It Was Me was crowned East Anglia’s Champion Point-To-Pointer of 2012-13 following his thrilling victory in an epic Ladies Open race at the season-ending
Fitzwilliam (Milton) fixture at Dingley, near Market Harborough, on Saturday.
Ridden with her usual aplomb by Carey Williamson, from Cowlinge, Suffolk, It Was Me held off the hot favourite, Palypso de Creek, by a neck with the classy Shernally beaten miles back in third, clocking comfortably the fastest time of the day in the process.
The fact that Palypso de Creek came into the race unbeaten in seven starts between the flags this term and Shernally was defending her own four-race winning streak provides a measure of the quality of the contest.
This triumph means that It Was Me has now won nine of his 12 starts since joining the Badlingham, near Newmarket, yard of Nick Wright some two years ago. It was also the tenth success of an outstanding campaign for the Wright yard.
However, the day was not all plain sailing for the Wright team. Little more than an hour earlier, Sheriff Hutton, the stable’s other leading light who at the start of proceedings held a narrow advantage over his stablemate in the Richard Weller-Poley-sponsored Champion Horse Award, got loose before the start of the Novice Riders Race and had to be withdrawn.
Ben Rivett, from Sharrington in Norfolk, and Gina Andrews, from Lilley in Hertfordshire, each had to settle for a single second place which rubber-stamped their positions at the head of the standings in the County Linen Services-sponsored Mens and Ladies East Anglian Jockeys Championships.
Rivett partnered American Eagle, who is trained at Timworth, near Bury St Edmunds, by Andrew Pennock, in the first of three Maiden races but the pair came up eight lengths short of the impressive winner, Squirrel Esquire. And Andrews rode I’llhavealook into the bridesmaids spot in the Hunt Race.
It was a frustrating afternoon for trainer-rider David Kemp, from Kilverstone, Thetford, who still holds hopes of catching Rivett in the other male riding category, which is decided by number of winners throughout the country during the whole season.
With a dozen or so fixtures remaining nationwide, Kemp trails Rivett by one winner, eight to seven, after he could manage no better than two seconds and a third. He did at least have the consolation of moving past James Owen into second place in the final standings for the County Linen Services award.
Kemp’s closest near miss came aboard Duffryrover, who went down by just a head in the second Maiden. The winner here was Thewellmeadow, ridden by Dickie Collinson, who thus gave his trainer, Martin Ward, from Sutton, near Ely, a belated first victory of the season.
The only other East Anglian winner on a hectic eight-race card which averaged over ten runners per race was jockey George Greenock, from Gateley, near Fakenham, who guided Empire Buider to a three-length score in the Restricted Race.
GOING: GOOD (GOOD TO SOFT IN PLACES)
1st Victor Grumps Dale Peters 1/3f
2nd Illhavealook Gina Andrews
3rd Spike Mac Johnny Bailey
Time 6 mins 35 secs Dists: 5L, 20L 5 ran
PPORA Novice Riders
1st We Never Give Up Toby Betambeau 5/1
2nd Bench Warrant Tom Chatfield-Roberts 6/4f
3rd Hardwick Wood Harry Gurney
Time 6-19 Dists: 3L.4L 15 ran
1st Gunmoney Johnny Bailey 8/11f
2nd Viking Splash David Kemp
3rd Walkin Aisy Dicky Collinson
Time 6-16 Dists: Dist, 1 1/2L 10 ran
1st It Was Me Carey Williamson 9/2
2nd Palypso De Creek Clare Hart 4/5f
3rd Shernally Jane Williams
Time 6-12 Dists: Nk, Dist 7 ran
1st Empire Builder George Greenock 8/1
2nd Blackstown Flyer Sam Davies-Thomas
3rd Zagmeister David Kemp
Time 6-26 Dists: 3L, 3L 14 ran Aneda Rose 9/4f (5th)
Open Maiden Div 1
1st Squirrel Esquire James Martin 11/4f
2nd American Eagle Ben Rivett
3rd Crazy Chester Tom Greenall
Time 6-24 Dists: 8L, 12L 11 ran
Open Maiden Div 2
1st Thewellmeadow Dicky Collinson 5/2
2nd Duffryrover David Kemp 15/8f
3rd River Rat Johnny Bailey
Time 6-33 Dists: Hd, 20L 10 ran
4,5,6 & 7 YO Open Maiden 2 Miles 4 Furlongs
1st Big Ed Johnny Bailey 4/1
2nd Rescue Man Rob Jarrett 6/4f
3rd Minor Chord Zac Baker
Time 5-26* Dists: 2 1/2L, Dist 13 ran * 2 jumps omitted, damaged fence