Phillip Rowe took the training plaudits at the Essex Farmers and Union Point-To-Point at Marks Tey yesterday for winning the Maiden Race with Curracloe Rose.

Many people (myself included!) feared that this Roselier mare was too small and too slow to win a race of any description. And when she broke her pelvis during her first school over fences it became apparent that she no longer had a future under National Hunt rules.

But Rowe, from Cheveley, near Newmarket, was brave enough to take her on and nurse her back to full fitness. His judgement was vindicated as, after three falls in her first six starts between the flags, she survived a blunder at the final fence to beat the promising Edgar Ginkby three lengths.

Rowe, who has known the seven-year-old since she was a yearling and first sat on her on Curracloe Beach in County Wexford, Ireland, three years ago, enjoyed a memorable afternoon as Super Dollar, a horse he owns part of, won a Handicap Hurdle at Fakenham.

Curracloe Rose was well ridden by Daniel Cook, who is building a sizeable lead in the ‘In The Pink’-sponsored East Anglian Male Novice Riders’Championship.

It was a great day for the Rowe family as Imperial Dawn, who is part-owned by Phillip’s aunt, Pat, from Clavering, near Saffron Walden, and was ridden by his cousin, Lisa, won the Ladies’ Open Race.

Lisa kicked on with a mile left to run and built up a big enough advantage to hold the late burst of Cache Fleur by a length.

Imperial Dawn’s success was the second leg of an Open Race double for Northamptonshire trainer, Caroline Bailey (also successful at Fakenham with Tom de Savoie), following up the success of the awesome Copper Thistle in the Men’s version.

Ridden by owner Richard Hunnisett, Copper Thistle jumped with his usual brilliance in beating Hatcham Boy by eight lengths to take his winning sequence to 12.

George Cooper and Nigel Bloom, two of East Anglia’s most experienced jockeys, were also on the mark. Cooper, 56, showed that he has lost none of his dash when guiding Nibble to a smooth four length defeat of Who’s Next in the Confined Race. Cooper trains this 12-year-old in partnership with his owner, Cherie Cunningham, at Raydon, near Hadleigh.

Bloom had an armchair ride on Mr Magget in the two-runner Intermediate Race. But, however easy, this was significant victory as it took the Wymondham-based jockey on to the 146 mark in terms of career pointing wins – one more than was achieved by his father, Mike, Mr Magget’s trainer.

A soft tissue wrist injury which is taking a long time to heal cost Toby Bulgin a winner on Ballad in the Restricted Race. Alex Harvey proved a more than able deputy aboard the eight-year-old (who is trained and owned by Bulgin’s wife, Nicola) and the partnership took advantage of the penultimate fence fall of the favourite, Heathburn, to score by 15 lengths.


Race One (Open Maiden):

1 Mr P J Rowe’s (Puckeridge) Curracloe Rose (D Cook)

2 Mrs N H Bulgin’s (Essex Farmers and U) Edgar Gink (N Bloom),

3 Mr H R Hobson’s (Puckeridge) Sixth Sense (Mrs S Hodge).

Also: Lazy Acres (4), Carlton Brae (5), Vulpin de Laugere (6), Bandit Boy (pu), Life of a Star (pu). Three lengths, two lengths. SP 4-1. Tote œ6. No time. (Sixth Sense 6-4 fav).

Race Two (Restricted):

1 Mrs N H Bulgin’s (Essex Farmers & U) Ballad (A Harvey),

2 A R and Mrs S J Humphrey’s (Kyre Bloodhounds) Holmby Copse (A Humphrey),

3 Mr D Howells’ (Avon Vale) Gt Hayes Pommard (D Howells).

Also: Holiday Time (4), Bakmalad (5), Heathburn (f), Master Page (pu), Monere (pu). 15 Lengths, neck. SP 3-1. Tote œ3. 7m 03s. (Heathburn 5-4 fav).

Third Race (Men’s Open):

1 Mr R S Hunnisett’s (Pytchley) Copper Thistle (Owner),

2 Mr and Mrs A G C Howland Jackson’s (Suffolk) Hatcham Boy (C Ward-Thomas),

3 Mr M A Kemp’s (Worcs) Veryvel (D Kemp).

Eight lengths, distance. SP 2-7 fav. Tote œ1.50. 6m 58s.

Fourth Race (Ladies Open):

1 Mr C Bazley and Mrs P Rowe’s (Pytchley) Imperial Dawn (Miss L Rowe),

2 Mrs G d’Angibau’s (Essex and Suffolk) Cache Fleur (Owner),

3 Mr and Mrs A G C Howland Jackson’s (Suffolk) Gatchou Mans (Miss C Grissell).

Also: Ballyedward (4), Lets Twist Again (f). One length, eight lengths. SP 5-4 fav. Tote œ1.50. 6m 52s.

Fifth Race (Confined Hunts):

1 Ms C Cunningham’s (East Anglian Bloodhounds) Nibble (G Cooper),

2 Mr H R Hobson’s (Puckeridge) Who’s Next (D Cook),

3 Mr B and Mrs P A Twinn’s (East Essex) Limited Liability (Miss C Grissell).

Also: Ann’s Ambition (4), Hillwalk (pu), King High (ref), Spuffington (pu). Four lengths, head. SP 5-4 fav. Tote œ2. 7m 03s.

Sixth Race (Intermediate):

1 Mr R P and Mrs C Fryer’s (Brecon & Talybont) Mr Magget (N Bloom),

2 Miss L Ingram’s (East Essex) Royal Surprise (A Coe).

10 Lengths. SP 1-6 fav. Tote œ1.10. 7m 11s.