A biting northerly wind and persistent drizzle made High Easter racecourse an inhospitable place on Saturday afternoon. But two Suffolk residents, Marta Graholska and Hugh Waterer, still enjoyed an Essex Point-To-Point meeting they will never forget.
Both landed their first ever riding victories, Waterer, from Iken, near Snape, at the ripe old age of 47 and Graholska, who is 23, at less than half that age.
However, Graholska has experienced quite a journey as she was brought up in Riga, Latvia, where her equine background was in showjumping, until moving to this country two years ago, starting work for trainer John Ibbott at Chediston, near Halesworth, in late 2006.”The biggest thanks are due to John,” Graholska asserted after Tartar Sabre had carried her to a 15 length success in the Ladies’ Open. “When I arrived I didn’t have a clue about racing and he has made me into a jockey in three months.”
Quizzed about her unusual riding style, which sometimes see her lean right back at the fences, she revealed: “I got hit in the face [by the horse’s head] on my first ride and decided this way was safer.”
Ibbott was quick to stress that underfoot conditions were the key to Tartar Sabre. “He has to have fast ground,” he said.
Pig farmer Waterer, who only started this sport a year ago, got off the mark in the second division of the Maiden as Lyric Maestro proved ten lengths too strong for Absolutely Barking.
For the first time since the East Anglian season began on New Year’s Eve, every race on the card was won by a local. The fastest time was registered by Caveman, trained at Wymondham by Nibby Bloom, ridden by George Greenock and owned by his mother, Countess Cathcart, from Gateley, near Dereham.Caveman beat Bel Ombre by three lengths in the Confined Conditions Race where hot favourtie Cosmic Sky flopped inexplicably. Compensation for Rupert Stearn and Robert Abrey, Cosmic Sky’s jockey and trainer, came from an unexpected quarter when 20-1 chance Another Dude lifted the Men’s Open Race.”His jumping has not been very good and we were worried about his stamina,” said Abrey, from Wretham, near Thetford.
David Gibbon, from Great Bentley, near Wivenhoe, notched his first training success for many years when Briar, ridden by Amy Stennett, took the Hunt Club Members Race. Katy Jordan, who owns Briar, said: “We just wanted him to come home safely, we never thought that he could win.”
In truth, his triumph was somewhat fortunate as Hatsnall was well clear and travelling strongly when giving Matthew Mackley a nasty fall at the fourth last.
Mackley also hit the deck in the Restricted Race where the afternoon’s solitary winning favourite, Ifubelieveindreams, trained and ridden at Kilverstone, near Thetford, by David Kemp, scrambled home by a head and a neck from Sunyblaze and Supreme Sir.Mackley’s day finally took a turn for the better in the first Maiden when he guided Dellover, owned by Hartest butcher Michael Clarke, to a three length defeat of the promising Lady Ann Lewis.
Race One (High Easter Hunts Club Members Race):
1 Ms K Jordan and R Fairley’s Briar (E Anglian Bloodhounds) (Miss A Stennett),
2 A Gibbons’ Qualicum (Essex) (M Jackson),
3 Mrs J K Marriage’s Pampered Gale (Essex) (Mrs N Cook).
Also: Artic Sun (4), Arthur Daly (pu), Hatsnall (ur), Scalby Croft (pu), Top Boots (pu). Five lengths, 20 lengths. 6.46. Win £9.40. DF £56. SP 12/1 (Top Boots evens fav).
Race Two (Confined Hunts Conditions Race):
1 Countess Cathcart’s Caveman (W Norfolk) (G Greenock),
2 W Poulton’s Bel Ombre (Essex), (N Pearce),
3 M Lambert’s Marmalade Mountain (Suffolk), (A Braithwaite).
Also: Bard of Drumcoo (4), Ardmayle (5), Baron Bernard (6), Rob Mine (7), Cosmic Sky (pu). Three lengths, 20 lengths. 6.35. Win £7.80. DF £4.50 (winner with any other horse). SP 12/1 (Cosmic Sky 1/2 fav).
Race Three (Restricted Race):
1 B Belchem’s Ifubelieveindreams (East Essex) (D Kemp),
2 Mrs A Vaughan-Jones and G Luck’s Sunyblaze (W Norfolk) (A Vaughan-Jones),
3 Mr and Mrs J Whyte’s Supreme Sir (Waveney Harriers) (N Pearce).
Also: No Nay Never (4), Ballyalley Lad (5), Down the River (6), CLB Jemilla (7), Bede (pu), Box On (pu), Irish Prince (pu), Kileengh Lodge (f). Head, neck. 6.40. Win £4. DF £5.40. SP 7/4 fav.
Race Four (Ladies’ Open Race):
1 The Sporting Endeavour Partners’ Tartar Sabre (Waveney Harriers) (Miss M Graholska),
2 G Frank’s Sure Future (Essex Farmers and Union) (Miss L Franks),
3 The Somerleyton Family’s Mon Esprit (Dunston Harriers) (Miss L Allan).
Also: Black Frost (4), Stromness (5), Madmidge (6), Find Me Another (7), Sorkatcheguy (8), Lord Euro (ur), Magic To Do (ur), Royal Action (ur), Supreme Vintage (pu). Fifteen, half a length. 6.48. Win £23.50. DF £24.50. SP 10/1 (Find Me Another 7/4 fav).
Race Five (Men’s Open Race):
1 Mr and Mrs R Abrey’s Another Dude (Suffolk) (R Stearn),
2 A Harvey’s Bob Ar Aghaidh (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite),
3 R Andrews’ Monty’s Tag (Cambs with Enfield Chase) ( M Mackley).
Also: Nokimover (4), Minino (5), Gatchou Mans (f), Pendle Hill (pu), Quality First (pu). One length, 10 lenghts. 6.37. Win £6.80. DF £19 (winner with any other horse). SP 20/1 (Nokimover 6/4 fav).
Race Six (Open Maiden Race, Division One):
1 Mrs E Clarke’s Dellover (Suffolk) (M Mackley),
2 Mr and Mrs R Kirk’s Lady Ann Lewis (Essex Farmers and Union), (J Owen),
3 C Sporborg’s Neverbepooragain (Puckeridge) (A Braithwaite).
Also: Fear Chun Cinn (4), Archietype (pu), Dance Day (pu), Keepers’ Cottage (pu), Rising Penalty (pu). Three lengths, eight lengths. 6.59. Win £8.80. DF £34.00. SP 5/2 (Neverbepooragain 2/1 fav).
Race Seven (Open Maiden Race, Division Two):
1 H Waterer’s Lyric Maestro (Devon and Somerset Staghounds) (owner)
2 Countess Cathcart’s Absolutely Barking (Dunston Harriers) (G Greenock),
3 R Abrey and S Webb’s Cadtauri (Suffolk) (R Stearn).
Also: Catchthedream (4)), Crooked Brook (pu), Little Biddy (pu), With A Dash (ur), Young Rocky (f). Ten lengths, a distance. 6.51. Win £3.70. DF £5. SP 3/1 (Young Rocky 5/4 fav).