Rupert Stearn was the main man of a hectic weekend’s Point-To-Point Racing, following up his riding double at the East Essex meeting at Marks Tey on Saturday with another winner at the Granta Harriers fixture at Higham on Sunday.
The Wymondham-based jockey got the ball rolling on the promising Olympe de Farges in the Maiden Race at Marks Tey. A first runner of the year for trainer George Cooper, from Raydon, near Hadleigh, Olympe de Farges proved three lengths too strong for Orient Legend.
Stearn was back in the winner’s enclosure 35 minutes later after Forget The Ref produced an athletic round of jumping in the Confined Race and had a comfortable three lengths to spare over Sha Bihan at the line.
Trained by Robert Abrey at Wretham, near Thetford, and owned by his near-neighbour, Ian Thurtle, Forget The Ref was running for the first time in almost ten months and should be in line for a rewarding campaign.
Caveman briefly became the most prolific East Anglian horse of the season with his third win of the year (a feat matched the following day by Viceroy Close) in the Marks Tey Mens Open.
Apart from a scary moment at the first fence, Caveman, who is trained at Wymondham by Nibby Bloom, gave rider George Greenock an armchair ride on his return to the saddle after breaking his thumb. Caveman will not be allowed to rest on his laurels and is likely to run again at Ampton on Sunday.
The Marks Tey fixture kicked off with an apt winner of the opening Hunt Race in the shape of Royal Atalza. He is trained by Stephen March, who is both secretary of the meeting and has been the driving force behind some well-received recent changes to the course which have seen both the paddock and the changing tent re-sited. Royal Atalza was skilfully ridden by March’s 18-year-old son, Tom.
Race One (East Essex Hunt Members’ Race):
1 S March’s Royal Atalza (E Essex) (T March),
2 A Chinery’s Major Blue (E Essex) (Miss R Chinery),
3 B Belchem’s Ifyoubelieveindreams (E Essex) (D Kemp).
Also: Rodalko (4), Hello Bill (f). Ten lengths, 12 lengths. 6.50. SP 4-1 (Ifyoubelieveindreams 4-6 fav.
Race Two (Open Maiden’s Race):
1 Mrs F A Cooper’s Olympe de Farges (Essex Farmers and Union) (R Stearn),
2 P Riddle and P Clayton’s Orient Legend (Grafton), (R H Fowler),
3 The Newly Commissioned Partnership’s Whosethatfor (Dunston Harriers) (G Disney).
Also: Mill Five Acre (4), Jack Ford (5), Classical Melody (pu), Gav’s Boy (pu), Indian Rising (pu), Marine Gunner (pu). Three lengths, two lengths. 6.47. SP 8-1 (Orient Legend 4-5 fav).
Race Three (Confined Race):
1 Thurtle and R Abrey’s Forget the Ref (Suffolk) (R Stearn),
2 W Poulton’s Sha Bihan (Essex) (J Sole),
3 Mrs F Hawes Deckie (Waveney Harriers) (D Kemp).
Also: Rare Gold (4), Quid Pro Quo (5), Nokimover (6), Philson-Warrior (7), Baron Bernard (8), Stavordale Lad (9), Birdwatch (10), Luke Lively (11). Three lengths, three lengths. 6.43. SP 7-4 (Deckie 5-4 fav).
Race Four (Men’s Open Race)
1 Countess Cathcart’s Caveman (W Norfolk) (G Greenock),
2 W Poulton’s Hatsnall (E Kent) (J Sole),
3 P Andrew’s Undeniable (Cottesmore) (Owner).
Also: Parkinson (4), Andsosayallofus (pu), Tallow Bay (pu). Fifteen lengths, two lengths. 6.43. SP 1-3 fav.
Race Five (Ladies’ Open Race)
1 Mrs D Williams’ Madge Carroll (Albrighton Woodland) Miss J Williams),
2 Mrs C Taylor’s Forest Miller (Mid-Surrey F Draghounds) (Owner),
3 Ms C Cuselle and R Mills’ Bonne Noel’s (Suffolk) (Miss K Smith).
Also: Mai Cure (4), King du Berlais (ur). One and a-half length, five lengths. 6.43. SP 4-6 fav.
Race Six (Intermediate Race):
1 R Bowers’ Pennytino (Pytchley) (R Barrett),
2 R Kirk’s Lady Ann Lewis (Essex F and Union) (Miss R Chinery),
3 Mr and Mrs J Whyte’s Supreme Sir (Waveney Harriers) (J Bailey).
Also: Young Lord (4), Kaboobi (pu), Rockville (pu), Sunyblaze (pu), Winapenny (pu). Three lengths, eight lengths. 6.46. 10-11 fav.
Race Seven (Countryside Alliance Club Members’ Race, Novice Riders):
1 Mr and Mrs P Hickman’s Lord ‘n’ Master (Mid-Surrey F Draghounds),
2 A Harvey’s Bob Ar Aghaidh (Puckeridge) (Miss L Mitchell),
3 J Morrey’s Mr Naborro (Thurlow) (Owner).
Also: Bunratty’s Sole (4), Find the Way (5), Indoux (pu), My Best Buddy (ur), The Fairhill Boy (f), The Longest Day (pu), Who Cares Wins (ur), Thoutmosis (pu). One and a-half lengths, 15 lengths. 6.42. SP 8-1 (My Best Buddy 5-4 fav).