Bargain buy Mister Trick carried off the richest Point-To-Point of the year at Marks Tey on Saturday as his stamina shone through in the Baileys Horse Feeds East Anglian Challenge Cup.
Purchased for just 2,500 guineas at the Malvern Sales less than two months ago by his trainer-jockey, Neil King, Mister Trick had already belied his price tag with four solid placed efforts in good company.
This time he came out on top to scoop the £300 first prize plus £150 worth of Baileys vouchers. Given an excellent ride by Whepstead-based King, Mister Trick was the only member of the field to follow a fast pace set by High Learie.
And when that rival dropped away in the last half mile, Mister Trick kept on tenaciously to hold the challenge of the hot favourite, Hatcham Boy, by three lengths.
King was quickly on the phone to report the glad tidings to the joint owners, Newmarket car dealer, Kevin Williams, who was skiing, and the Tuddenham bloodstock agent, Hugo Lascelles, who was at Portman Road cheering on Ipswich Town’s promotion push. Lascelles can put the triumph down to Ann- Marie Hays, who is both his point-to-pointing adviser and King’s girlfriend.
Andrew Ayers finally enjoyed the sweet taste of success when partnering Still In Business in the opening East Essex Members Race. Fully eight years, but only seven rides, since he last even managed to complete the course, Ayers, from Gestingthorpe, near Halstead, sent his mount to the front at the third last and held off the late challenge of Worthy Memories by two lengths.
A 30-year-old Investment Broker, Ayers had been through plenty of heartache since he bought Still In Business last summer and sent him to the Great Yeldham trainer, Robert Gardiner.
Wilf Tolhurst, from Langham, who is joint clerk of the course with Simon Cowell, experienced a day of mixed fortunes as an owner-trainer. Firstly, his old stalwart, Kelly’s Original, came back to form with a vengeance when overturning the hotpot, Village Copper, by two lengths in the Confined Race.
“I never thought we’d get another win out of him, it’s mindblowing,” Tolhurst said, before explaining that the horse had been at death’s door a month ago with colic and an enlarged spleen.
Tolhurst came down to earth with a bump in the following Intermediate Race when his fine young prospect, Manna Brave, suffered a serious hock injury. The race was won by the Buckinghamshire raider, Aingottime, who proved four lengths too strong for Persian Boy.
Trainer Ruth Hayter and her prinicpal owners, Anthony and Sue Howland Jackson, have been enoying another fine season. But on Saturday they suffered three near misses as, after Village Copper and Hatcham Boy had both finished second, Gatchou Mans ran a blinder to fill the same position behind Spring Gale in the Ladies’ Open.
Ridden by Zoe Turner, who trains the son of Strong Gale at Ampton, near Bury St Edmunds, in partnership with her father and grandfather, Spring Gale was less impressive than usual in completing a four-timer with a one length success.
Nigel Bloom, who was aboard Kelly’s Original, completed his third double in the past two weeks when Mr Magget, who is trained at Wymondham by Bloom’s father, Mike, got the better of Ar Aghaiadh Abhaile and Squaddie in a tight finish to the Restricted Race.
A Bloom treble was looming when Nigel sent Cradle Mountain clear at the second last in the first division of the Maiden. But Chris Carman, a farrier from Heydon, near Norwich, gained himself a 45th birthday present one day early as he inspired a late burst from his mount, Rafter.
An unconsidered 20-1 chance in the betting, the former event ran on strongly after the last to beat Cradle Mountain by a length and give Carman a second career victory.
The second division of the Maiden, which ended a marathon day of racing at 6.30p.m., went to Our Man Flin, trained in Newmarket by Tim Bryce and ridden by Andrew Sansome.
Race One (Hunt Race):
1 Mr A Ayers’ Still In Business (East Essex) (owner),
2 Mrs E M Bousquet-Payne’s Worthy Memories (East Essex) (A Sansome),
3 Mrs A Ingram and Miss L Ingram’s Royal Surprise (East Essex) (Miss L Ingram).
Also: Dance On Sixpence (4), Son Of Iris (5), Limited Liability (pu), Royal Action (f). Two lengths, 20 lengths. 6m 45s. œ2.30. SP 11-4fav.
Race Two (Confined Race):
1 Mr W Tolhurst’s Kelly’s Original (Essex & Suffolk) (N Bloom),
2 Mr and Mrs A Howland Jackson’s Village Copper (Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas),
3 Mr A Graham’s Hillwalk (Puckeridge) (A Harvey).
Also: Koathary (4), Stoney Valley (5), King High (ur), Lazy Acres (pu), Nibble (f), Regal Bay (pu), Scarlett O’Hara (pu), Spaceage Gold (pu), Take A Flyer (pu). Two lengths, five lengths. 6m 40s. œ9.00. SP 14-1. (Village Copper 4-7fav).
Race Three (Intermediate Race):
1 Mrs F Kehoe’s Aintgottime (Bicester & WH) (R Lawther),
2 Mr J M Turner’s Persian Boy (Suffolk) (A Sansome),
3 Mr R P and Miss C Fryer’s Ann’s Ambition (Miss C Fryer).
Also: Tell Tale (4), Mai Point (5), Mendip Prince (6), Alfredo Garcia (ur), Henpecked (f), Lord Knox (pu), Manna Brave (pu), Pearly Haze (pu). Four lengths, six lengths. 6m 37s. œ3.70. SP 9-4jt fav. (Manna Brave 9-4jt fav).
Race Four (3m 4f Men’s Open Race):
1 Mr K Williams’ and Mr H Lascelles’ Mister Trick (Pytchley) (N King),
2 Mr and Mrs A Howland Jackson’s Hatcham Boy (Suffolk) (C Ward-Thomas),
3 Mr J M Turner’s Remilan (Suffolk) (A Sansome).
Also: Veryvel (4), High Learie (5), Ruperts Choice (pu), Tan Hill Sparky (pu). Three lengths, eight lengths. 7m 21s. œ7.10. SP 7-1. (Hatcham Boy 1-2fav).
Race Five (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 Mr J M Turner’s (Suffolk) (Miss Z Turner),
2 Mr and Mrs A Howland Jackson’s Gatchou Mans (Suffolk) (Miss C Grissell),
3 Ms J Stevens’ Thurles Pickpocket (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (Mrs S Hodge).
Also: Lets Twist Again (4), Hay Dance (5), Going Around (6), Salmon Mead (7). One length, four lengths. 6m 38s. œ1.10. SP 1-4fav.
Race Six (Restricted Race):
1 Mr R P and Miss C Fryer’s Mr Magget (Brecon) (N Bloom),
2 Ms S Wallace’s Ar Aghaidh Abhaile (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (G Cooper),
3 Mr J M Turner’s Squaddie (Suffolk) (A Sansome).
Also: Skinsey Finnigan (4), Mackoy (5), Holmby Copse (6), And Why Not (7), Bakmalad (8), Dynoun (pu), Rathkeel (pu). Half length, half length. 6m 47s. œ2.10. SP 7-2. (Ar Aghaidh Abhaile 5-2fav).
Race Seven (Confined Maiden Race Division One):
1 Mr C Carman’s Rafter (North Norfolk Harriers) (Owner),
2 North Norfolk Farmers’ Cradle Mountain (Dunston Harriers) (N Bloom),
3 Mr N W Padfield’s Rag Bolt (Enfield Chace) (S Andrews).
Also: Out Of Actons (4), Ger’s Girl (5), Bandit Boy (pu), Carlton Brae (pu), David Bruce (pu), Midnight Dynamite (pu), Teluk (pu). One length, two lengths. 6m 51s. œ68.00. SP 20-1. (David Bruce 6-4fav).
Race Eight (Confined Maiden Race Division Two):
1 Mr M Rogerson’s Our Man Flin (Thurlow) (A Sansome),
2 Mr H R Hobson’s Sixth Sense (Puckeridge) (T Lane),
3 Mrs M J Thorogood’s Lancaster Boy (Essex) (S Andrews).
Also: Citizen Band (4), Bozo Bailey (pu), Curracloe Rose (ur), Dilly May Dally (pu), Play Alone (pu), Secret Music (pu). One length, four lengths. 6m 48s. œ3.10. SP 6-4fav.