Dunmanus Bay provided the perfect finish to a wonderful East Essex Point-To-Point, run under azure blue skies at Marks Tey on Saturday, with a highly popular victory in the closing Novice Riders Race.

Trained at Chevington, near Bury St Edmunds, by Julie Read and owned by her mother, Pam King, Dunmanus Bay was giving 18-year-old Johnny Bailey his first ever success in the saddle.

But that tells only half the story as Nokimover, who snapped at Dunmanus Bay’s heels all the way up the run-in under Wells-next-the-Sea-based Sam Vaughan-Jones before going down by two lengths, is trained by Bailey’s father, Gerald.

An understandably proud dad, the Northamptonshire handler admitted afterwards that he did not know which of the first two to shout for in the closing stages.

It was a great day for the Baileys as My Best Buddy, whom they have had for over ten years and was described as ‘part of the family’ by Johnny’s step mother, Caroline, triumphed in the Men’s Open on his comeback from a leg injury that required surgery last October.

Martin Ward, who trains at Sutton near Ely, got off the mark for the season when Nomadic Blaze responded to a good ride from Newmarket’s Harry Fowler to land the first division of the Open Maiden.

Ward picked up this Nomadic Way gelding for just 1,000 guineas at Ascot Sales in July – probably a fair price given that he had failed to win any of his 25 races to that point. He looks quite a bargain now and Fowler said: “I was unable to really ride him as he was hanging left up the final hill but he was charging around the winner’s enclosure afterwards which shows he had plenty left in the tank.”Probably the most promising horse on show was Rydal Park, who, after a thrilling duel with Another Dude, made it two wins from two runs between the flags when lifting the Confined Race under trainer-rider David Kemp, from Kilverstone, near Thetford.

It was a fitting result as one of Rydal Park’s three owners, Giles Sim, from Shalford Green, near Braintree, is joint Master of the organising East Essex Hunt and another, Helen Robson, from Hatfield Broad Oak, is the assistant secretary.

Kemp has high hopes for the their seven-year-old with a Maiden Hunter Chase possibly next on his agenda.

Kemp also went close in the Members Race but his mount, Halcyon Times, found Baron Bernard ten lengths too strong. Trained at Great Yeldham by Aubrey Chinery and ridden by his 17-year-old granddaughter, Rosie, Baron Bernard reacted well to the application of blinkers to land this race for the second time.

The eight-race card had its share of exciting finishes, none more so than in the second Maiden, where Lunch Was My Idea, who is owned by a triumverate of school mates from Billericay and Wickford known as the Jigsaw Racing Partnership, was brought with a perfectly-timed run by Jody Sole to collar Parzando right on the line and score by a head.

Another rousing finale came in the Ladies’ Open as Camilla Ewart inspired a flying finish from her mount, Fauntleroy, to catch the odds-on favourite, Va Vavoom, in the last 100 yards.

This was an amazing ninth success of the campaign for Oxfordshire trainer Alan Hill and was a third win from four Marks Tey rides for Ewart, who was brought up near the course and whose father, James, who still lives at Thorpe-le-Soken, was on hand to take the celebratory photos.

Shady Minx, trained in Lincolnshire by Antonia Bealby, made it three wins on the bounce in partnership with rider Andrew Corbett with a determined display in the Connolly’s Red Mills Intermediate Race.


Race One (East Essex Members’ Race):

1 A Chinery’s Baron Bernard (East Essex) (Miss R Chinery),

2 B Belchem’s Halcyon Times (East Essex) (D Kemp).

Also Hilltop Harry (pu). Ten lengths. 6.51. SP evens (Halcyon Times10-11 fav).

Race Two (Open Maiden Race, Division One):

1 Mrs M Martin and M Ward’s Nomadic Blaze (Granta Harriers) (H Fowler),

2 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Lord of the Knar (West Norfolk) (A Vaughan-Jones),

3 R Hartop’s Sounds Good (Chid, LEC and Cowdray) (Mrs H Kemp).

Also: Edgar Wilde (4), Gavz Boy (5), Arctic Sun (6), Hurricane Dipper (7), Cadtauri (pu), Dialc (pu), Mene-More (pu), Parakeet (pu). Eleven ran. 6.49. SP 4-1 (Sounds Good 2-1 fav).

Race Three (Open Maiden Race, Division Two):

1 Jigsaw Racing Partnership’s Lunch Was My Idea (E Kent) (J Sole),

2 S Robinson’s Parzando (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Owner),

3 The Andrews and Barthorpe Family’s Shilgrove Lad (Cambs with Enfield Chase) (Miss G Andrews).

Also: Onyx D/Ace (4), Jerry’n See More (5), Thurning Lad (6), Double Illusion (pu), Foulston’s Ruler (pu), Phoebe’s Girl (pu), Strong Opinions (pu), Wichway Now (pu).  Head, three lengths. 6.48. SP 12-1 (Jerry’n See More 3-1 fav).

Race Four (Confined Race):

1 The Oak Partnership’s Rydal Park (E Essex) (D Kemp),

2 MaM R Abrey’s Another Dude (Suffolk) (R Stearn),

3 T Buxton and Lady J Green’s A Little More Action (Essex and Suffolk) (P Bull).

Also: Thoutmosis (4), Briar (pu), Cosi Celeste (pu), It’s All Up In The Air (pu), Rathnally Park (pu), That Makes Two Of Us (pu), Tuesday’s Child. Ten lengths. 6.39. SP 7-4 fav.

Race Five (Men’s Open Race):

1 Mrs C Aldridge and R Juleff’s My Best Buddy (Pytchley) (R Barrett), 2

Mrs F Hawes’ Snob Wells (Dunston Harriers) (M Smith),

3 Mrs J Wilson’s Tallow Bridge (Pytchley) (S Morris).

Also: Houghton Bay (4), Bel Ombre (f). Two lengths, neck. 6.50. SP evens fav.

Race Six (Ladies’ Open Race):

1 Miss C Ewart’s Fauntleroy (Vale of Aylesbury with Garth and S Berks) (Owner),

2 Mrs F Hawes’ Va Vavoom (Dunston Harriers) (Owner),

3 S March’s Who Cares Wins (Essex and Suffolk) (Miss A Stennett).

Also: Political Cruise (4), The Wiley Kalmuck (5), Glanamana (pu), Major John (ur), O’Jays Alibi (pu).  One and a-half lengths, 25 lengths. 6.36. SP 4-1 (Va Vavoom 1-2 fav).

Race Seven (Intermediate Race):

1 Mrs F MacFarlane’s Shady Mix Belvoir) (A Corbett),

2 P Rackham’s Round The Isles (Pytchley) (R Barrett),

3 BBelchem’s If You Believe In Dreams (E Essex) (D Kemp).

Also: Lighning Conductor (4), Badger’s Glory (ur), Celestial Heights (pu), Judge Reilly (pu), Mister Bertolli (pu), Rockville (pu), Supreme Sir (f), Top Boots (bd). Five lengths, 10 lengths. 6.38. SP 9-4 fav.

Race Eight (Countryside Alliance Club Members’ Race, Novice Riders):

1Mrs P King’s Dunmanus Bay (Suffolk) (J Bailey),

2 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Nokimover (North Norfolk Harriers) (S Vaughan-Jones),

3 Miss P Hacking and R Gurney’s Galapiat Du Mesnil (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Miss P  Hacking).

Also: Good Vintage (4), In Doux (5), Village Copper (6), Tregastel (7), Black Frost (pu), Dr Mann (pu), Maybe Seven (pu), Spikey Passage (pu). Two lengths, half a length. 6.45. SP 6-1 (Nokimover 3-1 fav).