Highlights of the last three decades of the Thurlow
by Mike Ashby
Date: 28th February 2015 Going: SOFT
Races: 6 Runners: 40 Winning Favourites: 3 out of6
A truly memorable day, not only for the whole Andrew’s family but for all East Anglian point-to-point followers who shared the achievements of the three off-spring of Simon and Joanna., as they all rode winners at the same meeting. The family’s youngest, Jack, started the afternoon with his first ever winner on HEADS OR TAILS in the opening Horseheath HuntsClub Members’ race. Middle sibling Bridget steered SEE YOU JACK to his fifth consecutive win in the PPORA Club Members’ event in the following race. This left the possibility of a unique treble which was duly completed by Gina when booting REMARKABLE MAN home10 lengths clear of their rivals in the Restricted race.
This Andrew’s family treble seemed to surpass anything else happening on the day but we did witness a confident ride by Paddy Gerety on MR. MERCURIAL to win the Men’s Open by 1 ½ lengths, from the consistent Gunmoney. Newcomer FEARTHEDARK, with Alex Vaughan-Jones aboard, literally ran away with the concluding Open Maiden with the official winning distance, a mere fifty lengths !!
MR MERCURIAL Bay gelding by Westerner out ofArcanum
Held in high regard by trainer Sheila Crow this classy gelding went on from this success to win two hunter ‘chases in 2015. One was at Southwell and he then showed his obvious talents by following up at the Cheltenham Hunter ‘Chase evening meeting. With Paddy Gerety taking all the rides, a fourth place was also achieved in the champion novice’s hunter ‘chase, for the John Corbett Cup, at Stratford at the end of May.
Date: 4th March 2000 Going: GOOD WITH SOFT PATCHES
Races: 7 Runners: 72 Winning Favourites: 2 out of 7
Varying sized fields faced the starter with the Restricted race attracting the largest with nineteen runners . ROYAL BANKER and Nigel Bloom emerged the victors just holding on from the fast finishing Lillooet and Chris Gordon, by a head. The Men’s Open could only muster 4 declarations and resulted in a fine 15 length win for HATCHAM BOY and Christian Ward-Thomas.
The Ladies’ Open went to veteran EMSEE-H who took the lead on the last circuit and held on well for Zoe Turner. Co-incidentally this was the 15 year-old gelding’s fifteenth victory. Trainer of the day was Caroline Bailey who saddled three winners. CLARET AND BLUE won Division One of the Maiden whilst NOUGHTOSIXTY won the Intermediate after the favourite
Fair Exchange came to grief, at the second last. Ben Pollock had the rides on both of these winners and Caroline’s third winner came in the concluding Confined Hunt’s race with the Will Barber owned TOM DE SAVOIE, ridden by William Wales.
TOM DE SAVOIE: Brown gelding by War Hero out of Black Pilot
Sometimes had a tendency to jump indifferently but if racing on ‘good’ ground surface would be there or thereabouts, at the finish. Won three races and placed in three others, from seven starts in 2000, winning the Confined here, a Men’s Open at High Easter and the Queen’s Cup Hunter ‘Chase at Fakenham, all with William Wales aboard.
Date: 14th April 1990 Going: FIRM
Races: 6 Runners: 22 Winning Favourites: 3 out of6
Runners were very sparse for this Puckeridge and Thurlow fixture mainly due to the firm course conditions. Tim Moore rode a double but employed contrasting tactics on both winners. RHUSTED won the Men’s Open, making all and won unchallenged despite a blunder three fences out. In the Adjacent Hunt’s race Tim was on COMPANY POLICY and waited with his challenge before taking the lead from Rubie’s Choice and running on well, to win by a length. Nicola Bothway rode the runner-up here and also had to settle for second place, in another tight finish, in the Ladies’ Open, where NOAN WOOD and Paula Claydon just held on by ½ a length. The biggest field of the day saw seven contest the concluding Adjacent Hunt Maiden and this resulted in a comfortable win for BENINGTON GEORGE and Simon Andrews, who won unchallenged from two out.
RHUSTED: Bay gelding by Busted out of Rheinbloom
Trained by Gill Duffield, qualified with the Cambridgeshire Harriers and part-owned by Bloodstock Agent David Minton and even though he suffered from fragile legs, this gelding always gave his best. Successful three times during the 1990 season, winning here and at Higham twice, where his speed came into play. Tim Moore struck up a useful partnership with this versatile son of Busted.
Date: 12th April 1980 Going: GOOD TO FIRM
Races: 6 Runners : 52 Winning Favourites: 1 joint out of 6 Charlotte Brew rode her only point-to-point winner of the 1980 season at this Puckeridge & Thurlow meeting, on RIGHT TACTICS in the Ladies’ Open. Charlotte, who shot to fame when competing in the 1977 Grand National on Barony Fort, was denied a double when finishing second on Prizeland to LIGHT VALE and Tim Moore , in the Adjacent Hunts race.
VAL d’AMOUR has been a great servant to owner Joe Turner and this was his third win of the season. David Turner was in the saddle, this time, for a 3 length victory in the Men’s Open.
The opening Hunt race went to BELUGA BOY, who always seems to perform better on a firmer surface and Don Cantillon cajoled the gelding to jump better, on this appearance, and they prevailed by 4 lengths at the finish.
RIGHT TACTICS: Bay gelding by Right Tack out of King’s Victress
This gelding was owned by her mother and Miss Brew enjoyed this success where the partnership made all the running. Charlotte employed waiting tactics, earlier in the season, when they were successful in a Hunter ‘Chase at Folkestone, in mid March. The winning duo only challenged for the lead two fences out but soon put an increasing distance between themselves and the other runners, finishing 25 lengths to the good.