Alex Embiricos extended her lead at the head of the East Anglian Lady Riders’ standings with a crushing victory aboard Highland Rose in the Ladies’ Open Race at the Aldenham Harriers Point-To-Point at Cottenham on Saturday.
Highland Rose has developed a real affinity for the Cambridgeshire venue, as this was her third course victory in the space of 11 weeks and all three have been achieved in spectacular style.
This time the Roselier mare produced some extravagant leaps on the final circuit to overhaul long-time leader Templebreedy and come home 15 lengths clear of Village Copper.
The victory meant that Embiricos, from Newmarket, shares the trophy awarded to the leading Cottenham rider during the 2004 season with Surrey-based Philip York.
It also qualified Highland Rose for the Gerrard Ladies Point-To-Point Championship Hunter Chase Final at Huntingdon on May 11 and that may well be her next port of call.
David and Vicky Wales and their daughter, Jo Fleming, from Marham, near King’s Lynn, have only two pointers in their yard and the success of Play Alone in the Panacur/TBA PPORA Mares’ Maiden meant that both have won in the last week.This time the victory was shared with Wymondham jockey Nigel Bloom, who missed Camden Loch’s triumph at Higham on Easter Saturday.
The vastly-experienced Bloom was instrumental in the outcome, staying cool when Play Alonewas overtaken by Northern Breeze at the second last and then conjuring a late rally which saw his mount prevail by half a length in a driving finish.
A stable in even better form is that of Anna Brooks, who has enjoyed an incredible year and enhanced her superb record when Wincy Spider took the Restricted Race under James Diment. This meant that Brooks, from Towcester in Northamptonshire, had scored five times from just seven runners since the turn of the year.
Trainer Chris Lawson moved his string to Stapleford Tawney in Essex last autumn and he saddled his first winner from the new yard when Mill Lord benefited from a shrewd ride from Matthew Mackley to land the Maiden Race.
None of his five rivals wanted to make the running, so Mackley was able to sneak clear without Mill Lord expending any great energy. Having his first start for 11 months, Mill Lord got tired in the closing stages but still had 10 lengths to spare over Tooley Park at the line.
Only three of the ten runners in the Land Rover Men’s Open hailed from East Anglia. And the visitors dominated the finish, Belvento (who needs meticulous attention from his West Sussex trainer, Rachel Deakin, to overcome the effects of a rare condition known as ‘kissing spine’) defeating Hatch Gate by five lengths.
In the Members’ Race, 19-year-old Andrew Corbett, from Flamstead, near Luton, rode his first winner at the ninth time of asking when Gunner Be True got the better of his solitary rival, Carvilla.Corbett was not the youngest winner of the day, however, as Jack Quinlan, the 11-year-old nephew of Newmarket flat trainer, Mick Quinlan, landed the Children’s Pony Race on One Of A Pair. Things could be interesting in the Quinlan household over the next few days as his older sister, Megan, was back in third on Shotgun Wedding!
Race One (Members’ Race):
1 S R Andrews and Mrs J Lewin’s Gunner Be True (Aldenham Harriers) (A Corbett),
2 N W Padfield’s Carvilla (AldenhamHarriers) (A Sansome).
Four lengths. 6.41. W £1.50. SP evens (Carvilla 4-7 fav).
Race Two (PPORA Club Mares’ Maiden Race):
1 S Wood and D Wales’ Play Alone (West Norfolk) (N Bloom),
2 R Tranter’s Northern Breeze (Cottesmore) (MMackley),
3 Random Optimists’ Gale On The Lake (Fitzwilliam) (P Hall).
Also: Memsahib Ki Behan (4), Kissed By Moonlite (5), Wanna Be Bay (6), GreenLeader (pu), Pink Mosaic (pu), Scalby Croft (pu), Trojan Love (pu). Half a length, 10 lengths. 6.16. W £3.30. DF £20.90. SP 7-2 (Gale On The Lake 7-4 fav).
Race Three (Mens Open Race):
1 Mrs J Plackett’s Belvento (Crawley andHorsham) (M Sheridan),
2 Mrs K H York’s Hatch Gate (Staff College) (P York),
3 Mrs A E Lee’s Gratomi (Cambridge University) (N Kent).
Also: FreedomFighter (4), Ballad (5), Polo Ridge (6), Merry Minstrel (7), Cateel Bay(pu), Fine Times (pu), Vital Issue (pu). Five lengths, 1 length. 6.01. W £6.70. DF £8.80. SP 4-1 (Freedom Fighter 6-4 fav).
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 Mr and Mrs S N J Embiricos’ Highland Rose (Thurlow) (Ms A Embiricos),
2 A G C Howland-Jackson’s Village Copper(Suffolk) (Miss H Grissell),
3 R J French’s Templebreedy (North Salop) (Miss S Beddoes).
Also: The Wiley Kalmuck (4), Quick Response (5), Borrow Mine (6), Catherine’s Way (7), Fiolino (8). 15 lengths, 10 lengths. 5.58. W£1.50. DF £13.80. SP 8-11 fav.
Race Five (Restricted Race):
1 T L and Mrs A Brooks’ Wincy Spider (Grafton) (J Diment),
2 C M Gee’s Gillie’s Nephew (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (J Tudor),
3 J R Newton’s Interrogator (Belvoir) (J Docker).
Also: Troubleshooter (4), Lone Star (5), Ardnut (6), Now Or Never (7), Ard NaCarrig (ur), Magic Lodge (pu), Viscount Bankes (pu). One and a half lenghts,20 lengths. 6.03. W £3.10. DF £23.20. SP 5-1 (Viscount Bankes 5-4 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race):
1 C J Lawson’s Mill Lord (Essex0 (M Mackley),
2 J T B Hunt’s Tooley Park (Pytchley) (S Morris),
3 Mrs R Gasson’s A Bit Of A Hike (Farmers Bloodhounds) (A Martin).
Also: Society Scandal (4), DivineMist (pu), Playaway (pu). Ten lengths, 10 lengths. 6.10. W £12.50. DF£23.60. SP 12-1 (Tooley Park 4-5 fav).
Children’s Invitation Flat Race (Ponies):
1 One Of A Pair (Jack Quinlan),
2 Annie Rock (Georgina Andrews),
3 Shotgun Wedding (Megan Quinlan), 4 Georgie (Nikki McCaffrey).
Eight lengths, three lengths.