A gargantuan crowd rewarded the watering efforts of the organisers of the penultimate meeting of the East Anglian season, the Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace fixture at Northaw, near Potters Bar, on Bank Holiday Monday.
The undoubted star of the day was jockey Gina Andrews, from Lilley in Hertfordshire, as she rode a double to round off a fantastic week for not just herself but for her father, Simon, too.
Gina had enjoyed the finest victory of her career the five days earlier when East Anglia’s most popular horse, Mid Div And Creep, brought down the curtain on her wonderful career with a Hunter Chase victory at Cheltenham.
That was Gina’s 100th career win and, having improved that tally when triumphing aboard Mass Hysteria at a Peper Harow in Surrey on Saturday, she made it a treble for the weekend by taking the Ladies Open aboard Pollen Jock and the Open Maiden on Cooleys Flyer.
All three weekend winners are trained by Simon Andrews, who thus quadrupled his total for what had hitherto been a disappointing season.
Pollen Jock made every yard of the running and, wearing sheepskin cheekpieces for the first time to combat his lack of mental fortitude, came home 15 lengths clear.
Gina’s ride on Cooleys Flyer was one of her strongest as, despite getting regularly outjumped by fellow front-runner Steel Gold, she conjured one last big effort from her mount after the final fence to score by a length.
This was a timely pick-me-up for winning owner, Anthony Howland-Jackson, who lives near Wakes Colne, as he is in the midst of a long battle against serious illness.
Ed Turner, from Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, was another trainer to follow up a Saturday winner at Peper Harow (in his case via Bavard Court) with a second helping here. This time Art Trend was the name of the winning steed and on both occasions the successful pilot was James Owen, from Cowlinge, near Newmarket.
Whilst Owen is an East Anglian champion jockey many times over, Archie Wright, from Badlingham, also near Newmarket, is just getting going and he triumphed for the fourth time in his debut season when Sheriff Hutton proved much too strong for his two rivals in the Mens Open.
The other two races both went to trainers from south of the Thames. Paddycards, trained and ridden by East Sussex-based Nick Pearce, could not have been more impressive in dismissing his eight rivals in the Restricted while the opening Club Members contest went the way of Oscarsfriend, trained in Kent by Chris Lawson.
GOING: GOOD TO FIRM
East Anglian Area Club Members Conditions
1 – OSCARSFRIEND JODY SOLE 7/1
2 Milled Ben Rivett
3 – Rather Curious Patrick Smith 5/2f
Time 6 mins 27 secs Dists: 3L, 10L 9 ran
1 ART TREND JAMES OWEN 5/2
2 – Rare Gold Dale Peters
3 – Ocean Fou Richard Collinson
Time 6-26 Dists: ½ L, 20L 6 ran
Kings Chase 11/10f (4th )
1 – SHERIFF HUTTON ARCHIE WRIGHT 1/4f
2 – Walkin Aisy Richard Collinson
3 – Topenhall Shaun Graham
Time 6-36 Dists: 20L, Distance 3 ran
1 – POLLEN JACK GINA ANDREWS 10/1
2 – Citizens Arrest Bridget Andrews
3 William Butler Francesca Hickman
Time 6-18 Dists:15L, 25L 6 ran
Rear Gunner 4/5f ( PU )
1 – PADDYCARDS NICK PEARCE 9/2
2 – Illhavealook Dale Peters 11/4f
3 – Clonshire Gina Andrews
Time N/A Dists: 25L, 5L 9 ran
1 – COOLEYS FLYER GINA ANDREWS 3/1
2 – Steel Gold James Owen 6/4f
3 Conkies Lad Ben Rivett
Time 6-25 Dists: 1L, ¾L 9 ran