Dickie Collinson epitomised just how tough you have to be to become a successful jump jockey when Mister Tibus gave trainer Martin Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, a first victory for almost two years at the Essex Point-To-Point at High Easter on Saturday.
Collinson, who lives in Cambridge but works in Newmarket for trainer Neil King, suffered a juddering fall from Mister Tibus at Fakenham just six days earlier and appeared to sustain a painful back injury.
But, given the medical all-clear, he quickly reacquainted himself with Mister Tibus and the partnership avoided a third consecutive fall to beat Can’t Touch This by half a length.
It was a long overdue triumph for the French-bred gelding, whom Ward acquired for just £1,050 at Ascot Sales, as this was the 22nd start of his career.
Another jockey to make a rapid recovery from a heavy fall was Wymondham’s Rupert Stearn, who extended his lead at the top of the East Anglian Gentleman Rider standings when taking his seasonal tally to ten aboard Foulstons Ruler in the three and three-quarter mile Countryside Alliance Club Members Race.
Stearn suffered a nasty spill when coming a cropper from Ocean Fou just 35 minutes earlier but recovered his senses in time to guide George Cooper’s nine-year-old to a one length verdict over Ide No Idea.“I had quite a bang on the head in the previous race and I was still seeing stars for the first circuit or so,” Stearn admitted.
The race had provided the winning pilot with a dilemma as he could also have partnered Ide No Idea – a horse that he has already won on three times in 2011. “But I have been riding for George for some years,” Stearn explained, “he gave me my very first winner here on Imperial Mist back in 2002.”
Gina Andrews, East Anglia’s (and the nation’s) top lady rider of the season, was in attendance and picked up a couple of ‘best turned out’ prizes grooming for her trainer father, Simon.
But she was not allowed to ride as she was serving the final day of a three-day careless riding ban picked up in a flat race at Wolverhampton way back on February 12. So the winning ride on the comfortable Members’ Race victor, King’s Chase, went to her younger sister Bridget.
“This is the first time that Bridget has sat on the horse,” owner-trainer Nigel Padfield, from Abridge, near Epping, related. “But she rode him exactly to orders, hitting the front at the second last.”
The Joe Turner yard, from Ampton near Bury St Edmunds, registered a double. First Broken Beau, ridden by Joe’s grandson, Ed, held off Caged Tiger by half a length in the Restricted Race.
Then Louise Allan, from Newmarket, gave Joe a 16th victory in the prestigious Warwick Vase Ladies Open (the Feature Race of the entire East Anglian season) when guiding King du Berlais to a neck defeat of Maranach.
Course owner Simon Marriage spent many hours applying 160,000 gallons of water to the racing surface in the week before the meeting and gained widespread praise throughout the afternoon. “What a great job he has done in watering,” were the words of visiting Northamptonshire trainer Stuart Morris after his Gleeson had taken the Intermediate Race under James Turcan.
Essex, Easton Harriers, E.A Bloodhounds Members Race
1) KING’S CHASE ( Bridget Andrews ) 1/2 fav
2) Thoutmosis ( Rosie Thorogood )
3) The Architect ( Andrew Braithwaite )
5 ran Time; 6.22 Distances: Three : Four
1) BROKEN BEAU ( Ed Turner ) 6/4 fav
2) Caged Tiger ( Heather Kemp )
3) Punjabi Army ( Andrew Braithwaite )
8 ran 6.25 Half : Fifteen
Countryside Alliance Club Members Race ( 3miles 6 furlongs )
1) FOULSTONS RULER ( Rupert Stearn ) 6/4
2) Ide No Idea ( Michael Ennis ) Evens fav
3) Parkinson ( Ed Turner )
4 ran 7.38 One : Distance
Ladies Open Race
1) KING DU BERLAIS ( Louise Allan ) 1/3 fav
2) Maranach ( Bridget Andrews )
3) Mulligan’s Pet ( Heather Kemp )
4 ran 6.34 Neck : Twenty
1) GLEESON ( James Turcan ) 5/2
2) Native Bob ( Ed Turner )
3) Evening Echo ( Andrew Braithwaite )
5 ran 6.28 One & a half : Ten ( Thatmakestwoofus 7/4 fav 4th )
Open Maiden Race
1) MISTER TIBUS ( Richard Collinson ) 5/2 fav
2) Can’t Touch This ( Clare Hobson )
3) Quel Ferbet ( Andrew Braithwaite )
8 ran 6.35 Half : Ten