Highlights of the last three decades of the West Norfolk
by Mike Ashby

2010-2015

Date:     19th April 2010          Going:   GOOD

Races:    6        Runners:   3          Winning Favourites:    2 out of6  

A timely treble for Gina Andrews in her quest to regain the national point-to-point lady rider’s championship title. On all three winners, Gina took the opportunity to make all the running and this proved decisive in achieving her hat-trick of successes. The first two of Gina’s winners were comfortable victories on SMITHS HILL ( PPORA Club Members’ ) and SEE YOU JACK ( Ladies’ Open ). The former had four lengths to spare at the finish whilst See You Jack continued his consistency of performance, every time he goes to the races.  CONDORMAN took the closing Open Maiden race to complete and excellent day for Miss Andrews. BALTIC BLUE again showed his likeness for the Fakenham track with a Restricted race win to record his second success at the course. With three horses contesting the finish, the jump at the last was crucial and Carey Williamson kept Baltic Blue’s head down on the run-in to score from Haughtons Bridge and Hill Of Gold.

FEATURED HORSE:

BALTIC BLUE:    Bay gelding by Beat All  out ofLaced Up

Owned and trained by Brian Dowling this gelding is regularly partnered by Carey Williamson, in his races. Been placed ten times out oftwenty five point races including two wins at the West Norfolk meeting at Fakenham. Not disgraced when running at Stratford’s Hunter ‘Chase evening meeting, finishing fifth in the Subaru Restricted Series Final in May 2015.

 

2000-2009

Date:   24th April 2005            Going:   GOOD : GOOD TO FIRM in places

Races:      7            Runners:    61       Winning Favourites:     3 out of  7

A healthy number of runners were attracted by the well prepared, good ground conditions. 

David Kemp enjoyed a riding double with DECKIE ( Club Members ) and CRYSTAL DANCE ( Open Maiden). The latter was most impressive on his East Anglian debut and was thirty lengths clear at the finish whilst Deckie was all out to win his race. David had earlier finished second on Second Thoughts to AIN TECBALET and George Greenockin the opening Hunt Members’ race. The winner led approaching the last and was in command all the way to the finishing line. James Owen was seen at his best to get HI TECH MAN home by a head in the Intermediate whilst GATCHOU MANS won the Men’s open in facile fashion with Alex Merriam, in the saddle.

FEATURED HORSE:

GATCHOU MANS :   Grey gelding by Royal Charter out of  Vindjica Mans

Trained by Ruth Hayter, this grey gelding possessed enough ability to win more races but his overall record was often spoilt by too many errors. This win was his only success during the 2005 season but he had managed to get his head in front on four occasions prior to this, two of which came in Open races.

1990-1999

Date:    29th April 1995                Going:    GOOD

Races:    8       Runners:     72           Winning Favourites:   3out of8

Current day successful trainers were to the fore, in their competitive riding days, at this meeting. Neil King pushed STAY ON TRACKS clear of the mare River Melody, in the Men’s Open despite the pair coming together at the last. Nigel Bloom took a rare ride for the Turner team on the normally unco-operative NORTH BANNISTER, who just held on in the Intermediate, whilst William Wales won the Hunt race on MR. GOSSIP, who successfully held the favourite Jerrigo, by a length. John Ferguson and WAY OF LIFE won the Confined race, unchallenged, having taken the lead at the twelfth fence, to beat Melton Park by four lengths.

FEATURED HORSE:

STAY ON TRACKS:    Grey gelding by Roslier out of  Bee In Bonnet

Had definitely reached the veteran stage by the 1995 season but can be proud of his achievements during his career for his previous trainers, under rules, including W. A. Stephenson. Ran in the 1992 Grand National finishing ninth to Party Politics, when ridden by Chris Grant and followed up his numerous wins under rules by adding two points wins in 1995, with victories here and at Marks Tey.

 

1980-1989

Date:   11th May 1985              Going:    

Races:    8   Runners :  74            Winning Favourites:    No SP’s available

Ollie Vaughan –Jones returned to the saddle just six weeks since being in intensive care with fractured ribs, a collapsed lung and a broken pelvis. Much to the relief of family and friends, he led all the way, on PROMINENT ARTIST to defeat Tim Moore on Gladstonian by a length. Ollie was also the winning owner of the Men’s Open winner, GENERAL RULE, who was steered to four length victory over Owen Sherry, by George Cooper. The Vaughan-Jones stable looked set for hat-trick until Staccato blundered badly at the final fence allowing Joanna Hodge to flash past and take the Ladies’ Open on MUSSEL BED. Joanna’s winning ride earned her a bottle of champagne having been judged ‘jockey of the meeting’. Andrew Berry came down from Belvoir country and returned with two winners, SCOTS SALUTE and RHONE RIVER, both in divisions of the Maiden. A third division of this race saw Simon Stearn and WISE GAMBOL justify favouritism and score by ten lengths.           

FEATURED HORSE:

WISE GAMBOL:      Chestnut gelding by Gambling Debt out of Nutkin

Inauspicious start to this gelding’s career having to be pulled up in his first three outings, followed by a fall at Horseheath. Two third places followed as the penny began to drop before this victory was comfortably landed, in this division of the Adjacent Hunts Maiden.