East Anglia point to point review 07/08 season

It was another great season for East Anglia, seeing great new horses and jockeys to the sport and all the old faces continuing to support East Anglia. We showed we can win outside the area at more competitive areas and that we can win hunter chases. This review is a personal opinion by a 17 yr old so I understand that not everyone will agree. Hope you enjoy it.


Rydal Park – all year

Rydal Park has gone from strength to strength. Starting off his pointing career with a very easy victory in a maiden at Higham in which he won by a distance, then progressing to a ten length win in a Confined beating the useful Another Dude. He was then only beaten 3 ¾ lengths in his hunter chase debut at Leicester however he may have won if it wasn’t for a blunder at the last. Not seen for a while his next outing was at Horseheath where he would have his first run in an Open contest. The betting market had Rydal park 7-4 2nd favourite behind The Hookie Bookie who was 4-5 favourite. The race developed into a dual between the two but Rydal came out on top to beat The Hookie Bookie by 2 lengths who didn’t help his chances by a sloppy jump at the last. This top class horse returned to hunter chasing where he battled well to win at Towcester and then won another easy race in the East Anglia hunter chase final held at Huntingdon. He would have been an interesting runner in the men’s final at Towcester but was a non runner so went straight for the John Corbet Cup at Stratford. He was sent off 5-1 2nd favourite however the grand finale was not to be and having travelled well through out the race he faded and pulled up. David Kemp has done an outstanding job with this horse; he didn’t show much under rules as a hurdler but is dynamite at his new profession. This horse must be East Anglia’s top horse and is still young so can only improve further next year where there will be more Open races and hunter chases for him to win.

Caveman – Cottenham 10.02.08

Caveman has come back this season a new horse. Having showed moderate form last year he has transformed into a very good open horse. If he hasn’t won this year he has been second and has put up some very good performances, battling well. But the performance that must stand out from the rest is his victory in the men’s open at cottenham on Feb. 10th. The race looked to be on the cards for Go For Bust and Richard Burton; however this was not the outcome. Caveman jumped perfectly and in a very exciting finish Caveman battled well to win by a neck with an astonishing ride from George Greenock. Caveman has shown how good of a battler he is this year and has dug deep on several occasions. He surely can continue to do well next year and has the right attitude for winning.

Ballyowen – both wins

Another horse this year that has transformed is Ballyowen, he too did nothing last year shout about, but his 2 wins this year were in big competitive fields and he won very well. He showed more than he had last year in his first race at the opening meeting at Cottenham were he wasn’t too far behind and finished 4th to no other than Mr Tee Pee. Both his wins were quite a shock in the betting market as he wasn’t exactly fancied, Winning the first time at 8-1 and second time at 14-1. (I backed him each way in both wins at 14-1) winning from the front both times he jumped beautifully, with the odd error, and the firmer ground seems to be to his liking which is what he has won on. Since his wins he went on to be a very respectable 3rd in the East Anglia hunter chase final at Huntingdon in what was a very close run race for the placings. Firm ground could be the key to him next season if he can cope with the step up in class in open company, and maybe he can improve on his HC 3rd if the ground is right for him.

Jilted Lover/Alex Embiricos – Horseheath wins

Jilted Lover and Alex Embiricos have had an incredible partnership, being nothing but consistent. Finishing 1st twice, 3rd twice and a 2nd in a hunter chase (partnered by Louise Allan on that occasion). He appeared to be disappointing last year but has been everything but that this season. His 2 wins at Horseheath have been very impressive both times, his first being the most stylish. Six from home Alex Embiricos even thought about pulling him up as he was right at the back of the large field but thank goodness she didn’t as he started to run on well and at the last was in the air with three other horses, and with a brilliant ride from Alex he went on to win by two lengths. What a ride! His second win was a slightly similar story but less dramatic. Going towards the fourth last he must have been about 4th or 5th but once again he flew up the hill like a bullet being fired from a gun to win the intermediate by 10 lengths. This win meant Alex Embiricos had reached her 50th winner mark. It was a shame that the ground was too firm for him at the Thurlow meeting as I’m sure he could have won there as he clearly has a liking for the track. There should be plenty more winners for him there next year and it will be interesting to see how he does in Ladies races.

Scare Lotte – the return

Another great partnership is Clare Hobson and the tough little mare, Scare Lotte. Last year it didn’t seem likely that we would see Scare Lotte race again as she fractured her pelvis on the gallops at Newmarket. However we heard she was on the mend well and she would be back. It seemed that she had come back better than ever when she made her comeback debut at Horseheath 02.02.08 winning the Novice Riders’ Race by 5 lengths beating a very good Ladies horse, Free. She went on to win another Novice race the following week again by 5 lengths. Since then she has been placed in Ladies races and made her hunter chase debut at Huntingdon finishing 3rd and only beaten a neck. She almost certainly would have won if she didn’t make a bad blunder, which Clare Hobson did very well to sit, and if she got a clear run. This cracking mare can definitely win a hunter chase and hopefully will finally win a Ladies race next season – she deserves one.

Georgina Andrews – new kid on the block

Georgina Andrews has taken the pointing world by storm. She showed she has true talent when landing a first ride/first win success. At 16 she has knocked up 8 winners in her first season, as a result she is the leading novice lady in the pointing world. She has won numerous awards such as jockey of the month for April in East Anglia, champion lady and novice lady in East Anglia and an award at the PPORA awards at Stratford (can’t remember the name of the exact award) [Princess Royal Trophy – Ed]. She proved that she doesn’t need an old school master to win by winning twice on Parsonhumfrywebber, who doesn’t seem the easiest horse to coax a win out of, giving him a great ride and winning in very impressive style. She has made a name for her self and is getting rides from other trainers in and out of the area. She has great poise over the fences, in the finish and throughout the race. This young talented jockey is definitely going places and it won’t be too long before she’s champion lady jockey of point to pointing in years to come.

Tory Hayter – 2 wins 2 weeks after virus

Tory Hayter seemed to have an exciting season ahead of her with a strong number of runners in the yard and some promising horses for the season. Unfortunately less than half way through the season her yard was struck with a virus. Some of the yards horses have only been able to have 1 or 2 runs as a result of this virus. Having had no runners for roughly 8 weeks, Higham 12.04.08 saw the return of the Tory Hayter string with 3 runners, Like To Go, Village Copper and Siam De Baune. The bad luck didn’t end here though. Like To Go seemed to have broken down in the restricted and Village Copper was disqualified from 3rd place after running an absolutely cracking race. The Hayter team did have some luck on their side when Siam De Baune took the maiden race in which he won by 10 lengths. It appeared Tory’s horses had managed to stay fit through this virus as the following week at High Easter 19.04.08 she was celebrating another winner in Thatmakestwoofus who took the restricted giving Ben Rivett his first winner. These two horses look sure to progress next year as Siam De Baune went on to be a close 4th in a restricted and Thatmakestwoofus was a not disgraced 5th in a hunter chase. I wish Tory the best of luck for next season after having such an unlucky season this year

Martin Ward’s continuous runners at meetings

If there was an outstanding contribution to EA point to pointing, Martin Ward would win it hands down. His horses are ALWAYS immaculately turned out by his daughters at every meeting and I bet they’ve won best turned out as many times as there are EA meetings. Not only are his horses turned out well but they always look really well in themselves. Looking back through race cards and results, Martin Ward has saddled a runner at every East Anglian meeting apart from the second Cottenham meeting 30.12.07 however he still had a horse entered. No other trainer has done that. What a contribution. Even if he just takes one runner to be pulled up, he does it for the horse’s benefit and to support the meeting. He even had a runner in the EA hunter chase at Huntingdon. Martin is not only an owner/trainer but is a true supporter/follower of the sport. Well done for all your hard work Martin.

3mile 6 furlong race

This year it was great to see east Anglia have there very own marathon race held at High Easter 19.04.08. There hasn’t been a race like this in our area for many years so it was great to have a different and exciting new race. Restricted to locally hunted horses only so no foreigners could take the spoils, it was a very exciting race with the winner, Lightningconductor, winning by ¾ of a length.

No loss of meetings

This year has been the first year since 2005 that there hasn’t been a meeting lost due to bad weather or ground. A big well done to everyone involved with organising and making each meeting happen. Well done.


Tartar Sabre’s death

As well as high points in racing there are also low points to the sport. In my opinion the biggest low point of the season was the death of Tartar Sabre. A genuinely consistent horse that rarely ran a bad race and nearly always finished in the top four when completing. He proved that he could cut it in Ladies races when winning 3 last year and was running another fine race when he would have been 3rd, but unfortunately fell at the last and broke his shoulder. I don’t personally know the connections or the horse but I felt very sad when it happened as he was such a lovely horse and a through and through pointer that was brought up in the sport. He ran a total of 29 races, winning 6 of them. A Maiden, Restricted, Intermediate and 3 Ladies Opens. He had been placed countless number of times. He will be greatly missed in the pointing world, R.I.P Tartar Sabre.Never Awol’s deathThis incident was very shocking and upsetting to everyone I think. I won’t go into to much detail as there was a lot said on the message board but I felt so sorry for the Page family as they hadn’t had any runners last season and this year they just had the one runner, Never Awol, who looked like he could do fairly well and win them some prize money. But sadly he unseated Rosina Page, got onto the A12 and was killed after colliding with the central reservation. Hopefully things have/will be improved to stop this ever happening again as it must have been torture for the Page family to hear their horse was on the A12. R.I.P Never Awol.Zoe Turner & Matt Mackley missing most of the seasonAs well as horses being out for periods of seasons due to injury, this also happens to the jocks. Two of east Anglia’s top jockeys that missed most of this year were Zoe Turner and Matthew Mackley. I’m not entirely sure what theire injuries were but if they hadn’t off been injured I’m sure the championship leader boards would have been different, they most certainly would have been a lot closer. Lets hope they have made a full recovery now, or are on the way to, and that we see them next year riding and winning more races.

Becky Ward – deserving that first winnerThis isn’t such a lowlight but is more of an unlucky and very deserving story. Becky Ward has been riding in points for 4 seasons and still hasn’t managed to get that first winner, although she has been very close numerous times. On her first ride she was just beaten half a length by one of the yard’s own horses and has been close many times the past two seasons with Magic To Do who also deserves to win a race. She is just as good a rider as any of the other lady riders but luck just doesn’t seem to be on her side as she doesn’t appear to be doing anything wrong in the race to prevent her from winning. Fingers crossed she can get off the mark next season because if anyone deserves a winner, it’s Becky Ward.

Best Ride by Male Jockey

This is a very difficult one, with all these male jockeys in our area it is just impossible to choose. But I have decided to go with George Greenock’s ride on Caveman at Cottenham 10.02.08. George gave Caveman a brilliant ride, meeting the fences well every time, but the best was yet to come. The ride he gave Caveman in the finish was something spectacular, he gave it everything he had to beat none other than three-time national champion jockey, Richard Burton, by a neck. The great partnership he had in Homme De Fer, who is now retired, is now in Caveman. George received jockey of the month for February for this win which he truly deserved and in my mind is the ride of the season.

Best Ride by Lady Jockey

This is also a toughie and a bigger one than the men’s I think because there are so many to choose form. For instance Alex Embiricos & Jilted Lover, Gina Andrews & Parsonhumfrywebber. But I’m going with Emma Bell and Frosty Run at Horseheath 29.03.08. Emma hadn’t had a winner since she won on Parsons at Fakeham 28.04.02 and had been absent from race riding for a few years. The horse was a 20-1 outsider as there seemed to be classier horses than him in the race. But 5 from home Frosty Run hit the front and Emma kept her cool and the pair stayed there to win by 10 lengths. Beating the likes of Scare Lotte, Tooley Park and Madge Carroll. Emma’s riding looks stronger than ever this year and thoroughly deserved that win.

East Anglians having their own hunter chase. Made a nice change and it was a good way to round the season off to an end. It was a shame that there weren’t many runners in it though. There must have been 60+ horses qualify and only 7 raced. Most that qualified were maiden horses so fair enough. It was very good of Mr Paul Rackham for sponsoring it and let’s hope we can have something like this next year.

Nibby Bloom/Rosina Page/Emma Bell returning to the saddle.  Nibby had been out for 2 years with a broken leg and returned to the fixture were it happened 2 years on at Fakenham 27.04.08 to have his final ride. He finished a very creditable 2nd on Bunratty’s Sole and announced after that he would retire from race riding. Well done for all your achievements as a jockey Nibby.

Rosina Page had been out of action for a season and returned at Ampton 20.01.08 on the giant, Moss Campian. He doesn’t seem the easiest of rides and as ever Rosina tried her hardest to get the best out of the horse but he didn’t want to know and pulled up around 4 from home. She returned to the next Ampton meeting on her parents, Never Awol but he may have needed the run but he did finish so it must have been nice for Rosina to complete after not riding for a year in pointing. Sadly we all know what happened in her next ride but lets hope she hasn’t been put off by that terrible incident and we see her again riding in the future.

Emma Bell had not ridden in a point for 5 years (I think) and made a comeback this year with a great start to the season finishing 4th on Nowhips. Her riding looked a lot stronger than before but I suppose she has gained a lot more experience over the years she has been absent. There was something to make up for all the years she missed race riding by securing a shock victory on Frosty Run. Emma has had a cracking season and there looks sure to be plenty more winners for her next season with the new recruit to the yard, Ski Dazzle, who ran a blinder at Dingley 31.06.08.

New jockeys this year winning in their first season. There have been 3 jockeys this year who have all won in there first season. They are Georgina Andrews, Ed Turner and Tom Jonason. Georgina had an easy first/win first ride on Moving Earth in a members, Ed got the best out of Thoutmosis in a men’s race and Tom cruised to victory in a maiden on the family’s Rock Charlie. East Anglia gets criticised for our lack of runners in races and poor racing but they can’t criticise our talented jockeys. We get some good jockeys in our area and we get a lot winning in their first season so we are very strong in that area and it shows what good talent we have. Last year we had Rosie Chinery, Clare Hobson and Marta Graholska all winning in their first ever season point to pointing.

5 East Anglian jockeys having there first national hunt ride in hunter chases. They are Rosie Chinery, Kelly Smith, Georgina Andrews, Nicky Cook and Peter Johnson. Rosie finished 5th on Lady Ann Lewis at Fakenham. The other four made there debuts at Folkestone. Kelly pulled up Rockley Beach, Nicky finished 8th on Top Boots, Peter finished 2nd on Manoram and later on was unseated from Brown Teddy and Georgina had a 4th on Peachy and 3rd on Mountain Of Dreams, she then rode Peachy again at Huntingdon to finish 5th. This is another example of our talented jockeys, all of them taking the plunge to a higher level. Well done guys.It was good to see

Suggestions Improvements

These are just my personal thoughts so not expecting everyone to agree

The break we had this year was a good idea but I think that it would be better if it was more in the middle of the season as it would give the horses a bit of time off from racing. Also on the meeting back from the break we would possibly get a lot of runners because trainers would want to run their horses ,if the ground was right, and being as there was a break connections would be even keener to run there horses so it could work out best in the long run.

Admission prices. I don’t think there is a problem with the prices charged to get in, apart from at Cottenham it was a bit expensive, but I think that instead of it being under 16’s get in free, it should be 17 and under. I think this because to place a bet you have to be 18 so why should 16 and 17 year olds have to pay to get in when they can’t place bets. They can only do as much as say an 8 year old. There is no difference, an 8 year old cant bet and neither can a 17 year old but the 17 year old still has to pay. I know that this is the same for NH racing so I think that it should be 17 and under get in free for NH as well.

Prize money. I think that the prize money should be a bit more. Not too much just a little bit. I know this is a amateur sport and it is mainly done for fun, and we wouldn’t want to take that out of it, but I think it would be nice for connections to get a bit more prize money. I mean they have to pay for petrol to get there, which has gone up, paying the staff, feed bills, vets bills, etc. So I think they deserve a bit more of a reward for all the hard work they put it which makes us adore this sport.

Fakenham finale. I think it would be a great idea for the last meeting of our season to be held at Fakenham. Not a hunter chase meeting, just a point to point meeting and it should be a finale. All the races would be confined to East Anglia runners only. There could be races which we don’t normally have such as the Marriage Horse Feeds mares championship final, Novice Riders’ Race final, a 4mile Open race, Champion Open horse race final, 2m4f maiden race. I think that would be a great way to end the season off and there would be a real battle on with the jockeys to see who would come out on top for the championship prizes.

10 to watch

Bridgham (Nibby bloom)

Bridgham has had a gentle introduction to point to pointing. He ran promisingly on his debut pulling up about 4/5 form home. Because he ran so well on his debut he was favourite next time out and finished a respectable 3rd, only beaten 3 lengths. We will never know how well he could have done at Northaw as he was brought down. This horse has been introduced slowly not having a very hard race yet and will certainly be winning next season.

Call Me Alfie (Matt Smith)

Call Me Alfie has had an impressive start to pointing. He has only had one run and won. He hasn’t been seen since so connections must be taking it easy with him so a bright future looks ahead for him.

Caveman (Nibby Bloom)

As mentioned in the highlights section, Caveman has come on leaps and bounds this year and he can only keep progressing next year as he will only be 9.

Forget The Ref (Robert Abrey)Forget The Ref has shown how good she can be this year by completing a hat trick. She has stepped up to the mark on each occasion as she went from class to class. Winning a restricted to intermediate to a confined. She even managed to finish a close 4th in the EA hunter chase final. We will se how good she is next season when we see her in more confined races and is she even good enough to conquer the open races?

Jack Ford (John Ibbott)

Jack Ford is another who has shown a promising start to point to pointing. Given a nice introductory run by Marta Graholska on his debut pulling up about 5 from home at Marks Tey. On his next run back at Mark Tey he finished a good 3 ½ lengths 3rd. He then ran another good race at High Easter, were he was sent off favourite, finishing 5 lengths 2nd. If he can overcome his jumping errors, which I’m sure he will do as he is still a novice, he will definitely be winning next season. Not only does he look a good horse in the making, he is very attractive to look at and is a new favourite of mine. Could he be the next Tartar Sabre?

Mid Div And Creep (Derek Harding-Jones)

Mid Div And Creep has been another consistent mare in East Anglia. She won both her maiden and restricted this year and when she hasn’t won she didn’t go down with out a fight and has put up some good battles this year. She took a big step up in class when she took to the men’s open race at Northaw but Hatsnall was too good and she was beaten a distance into 2nd place. Although she was beaten some way she wasn’t totally disgraced as she had a good horse, Dead Mans Dante, behind her. This tough mare will be winning her Intermediate next year and will do well in confined races. There may even be a small Open race for her.

Rydal Park (David Kemp)

I think I’ve said every thing there is to say about Rydal Park. It would be mad not to have him down in the list of horses to follow next season and another great season looks set for him.

Scare Lotte (Harry Hobson)

I think I’ve also mentioned everything there is to mention about Scare Lotte but she must be one for the list to follow. She is always consistent and has never really run a bad race when completing. There will be more races for her to win and hopefully Ladies races as she is definitely good enough to win them.

Siam De Baune (Tory Hayter)

Siam De Baune will be a progressive horse to follow next year. He won his maiden nicely and was a close 4th in his first race in a restricted so he will be good enough to win one. We will have to see how good he really is after that as to what else is next for him but he will certainly be conquering a restricted.

Took My Eye (David Kemp)

Took My Eye is another good horse of David Kemp’s. He has been more impressive each time, winning his maiden, restricted and a confined. He was something of a disappointment on his HC debut at Folkestone were he was 21 lengths 2nd to Silver Dollars. He is another who could win Open races and definitely more confined races. I’m sure that he can also improve on his HC effort as well.