at West Wratting, just a couple of miles from Horseheath, by Sarah Humphrey, Legend To Be is extremely versatile. He has also won a hunter trial at the course, and is regularly ridden by Humphrey’s husband, Tony, who was in attendance with his arm in a sling having suffered a shoulder injury when falling off him while out hunting!
Wymondham trainer Caroline Fryer made it two Pointing wins and two National Hunt seconds in the last seven days when Midnight Bliss posted her third success of the campaign in the Novice Riders Race under Kate Gowing, from Mulbarton, near Norwich. She took advantage of the favourite, Just Cause, slipping up on a bend to beat Amigo by two lengths.
Andrew Pennock, from Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, has been suffering a frustrating season by his own high standards but did gain the satisfaction of saddling both the first two home, This Breac and Somme Boy, in the Restricted Race.
Somme Boy looked sure to score when jumping past his front-running stablemate at the final fence but This Breac rallied to gain a three-quarters of a length verdict. He was ridden by Welshman Evan David, who is soon to take up a post at the yard of the Gloucestershire handler, Ben Pauling, after many years under the employ of Tim Vaughan.
Thetford trainer David Kemp must have thought he was going to return home empty-handed after the eclipse of both Curraigflemens and Law Of Gold, who was already beaten when coming down at the second last in the Restricted.
But Age Of Heroes took Kemp to the nine-winner mark for 2018 in the Maiden Race. It was a close run thing, though, as Age Of Heroes only held off the flying finish of Conteur d’Histoire by a short head, thus denying Ed Turner a double.
THURLOW HUNT RESULTS at HORSEHEATH
GOING: GOOD / GOOD TO FIRM in places
EA Club Members
1st LEGEND TO BE ( Richard Collinson ) 20/1
2nd Allie Beag ( Dale Peters ) 11/8 Fav
3rd Bedrock Fred ( Archie Wright) 2/1
Also: Galros Lady 7/2 (4th), Ignite A Light 4/1 (5th),
Broadway Symphony 5/2 (pu)
Time: 6 mins 18 secs Distances: 1L, 2L 6 ran
PPORA ( Novice Riders )
1st MIDNIGHT BLISS (Kate Gowing) 11/10
2nd Amigo ( Will Thirlby ) 6/1
3rd Brians Well ( Noah Brazg) 6/1
Also: Just Cause 10/11 Fav ( su)
Time: 6-20 Dists: 2L, 20L 4 ran
1st KRISS WILLIAM ( Louise Allan ) 9/2
2nd Sharp Suit ( Izzie Marshall ) 4/5 Fav
3rd Oh Toodles ( Immy Robinson ) 13/8
Also: The Gunner Brady 6/1(4th), Tirob 20/1 (5th), Craig Beinn 20/1 (pu),
Time: 6-09 Dists: ½ L, 2L 6 ran
1st ARDKILLY WITNESS ( Will Thirlby) Evens Fav
2nd Curraigflemens ( Richard Collinson ) 4/6
3rd Franks A Million ( Rupert Stearn ) 4/1
Time: 6-07 Dists: ½L, 20L 3 ran
1st THIS BREAC ( Evan David) 7/2
2nd Somme Boy ( Richard Collinson ) 5/2
3rd Kings’s Walden ( Will Thirlby ) 3/1
Also: The Tailor Quigley 10/1 (4th), Law of Gold 4/6 Fav ( Fell)
Time: 6-38 Dists: ¾L, 15L 5 ran
1st Age Of Heroes ( Dale Peters) 4/1
2nd Conteur D’Histoire ( Rupert Stearn ) 3/1
3rd Uncle Black Jack ( Darren Thomas ) 3/1
Also: Breakdown Cover 10/1(4th), Chargehand 20/1 (pu), Golden Jet 16/1 (pu),
Linkenholt 20/1 (ur), Master Jewller 5/2 fav (pu). Sandygate 3/1 (Fell).
Time: 6-22 Dists: Sh.Hd, 3L 9 ran