Rosina Page rode her first winner at the tender age of 16 on a red letter day for three jockeys as the Easton Harriers staged a hugely enjoyable Point-To-Point meeting at High Easter on Sunday.
Page, from Preston St Mary near Lavenham, belied her lack of experience to guide Glenalla Braes to a stylish victory in the Members’ Race and looks like she might be a useful addition to the East Anglia’s rather sparse ranks of lady riders.Indeed, the Ipswich High School For Girls pupil fared rather better than her father, Russell, who got no further than the second fence in the closing race. Glenalla Braes is owned and trained by Robert Barr, from near Aldeburgh.
Dorking-based Phil York is at the other end of the experience scale in the saddle, and he looks set to mount a serious challenge for the National Jockeys’ Championship after a double from his only two High Easter rides took his seasonal tally to eight.
A two-time winner at Charing, in Kent, on Saturday, he scored a comfortable victory aboard Trumper in the Older Horse Maiden, then made it four successes for the weekend with a virtuoso performance aboard Eastern Point in the Intermediate Race.
Off the bridle from flagfall, York never allowed the temperamental Eastern Point a moment’s peace and his persistent harrying of the front-running favourite, Camden Carrig, gained its reward when Eastern Point out battled her main rival on the run-in to score by a length.
Alex Merriam, 19, from Eye in Suffolk, was a third jockey to enjoy a memorable afternoon, registering his first ever double.
Merriam followed instructions to the letter when coming from last to first aboard Mister Ringa, who is trained at Bishop’s Stortford by Christopher Sporborg, in division two of the Young Horse Maiden.Deputising for regular pilot Andrew Braithwaite, who had the misfortune to break his collar bone at Higham a week earlier, Merriam guided Mister Ringa to a hard-fought one length verdict over the promising King Freddy.
Merriam employed very different tactics when carrying the colours of his father, Andrew, to victory aboard the tearaway Lord Euro in the closing Dodson & Horrell PPORA Confined Race.
After a short-lived attempt to hold his mount, the Bristol University student allowed Lord Eurohis head and the gelding, who is trained at Wymondham by Nigel Bloom, quickly built up a commanding lead. Momentarily overtaken on the final circuit, he had enough left in the tank despite some novicey jumping to beat Camden Loch by an easy ten lengths.
It was a particularly sweet result for the Merriam family as Alex’s mother, Jean, was largely responsible for organising the fixture.
The odds-on favourites were eclipsed in both the Open Races. In the Men’s version Fair Exchange never went a yard and was pulled up leaving the way clear for the Northants visitor, Delgany Royal, to score by 20 lengths from the frustrating Minino, who had forfeited 30 lengths when refusing to start.
And Bush Hill Bandit, the 4-5 market leader for the Ladies’ Open, failed by a length to recover from a bad stumble after the fourth last and succumbed to the Sussex-trained course specialist, Storm Castle. Finally, the powerful Northants yard of Caroline Bailey lifted the first Young Horse Maiden with Just Jove, ridden by Rowan Cope.
Race One (Easton Harriers and E Anglian Bloodhounds Members’ Race):
1 R Barr’s Glenalla Braes (Easton Harriers) (Miss R Page),
2 Mr and Mrs B Andrews and Mrs P Twinn’s Marsden (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (N Moore),
3 G Cooper’s Rip Kirby (East Anglian Bloodhounds) (owner).
Also: Arkay (4), Spring Frolic (ur). Fifteen lengths, four lengths. 6.59. W £ 4.40. SP 4-1 (Rip Kirby 4-6 fav).
Race Two (Open Maiden Race – Division One – 5, 6 and 7 YO):
1 Mrs F MacFarlane’s Just Jove (Pytchley) (R Cope),
2 The Fun Club’s Flaxley Abbey (East Essex) (N Moore),
3 R Andrews’ Barry Lydon (Cambs with Enfield Chace) (T Lane).
Also: Shallee Term (4), Daisy Duke (pu), Groovejet (f), San Malo (pu), Tooley Park (pu). Fifteen lengths, 10 lengths. 6.44. W £ 2.40. SP 4-7 fav.
Race Three (Open Maiden Race – Division Two – 5, 6 and 7 YO):
1 C Sporborg’s Mister Ringa (Puckeridge) (A Merriam),
2 G Bailey’s King Freddy (Pytchley) (R Cope),
3 P Rackham’s Shot Of Jollop (Dunston Harriers) (N Bloom).
Also: Highland Dancer (4), Inching Brook (5), Divine Mist (f), Germany Park (co), Jumping Jeffrey (pu), Magic Lodge (ur), On The Deck (pu). One length, 15 lengths. 6.50. W £ 4. SP 7-4 (Germany Park 6-4 fav).
Race Four (Open Maiden Race – 8 YO & over):
1 Mrs D Lawes’ Trumper (Chiddingford) (P York),
2 M Roberts’ Street Smart (E Sussex and Romney Marsh) (Miss B Donnelly),
3 N Padfield’s Glen Amber (Aldenham Harriers) (A Sansome).
Also: A Fine Story (pu), Fair Storm (pu), Lindron (pu), Society Scandal (pu), Two By Four (pu). Two lengths, six lengths. 6.46. W £ 2. SP evens fav.
Race Five (Men’s Open Race):
1 C Wilson’s Delgany Royal (Woodland Pytchley) (B Pollock),
2 B Kennedy’s Minino (Essex Farmers and Union) (C Ward-Thomas),
3 H Hill’s Ballad (Granta Harriers) (A Williams).
Also: Dunrig (4), Polo Ridge (5), Fair Exchange (pu). Twenty lengths, five lengths. 6.38. W £ 6.80. SP 5-1 (Fair Exchange 1-2 fav).
Race Six (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 N Cronin’s Storm Castle (Kent and Surrey Bloodhounds) (Miss J Wickens),
2 Mrs A-M Hay’s Bush Hill Bandit (Thurlow) (Miss A Stennett),
3 Mrs E Bousquet-Payne’s Corston Joker (East Essex) (Mrs L Spence).
Also: The Wiley Kalmuck (4), Fair Kiowa (f). One length, five lengths. 6.38. W £ 3.20. SP 5-1 (Bush Hill Bandit 4-5 fav).
Race Seven (Intermediate Race):
1 Mrs K York’s Eastern Point (Staff College and RMAS Drag) (P York),
2 J Phillips’ Camden Carrig (VWH) (N Phillips),
3 Miss M Samworth’s Bedtime Boys (Cottesmore) (J Docker).
Also: Libido (4), Ballylesson (pu), Fine And Dandy (f), Jerome Jerome (pu), Lord Montagu (pu), No Dramas (pu), Stick Or Bust (pu). One length, 15 lengths. 6.38. W £ 7. SP 12-1 (Camden Carrig 4-5 fav).
Race Eight (PPORA Club Confined Race):
1 A W K Merriam’s Lord Euro (Dunston Harriers) (A Merriam),
2 D Wales’ Camden Loch (West Norfolk) (N Bloom),
3 C Jarvis’ Prologue (Suffolk) (owner).
Also: Ardnut (ur), Skirmishing (pu), Treasure Dome (ref). Ten lengths, 20 lengths. 6.47. W ££.40. SP 4-6 fav.