Kelly Smith finally registered her first career riding success after an agonisingly long wait when guiding Rakatia to victory in the PPORA Novice Riders’ Race at the Essex Farmers & Union Point-To-Point at Marks Tey on Sunday.
26-year-old Smith has suffered countless near misses, most notably on her own horse, Hot Plunge, and must have begun to wonder if that elusive moment of glory would ever come.
But, after Move Over set a scorching pace in this four-runner contest, Rakatia overhauled the leader at the fourth last fence and it soon became clear that the nine-year-old, who is owned and trained by Joe Turner at Ampton near Bury St Edmunds, only had to negotiate the rest of the course without mishap to land the spoils.
Rakatia never made the semblance of a jumping error and Smith, who is originally from Tiptree, not far from Marks Tey, but had been living in Newmarket for some time before moving to Timworth, near Ampton, in the last few days, was able to start celebrating as soon as her mount cleared the final obstacle.
This should have been completed a double for Turner as earlier, in the Open Maiden, his Young Rocky, ridden by Smith’s boyfriend, James Owen, had the race at his mercy when crashing out at the penultimate fence.
The beneficiary was Dance Day, trained at Sutton near Ely by Martin Ward and ridden by Matthew Mackley, who came home three lengths in front of the highly promising debutant Silk Shield.
Owen took his revenge on Mackley, and moved back alongside his great rival at the top of the East Anglian Jockeys’ Championship standings on the eight winner mark, when Gatchou Manstook the two-runner Men’s Open.
Again the second last fence provided the critical moment as Mackleys mount, Classic Lash, was level with his solitary rival and looking a big danger when he got in too close and paid the penalty. Gatchou Mans was a second winner for young Glemsford handler Tory Hayter.
Rosie Chinery, from Great Yeldham, took her riding tally to two when she got the better of Owen and Mackley to land the Confined Race aboard Royal Action, who at 14 years old is just two years younger than his pilot.It has been a busy Easter for the talented Chinery as on Good Friday she won the 46-entry Junior Regional Novice class at the Burnham Market Horse Trials.
Trainer Adrian Gibbons, from Felsted, was on hand to lead in his first winner when Qualicum,under Matt Jackson, proved ten lengths too good for Kings Linen in the Restricted Race. Gibbons fractured three bones in his neck in a fall from this horse at Cottenham on New Year’s Eve but has made a remarkable recovery.
Finally, Tartar Sabre followed up his recent High Easter victory when surviving some early jumping blunders to take the Ladies’ Open for trainer John Ibbott, from Halesworth, and jockey Marta Graholska.
Race One (Open Maiden Race):
1 Mr Martin Ward’s Dance Day (M Mackley),
2 Mr Stephen Ward’s Silk Shield (A Braithwaite),
3 Miss R Williams’ Smartypants (Miss R Williams).
Also: Fear Chun Cinn (4), Warrior Dan (5),It’sthekingmurphy (6), High Fen (pu), Throwaparty (ur), Young Rocky (f). Three lengths, half a length. 6.54. SP 6-1.
Race Two (Restricted Race):
1 Mr AM Gibbon’s Qualicum (M Jackson),
2 Mr DC Moore’s Kings Linen (J Owen).
Also: Ballyalley Lad (pu), No Nay Never (pu). Ten lengths. 6.43. SP 2-1.
Race Three (Men’s Open Race):
1 Mr A Howland Jackson’s Gatchou Mans (J Owen).
Also: Classic Lash (f). Finished alone. 6.48. SP 4-9 fav.
Race Four (Ladies Open Race):
1 The Sporting Endeavour Partners’ Tartar Sabre (Miss M Graholska),
2 Mr JM Turner’s The Wiley Kalmuck (Miss Z Turner),
3 Mr AG Chinery’s Gran Dana (Miss R Chinery).
Also: Pampered Gale (4), Sorkatcheguy (5), River Pirate (6). Fifteen lengths, 15 lengths. 6.39. SP Evens fav.
Race Five (Confined Hunts Race):
1 Mr AG Chinery’s Royal Action (Miss R Chinery),
2 Mrs K Exall’s Bright Present (M Mackley),
3 Mr JM Turner’s Winapenny (J Owen).
Also: Kentish Bard (4), Who Cares Wins (pu). Five lengths, 25 lengths. 6.43. SP 5-1.
1Mr JM Turner’s Rakatia (Miss K Smith),
2 Mr and Mrs N Rivett’s Ardmayle (B Rivett),
3 Miss R Tutton’s Move Over (Miss R Tutton).
Also:Baron Bernard (4). A distance, two lengths. 6.33. SP 3-1.
Race Seven (Gibson Saddlers Pony Race):
1 Mrs D Roberts The Road Runner(Harvey Roberts),
2 Mr A Dixon’s Knapaton Windrush (Edward Twinn),
3 Mrs JJ Andrews Arctic Annie (Bridget Andrews).
Also: Barkway Songbird (4), Celton Q, Henry, PJ, Sebastian, Valentine Comet. Five lengths, neck. 1.18. SP 5-1.
Race Eight (Hanley Family Pony Race):
1 Mr P Wales Smoking Gun (Georgina Wales),
2 Mrs J Andrews Pepsi (Georgina Andrews),
3 Mr M Slender’s Sparkling Destiny (Sharon Slender).
Also: Paniarth Jackpot (4), Snow Goose, Masie. Ten lengths, a distance. 1.59. SP 5-2.