A thrilling finish to a classy Greene King Men’s Open Race, won by Tom de Savoie, was the highlight of a tremendous Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace Point-To-Point meeting at Horseheath on Saturday.
Tom de Savoie, who is owned by Will Barber from Sedgeford near Hunstanton, got the better of a superb duel with the Shropshire raider, Lord Harry, to score by a length with Call It A Dayjust three-quarters of a length back in third and Rectory Garden and Hatcham Boy close up in fourth and fifth.
It was an emotional triumph for Northamptonshire trainer Caroline Bailey, just 24 hours after the funeral of her father, the legendary Grand National-winning jockey, Dick Saunders.
Rowan Cope rode the winner with great skill, but he was only in the saddle because of another unfortunate family bereavement – the mother-in-law of Tom de Savoie’s regular pilot, William Wales.
The most dramatic incident of an afternoon featuring no fewer than 87 runners in seven races came in a PPORA Club Members’ Race in which only three of the 15 contestants completed the course. Endeavour looked certain to take advantage of the earlier fall of Monty’s Tag when forging into the lead jumping the final fence.
But, as a number of other horses did during the day, Endeavour jumped the peat-covered roadway on the run-in, unshipping jockey George Cooper and leaving Aintgottime as the lucky winner. Cooper took a long time to get up, and the initial signs were not good, but it later transpired that he had not been seriously hurt.
The opening division of the Maiden race (restricted to younger horses) will live long in the memory of Andrew Braithwaite as he registered his first ever victory in the saddle. His mount, Alpha Man, made an exciting racecourse debut to overcome Teeton Priceless by two lengths after a great tussle.
Braithwaite, 20, is originally from Stock, near Chelmsford, but now lives at the yard of Alpha Man’s trainer, Christopher Sporborg. Sporborg’s younger son, Simon, who only retired from riding a few months ago to allow Braithwaite his chance, was on hand to congratulate the youngster, admitting that he was missing riding “much more now than I was half an hour ago!”
The Banks Ladies’ Open Race witnessed a shock as the odds-on favourite and last year’s winner, Look In The Mirror, failed by a length and a half to peg back the Surrey-trained Mr Miller. Spring Gale made a highly satisfactory seasonal debut to take third.
Uncle Buck, owned and trained by Josie and Gurney Sheppard and ridden by Paul Taiano, beat Wrekengale by 15 lengths to give the Sheppards, from Ashwell near Royston, their eighth victory in the last 12 runnings of the Members’ Race at this meeting.
Unusually, the Restricted Race produced the joint fastest time of the day so the winner, Amber Life, should be worth following. Trained in Surrey and well ridden by Philip York, Amber Lifewas completing a quick East Anglian double having won at Higham three weeks earlier.
Northamptonshire jockey Dickie Barrett, who had earlier ridden Aintgottime to his lucky victory, guided Weaver’s Choice to a ten length verdict over Pampered Gale in the older horse Maiden to round off the action.
Barrett was fortunate again here, as Weaver’s Choice is usually partnered by Pampered Gale’s jockey, Andrew Sansome, and he only picked up the ride half an hour before the race.
Race One (Members Race):
1 M G Sheppard’s Uncle Buck Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace (P Taiano),
2 S Harrison, T Burrows and N King’s Wrekengale (Thurlow) (N King),
3 Miss J Cooks Jimmy Dan (Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace) (A Williams).
Also: Bit of a Chick (pu), Parson Hume Rywebber (ur), Royal Artic (f). Fifteen lenghts, ten lengths, 6.55. W £1.20. DF £1.80 SP 6-4 jt fav (Wrekengale 6-4 jt fav).
Race Two (Point-to-point Assoc Club Race):
1 Mrs F Kehoe’s Aint Gottime (BWC) (R Barrett),
2 Miss C Hill and Mrs J Hill’s Contingency (Pytchley) (R Cope),
3 Mrs M G Sheppard’s Fair Exchange (Cambridgeshire with Enfield Chace) (P Taiano).
Also: Endeavour (ur), Harweld (pu), Longmore (pu), Manna Brave (ur), Monty’s Tag (f), Need More Practice (pu), Neelisagin (ur), Royal Banter (pu), Spittal Beck (pu), Teeton Nishaball (pu), Ulvick Star (ur). Twenty lengths, two lengths. 6.44. W £9.60. DF £85.80. SP 5-1 (Fair Exchange 2-1 fav).
Race Three (Mens’ Open Race):
1 Mr W Barber’s Tom De Savoie (West Norfolk) (R Cope),
2 M Parr’s Lord Harvey (North Shropshire) (A Crowe),
3 1 Mrs J Lane’s Call It A Day (Farmers Bloodhounds) M Appleby).
Also: Rector Garden (4th), Hatcham Boy (5th), Alpha Two (pu), Back Bar (pu), Bens Gift (pu), Corston Joker (pu), Royal Actrion (pu). One length, ¾ length. 6.42. W £3.60. DF £3.00. SP 6-1 (Lord Harry 4-6 fav).
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 P Flaherty’s Mr Miller (Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds) (Miss C Holiday),
2 C Hammett’s Look In The Mirror (Cotswold) (Miss A Nolan),
3 J M Turner’s Spring Gale (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner).
Also: Borrow Mine (4th), Luscombe (5th), Ballyea Boy (pu), Blayney’s Privilege (pu), Florida Jacko (pu),Gatchou Mas (pu), Thurles Pickpocket (pu). One length, 15 lengths. 6.43. W £12.20. DF £4.10. SP 10-1 (Look In The Mirror 4-7 fav).
Race Five (Restricted race):
1 P York’s Amber Life (SC and RMAS) (owner),
2 M Scudamore and Mrs M Scudamore’s Saffaran Winds (Cotswold) (R Biddlecombe),
3 F Farrow and Heather Goward’s Tap The Father (West Norfolk) (C Ward-Thomas).
Also: Find Me Another (4th), Millennium Way (5th), Temple Noe Hare (6th), Barton Nic (pu), Campbell Hill (pu), Changing Fashion (pu), Gerej (pu), Mind Your Step (pu), Nowornever (pu), Our Friend Vinc (ur), Wise Point (pu), You Can Quote Me (pu). Ten lengths, neck. 6.42. W £5.30. DF £6.90. SP 4-1 (Find Me Another, evens fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race for 5, 6, or 7 year olds):
1 Sir Chips Keswick and C Sarborg’s Alpha Man (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite),
2 Mrs J Tice’s Teeton Priceless (Pytchley) ( A Sansome),
3 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones’ Sidney Hobart (Pytchley) (R Cope).
Also: Kingfisher Star (4th), Artic Summer (pu), Bedtime Boys (f), Bright Torind (pu), Buckley Downs (pu), Gaelic Lord (pu), Leading Case (f), Marbank Lad (pu), Pharout (pu), Play Alone (pu), Tyne Mine (pu), Whichwaygirl (pu). Two lengths, five lengths. 6.53. W £8.50. DF £4.60. SP 5-1 (Sidney Hobart 5-4 fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race, 8 years old and over):
1 Mrs J Tice’s Weavers’ Choice (Pytchley) (R Barrett), J M Turner’s Pampered Gale (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
3 Mr and Mrs T George’s Cumberland Youth (Pytchley) (P Briley).
Also: Templebreedy (4th), Speedy (5th), Goforitkate (6th), Jack Hackett (7th), Bannagh Express (pu), Cardinal Cobh (f), Fresh Brew (pu), Ginger Bug (bd), Glass Braker (pu), Green Leader (pu), Nubro (pu), Paleface Perhaps (pu), Paper Prince (pu), The Arkle Bar (pu). Three lengths, head. 6.50. W £6.80. DF £16.00. SP 5-2 (Nubro 7-4 fav).